New York State Senator Michael Balboni (R-East Williston), a member of the Senate Insurance Committee, was applauded this week by an organization of first responders, emergency management experts, building officials and insurance industry leaders for last week’s introduction of legislation that would create a financial backstop to protect New Yorkers from the consequences of a catastrophic storm, terrorist attack or other event.
“Senator Balboni is taking the necessary first steps to prepare New Yorkers for catastrophe and to protect them from the financial consequences that follow. A statewide financial backstop is an important start, and federal representatives should follow Senator Balboni’s lead in order to prepare for and protect all Americans from mega-catastrophes,” said James Lee Witt, former director of the Federal Emergency management Agency and co-chair of ProtectingAmerica.org.
ProtectingAmerica.org is the parent organization of ProtectingNewYork.org which includes other affiliates in an effort to establish a national catastrophe fund and to promote other catastrophe preparedness programs.
In September of 1938, one of the nation’s most destructive hurricanes – dubbed “The Long Island Express” – killed 700 and caused $308 million in damages in the New York area. If a hurricane of similar force were to hit Long Island today, replacement costs are estimated to be in the tens of billions of dollars.
Balboni’s bill, the “New York Consumers Catastrophe Preparedness and Protection Act,” would create the New York Catastrophe Fund, a public-private partnership that would act as a backstop to strengthen weaknesses of the current system. The bill was referred to the Finance Committee for further review.
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