NCSL Public-Private Partnership on Disaster Mitigation and Recovery



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The NCSL Foundation for State Legislatures is undertaking an exciting new effort emergency management which will provide legislators, legislative staff and private sector partners a chance to engage on the future of disaster mitigation and recovery, and pursue coordination between federal, state and private sector spheres.

In light of recent and ongoing record-setting natural disasters and increased future risks, emergency management solutions have attracted considerable attention not only in affected states but also in Congress and the Administration. Following the 2017 disasters, the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) tone on emergency management in 2018 has taken a notable shift toward pre-disaster mitigation efforts and an increased state and local role. This message is reflected in FEMA’s National Mitigation Investment Strategy (NMIS) and the agency’s 2018-2022 Strategic Plan. In Congress, the Disaster Recovery Reform Act (DRRA)—considered the most comprehensive disaster reform bill since Hurricane Katrina—is now law and features comprehensive emergency management reform from mitigation to recovery. There’s no better time to convene key players on the state and federal level to explore solutions, whether financial or logistical, to address disaster mitigation and recovery.

Although both the federal and state governments have demonstrated a clear emphasis on this issue, coordination and communication between these levels of government, as well as the private and nonprofit sectors, needs improvement. Despite trends in 2018 state legislation, it is understandably difficult to convince states that haven’t historically faced disaster risks to allocate funding toward preparedness efforts over other pressing and expensive matters like health care and education. This dynamic becomes particularly problematic considering increased frequency and intensity of disasters in recent years that is only projected to continue in the future – many times, in states that have rarely or never dealt with them before. With disaster frequency and intensity potentially expanding beyond the budgets of either the federal or state governments, the role of the private and nonprofit sectors cannot be understated. During the 2017 and 2018 disaster seasons, private and nonprofit entities stepped up like never before to aid communities in need.

The Public Private Partnership on Disaster Mitigation and Recovery brings together state legislators, legislative staff and private sector representatives to explore the policies and programs that can best prepare our communities to tackle these challenges, and how the public and private sectors can work together in pursuing these advancements.

Steering Committee Members


  • Representative Holly Raschein (R-Fla.)
    • Member, Select Committee on Hurricane Response and Preparedness
    • Chair, Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee
  • Representative Gregg Takayama (D-Hawaii)
    • Chair, Hawaii House Public Safety Committee


  • Representative Joy San Buenaventura (D-Hawaii)
    • Vice-Chair, Hawaii House Judiciary Committee
    • Representative of District 4, Puna
  • Rep. Jimmy Pruett (R-Ga.)
    • Chair, State Planning and Community Affairs Committee 
    • Member, Economic Development and Tourism Committee
  • Representative Valerie Hodges (R-La.)
    • Vice Chair, Louisiana House Homeland Security Committee
  • Senator Michael Moore (D-Mass.)
    • Chair, Massachusetts Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security
    • Chair, Massachusetts Special Senate Committee on Cyber Security Readiness
  • Senator Katie Fry-Hester (D-Md.)
    • Representative f District 9, Ellicott City
  • Delegate Courtney Watson (D-Md.)
    • Representative of District 9, Ellicott City
  • Senator Julie Slama (R-Ne.)
    • Member, Senate Agriculture Committee
  • Rep. Steve Gunderson (R-Mont.)
    • Vice Chair, Lcal Government Committee
    • Member, Natural Resurces Committee
  • Rep. Charles Ortega (R-Okla.)
    • Chair, Appropriations and Budget General Government Subcommittee
  • Representative Jose Aponte (R/NP-PR)
    • Former Speaker, Puerto Rico House of Representatives
  • Senator Ronnie Cromer (R-S.C.)
    • Chair, Senate Budget and Insurance Committee
  • Representative Eric Hutchings (R-Utah)
    • Co-Chair, NCSL Law, Criminal Justice, and Public Safety Committee
  • Representative Roger Goodman (D-Wash.)
    • Chair, House Public Safety Committee
    • Co-Chair, NCSL Law, Criminal Justice, and Public Safety Committee
  • Sen. Bryce Reeves (R-Va.)
    •   Chair, Rehabilitation and Social Services 
    •   Rappahannock River Basin Commission
    •   Secure and Resilient Commonwealth Panel
  • Del. Dean Jeffries (R-W.V.)
    • Chair, Joint Committee on Flooding

Legislative Staff Members

  • Sean Hamel 
    • Principal Program Evaluator, North Carolina General Assembly
  • Sean McSpaden 
    • Principal Legislative IT Analyst, Oregon Legislative Fiscal Office
    • AdministratorJoint Legislative Committee on Information Management and Technology
  • Carlos Perez 
    • Counsel to the Speaker, Representative Jose Aponte-Hernandez
  • Mary Elen Williams 
    • Director of Government Relations in Disaster Recovery, Texas General Land Office

Private Partners





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American Electric Power

Sherri Monteith

Director, Public Policy

American Property Casualty Insurance Association Steve Schneider Vice President, Midwest Region State Affairs
American Society of Civil Engineers Brian T. Pallasch Managing Director, Government Relations & Infrastructure Initiatives
International Code Council Logo The International Code Council Ryan Colker VP of Innovation

Facebook Logo

Facebook Inc.

Kylie Holmes

Erica Woods

Public Policy

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The Pew Charitable Trusts

Colin Foard
Matthew Fuchs

Fiscal Federalism Initiative
Flood-Prepared Communities

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Wells Fargo

Dave Howell

Regional Director, State Government Affairs


Winter Convening, Jan. 17, 2020 | Austin, Texas

The steering committee held its second meeting on Jan. 17 and Jan. 18 in Austin in conjunction with NCSL's Executive Committee Meeting. The agenda can be found hereThe steering committee heard from experts in disaster mitigation and recovery such as the Texas General Land Office Disaster Recovery Director, Iowa Homeland Security Director and Homeland Security Advisor, the First Responder Network Authority, International Code Council, the Western Fire Chiefs Association and others. The steering committee continued the work of its three committee working groups: 1) State-Federal Spending; 2) Infrastructure and Housing Resilience; and 3) Interstate Agreements. On Saturday, attendees visited ICON to see an example of how private sector innovations3D printed housingare solving disaster challenges.


Summer Convening, Aug. 4, 2019 | Nashville, Tenn.

The steering committee held its first meeting on Sunday, Aug. 4, in Nashville in conjunction with NCSL's 2019 Legislative Summit. The agenda can be found here. The steering committee heard from federal partners such as the National Security Council Resilience Director, the US Department of Agriculture, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and members of the nonprofit and private sector. The group discussed the role of the private, public, and nonprofit sectors in advancing disaster resilience. The steering committee held its first business meeting, out of which came three committee working groups: 1) State-Federal Spending; 2) Infrastructure and Housing Resilience; and 3) Interstate Agreements.



PLEASE NOTE: The partnership will discontinue in-person meetings until further notice, due to the COVID-19 pandemic

April 2021

Publication Release: 2021 Natural Disaster State Policy Recommendations. As natural disasters increase in intensity and frequency, state legislatures will continue to be at the forefront of state policy solutions in disaster mitigation and recovery. Informed by in-person and virtual convenings, and ongoing coordination among partnership members, this comprehensive new report provides policy recommendations for consideration by state legislatures. Recommendations span disaster funding, state policy reform, interstate mutual aid, and private sector partnership.

January 2021 Publication Release: 2019-2020 State Legislative Report on Natural Disasters. Informed by in-person and virtual convenings, and ongoing coordination among partnership members, this comprehensive new report provides an overview of enacted state disaster legislation for the 2019-2020 legislative session.  In this period, states enacted over 200 bills relating to natural disasters, featuring trends in broad emergency management reform, finance and appropriations, and infrastructure
Sept. 29, 2020

Seminar Series #7: Continuity of Operations and Supply Chain. Joint Session with NCSL Health and Human Services Committee

Session will cover continuity plans, essential workforce, and emergency medical supply chain.
Aug. 25, 2020

Seminar Series #6: Coronavirus Spending - how state and federal funding pays for emergency response. Joint Session with NCSL Health and Human Services Committee

Attendees will hear a breakdown of key coronavirus/emergency response funding across federal emergency mgmt. and health programs, as well as data on how states have financed the response so far.
Aug. 5, 2020 Seminar Series #5: Simultaneous Emergencies - hurricane response during a pandemic. FEMA officials will brief partnership members on the agency’s new COVID-19 Pandemic Operational Guidance for the 2020 Hurricane Season
August 2020 Summer Convening 2020: The partnership’s meeting in Indianapolis, in conjunction with NCSL’s Legislative Summit, is POSTPONED indefinitely due the COVID-19 pandemic.
June 10, 2020 Partnership Business Meeting. The partnership met virtually to discuss priority issues in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
June 2020

Partnership Publications. The partnership released the following publications:


May 8, 2020 Seminar Series #4: FEMA Update on BRIC. The steering committee received an update from Katherine Fox, Assistant Administrator for Mitigation at FEMA. The briefing covered Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) program implementation as well as FEMA’s new proposed policy on BRIC, open for public comment until May 11.  
May 2020 Spring Convening in Puerto Rico: The convening has been POSTPONED indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
May 2020 Seminar Series #4: The steering committee will continue the seminar series briefings.
April 2, 2020 COVID-19 Response Briefing: Follow up briefing and coordination call held for the steering committee only.
April 1, 2020 NCSL COVID-19 National Emergency Briefing: NCSL staff held a joint briefing for the steering committee and NCSL’s Law, Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee on federal emergency powers and assistance used for the COVID-19 response. Recording and summary available here.
Jan. 17 -18, 2020 Winter Convening: The partnership will convene its second meeting of the steering committee and Foundation partners at NCSL’s Executive Committee Meeting in Austin, Texas.
Winter 2019 Continue work on State Legislatures magazine article and other toolkits as needed by the steering committee.
Nov. 20, 2019 Seminar Series Briefing #3: Communications Infrastructure Resilience and the Private Sector. The third seminar series briefing featured Facebook Crisis and Disaster Policy Programs Manager.
Oct. 23, 2019 Seminar Series Briefing #2: Infrastructure Resilience and Building Codes. The second seminar series briefing featured American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Executive Director and codes experts.
Sept. 25, 2019 Seminar Series Briefing #1: FEMA Grants Overview. The steering committee held its first in a series of briefings to continue programming on the three working group themes, featuring Director of Preparedness Grants Division and Policy Chief of the Office of Response and Recovery.
Aug. 4, 2019 Summer Convening: The partnership convened its first meeting of the steering committee and Foundation partners at NCSL’s Legislative Summit in Nashville, Tenn.
April 24, 2019 First planning conference call of steering committee members and Foundation partners to discuss programming for August meeting.


Additional Resources