Julie Rochman, CEO of the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS), a research firm dedicated to making homes more resistant to extreme weather damages, was in attendance.
“As the property insurance industry’s building science research arm, IBHS is very focused on mitigating homes and businesses to make them more resistant to extreme weather events, which are on the rise,” says Rochman. “People and property are in danger not only in the future, but right now, today. These events affect communities, natural resources, ecosystems, economies, and public health across the country,” she says.
According to the White House, weather disasters in 2012 cost the American Economy more than $100 billion, with $65 billion of that coming solely from Superstorm Sandy.
“We share the Administration’s concerns regarding the impact of extreme weather, and strongly believe one of the key ways to achieve climate adaptation is to create more resilient communities using effective mitigation practices,” Rochman says.
Among the key areas of agreement among both insurance and government participants in the White House meeting is the need to actively support enactment and enforcement of strong building codes and voluntary mitigation standards that are based on sound building science. President Obama has proposed creating a $1 billion climate resilience fund for his 2015 budget in order to ‘help communities across the country become more resilient to the effects of climate change,’ though with a divided congress, it is unclear whether this would measure pass.
Rochman said that this kind of investment would “help break the cycle of destruction” that tends to follow natural disasters.