Standing Principles from the Risk Mitigation Leadership Forum Series
Over the course of the past nine Risk Mitigation Leadership Forum Series, which began in 2008, delegates have adopted the following Standing Principles that guide their actions and the work of those dedicated to the disaster safety movement. Following individual Forums, these principles may be modified from time to time to reflect emerging priorities as informed by science and best practices.
In addition to these Standing Principles, specific Calls to Action will emerge from individual Forums that will be advanced through the collective efforts of Forum leaders, panelists, delegates and all those devoted to making America more disaster resilient.
Reducing Risk to Human Life - The number one focus of public policy must be reducing risk to human life.
- Build Stronger Buildings – For those rebuilding after disaster, we consider it imperative that reconstruction be done using modern building techniques that provide the greatest possible protection against natural disaster. In instances of new construction, modern, model building codes should be employed and enforced and states lacking modern statewide building codes should be strongly encouraged to adopt these codes.
- Fund Scientific Research - We call for increased public and private sector funding for applied research specifically focused on identifying effective methods of improving the resiliency and durability of both existing and new homes and workplaces.
- Eliminate Incentives for Bad Behavior - We call upon policymakers to reduce and where possible eliminate incentives that increase risk, especially the risk to human life and safety, and also risks to property and to the environment. Instead the focus should be on efforts promoting personal investments in a family's physical and financial security.
- Reevaluate Land Use Planning with Consideration for Impacts of Climate Change- As local, state, and national policymakers advance the resiliency of structures and communities in the face of inevitable natural catastrophes through land use planning and building code enactment and enforcement, we call on these officials to take climate change into consideration.
- Prioritize Environmental Restoration - We call upon policymakers to recognize the vital role - and strongly support the preservation and restoration of - natural environmental features (such as floodplains, wetlands, and coastal barriers) that greatly mitigate on-shore built environment/structural damage from hurricanes.
- Educate and Motivate Stakeholders - We strongly support education and training programs that effectively motivate individuals and communities to take actions that mitigate losses. Such programs should emphasize the significant life safety, community, financial, and environmental benefits of hardening homes and workplaces against the types of high wind and water forces typical of hurricanes and other natural disasters. To achieve this, we call upon the disaster safety movement to communicate its expertise and calls to action through effective storytelling and other understandable, accessible and empowering means.
- Recognize Needs of Americans of Lesser Means – Policy decisions made about safe building practices and the availability of insurance to protect property must take into consideration the needs of Americans of lesser means.