Senators Scott, Schatz Aim to Preserve and Protect Flood-Prone Communities across America

Staff Report From South Carolina CEO

Friday, July 12th, 2019

U.S. Senators Tim Scott (R-SC) and Brian Schatz (D-HI) have introduced S.2088, the Repeatedly Flooded Communities Preparation Act, which aims to ensure stronger protections for flood-prone communities.

The Repeatedly Flooded Communities Preparation Act provides the first step towards breaking the costly cycle of repeated flooding and rebuilding by providing our communities with more tools to take proactive steps to reduce flood risk.

“Having grown up along South Carolina’s coast, I know all too well of the dangers and uneasiness that flooding can bring to families across our state and nation,” said Senator Scott. “While our state is blessed with a pristine coastline, we face many issues that others don’t, like repeated flooding. Whenever I walk through the remains and aftermath of a hurricane, I’m reminded of how critical the NFIP is to the Palmetto State. Our legislation will help tackle the enormous debt the program is in while preparing communities to safeguard their homes and businesses before disaster strikes.”

"Our bill builds on the momentum growing in states and cities to fight the new reality of accelerating sea level rise,” said Senator Schatz. “We need to do all we can to prepare our communities and our economy to weather the storm."

The bill will help to compel the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and local governments to proactively reduce flood risk rather than simply rebuilding properties time and time again, putting unnecessary strain on the NFIP.

Additionally, the bill sets deadlines for FEMA to develop criteria to govern these repeat loss plans and determine any appropriate sanctions for failure to act, requires FEMA to report to Congress every two years on implementation progress, and authorizes FEMA to target special assistance to communities working to address these repeatedly flooded areas. 

Senators Scott and Schatz both serve on the committee of jurisdiction, the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee. The Repeatedly Flooded Communities Preparation Act has the overwhelming support of various constituent, industry, consumer, and environmental organizations, including the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance (SCMA), Former Charleston Mayor Joe Riley, National Taxpayers Union (NTU), Taxpayers for Common Sense (TCS), National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC), National Wildlife Foundation, National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Pew Charitable Trusts, and most importantly, the South Carolinians that have written Sen. Scott asking him to support the legislation.