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Working together to make low-income communities safer from natural disasters

The architects of America’s burgeoning disaster safety movement achieved a critical success in June 2009 when 250 leading scientists, environmentalists, emergency managers, housing and mitigation experts gathered in Washington, D.C. at the Safe Homes for All Leadership Forum. At the event, panels focused on the unique challenges faced by low-income populations in natural disasters, innovative and cost-effective technologies for affordable housing including multi-family structures, best practices for community preparedness and evacuation planning, as well as the legislative and regulatory developments affecting at-risk communities.

A Forum highlight included a key address from Representative Bennie Thompson, Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security, who announced the introduction of innovative, forward-looking disaster preparedness legislation that would focus on reducing the risk of loss of life and property proactively, rather than on increasingly expensive post-disaster response.

Safe Homes for All Leadership Forum sponsors and partners visited Capitol Hill on June 23rd, 2009 to discuss initiatives to help America become better prepared for natural disasters. Among the initiatives highlighted during the visits, which included a briefing with House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn (D-SC), were Florida’s innovative My Safe Florida Home program and South Carolina’s Safe Homes program. The delegation pictured here with Congressman Clyburn included representatives from the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH), the Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS), WeatherPredict Consulting, RenaissanceRe Risk Sciences Foundation, the My Safe Florida Home program and the South Carolina Safe Homes program.