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The Atlantic hurricane season is just beginning, and experts are predicting another active year. With that forecast and last year’s devastating storms in mind, many are calling for a rebuildingstrategy that reduces the risk of repeated devastation by building more resilient communities. Energy efficiency should be a central component of that strategy. Its technologies and practices can make our electric grids and built environment more resilient during extreme weather events.
Congress has a chance to get this right. The US House of Representatives has already passed key provisions of a relevant bill, the Disaster Recovery Reform Act, with a bipartisan vote on a broader bill necessary to extend the Federal Aviation Administration’s authority. The bill, now under consideration in the Senate, would amend the Stafford Act to allow cost-effective pre-disaster risk mitigation and rebuilding using the latest “hazard-resistant designs” and building codes.
As this bill and others are considered, energy-efficient technologies should be recognized as elements of hazard-resistant design and more broadly as an essential component of resilient infrastructure. Here are some approaches that work.