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NEWS
Funds Approved To Reduce Impact of Wind Hazards
September 1, 2007

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) recently hailed the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee’s commitment to fund the implementation of the National Windstorm Impact Reduction Program (NWIRP) as a crucial step forward in protecting the public from the devastating impact of windstorms like hurricanes and tornados. The effort, championed by Congressman Dennis Moore (D-Kan.) and included in the fiscal year 2008 Commerce-Justice-Science appropriations bill, will coordinate federal plans aimed specifically at reducing the loss of life and property from windstorms.

“Each year, tornados and hurricanes threaten the lives and economic prosperity of the American public,” said ASCE president Bill Marcuson, Ph.D., P.E., Hon.M.ASCE. “Mitigating their impact isn’t impossible, but it will take strong leadership and dedicated funding. The current House proposal represents an important commitment to protecting public health, safety and welfare.”

“All states and regions of the United States are vulnerable to windstorms and we all share in the cost of repairing the several billion dollars in economic damage caused each year by these storms,” emphasized Congressman Moore. “Unfortunately, up to this point few resources have been committed to research and program coordination in this area, and no funding has been appropriated to begin the implementation of the NWIRP. I hope that this funding is included in the final version of the appropriations bill, as this important program will save lives and property.”

Intended to help policymakers, private industry and individual homeowners adopt strategies for reducing risks to human life and economic loss, the National Windstorm Impact Reduction Act (2004) established the interagency NWIRP. Under the current proposal, much needed funding would be directed to the National Science Foundation, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, each of which is responsible for the implementation of a distinct component of the NWIRP.

The Wind Hazard Reduction Coalition is comprised of 24 organizations whose common goal is to support the creation of a National Wind Hazard Reduction Program that would reduce loss of life and property damage significantly over a ten-year period. For more information, please visit: www.windhazards.org.


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