NRDC: Risk Assessment Must Be Part of New Jersey’s Sandy Recovery Programs
March 7th, 2014 by New Jersey Future staff
The National Resources Defense Council was one of the co-signers to our official comments on the state’s draft Action Plan for the second round of federal Sandy recovery aid. In this article, cross-posted from their site, author Ben Chou explains why a robust risk assessment is so important to judicious allocation of these funds.
Extreme weather events in recent years have made states throughout the country rethink how investments in communities can make them more resilient to future storms and other types of natural disasters. There is no clearer example of this than in New York and New Jersey, the two states most devastated by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012. Although it has been well over a year since this disaster struck, communities in both states are still in the process of recovering and rebuilding. And the roughly $60 billion in federal disaster relief appropriated after Sandy has been instrumental in this effort.
As a condition of receiving funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), New York and New Jersey are required to develop an action plan for how they plan to use these funds. They are also required to formally amend the plan every time they propose a major change. My colleague, Theo Spencer, provided testimony this week on New York’s plan for using HUD funding. And this week we also signed on to a letter from New Jersey Future, which includes recommendations for how New Jersey should utilize its next round of HUD funding.