2013-08-28 / Opinion

Mangano and Bellone: We need a Bipartisan Rebuilding strategy for LI

PUBLIC COMMENTARY
by Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano and Suffolk County Executive Steven Bellone

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Government's Emergency

Government's Emergency Management Mitigation Policies Smell! Government has failed miserably when it comes to Emergency Management Mitigation. I hold degrees in Business, Public & Criminal Justice Management. I have seen over the last 40 years federal, state and local government bungling over restrictive building or requiring tough building codes in what would be considered high risk areas of natural(or man made in some cases) disasters. Government manages to acquire massive sums of taxpayers' money for projects to mitigate against natural disasters but never really solve the problems. They allow people, land developers and builders to build in high risk areas with only complying with basic building codes that don't meet or exceed potential disaster scenarios. The end results are that taxpayers with no stake in the damaged areas wind up paying for other stakeholder mistakes year after year, decade after decade and now century after century. Houses built in river flood zones, storm surge, or underground flood zones should be required to be raised or modified constructed to avoid re-damage from future disasters from flooding. Homes in tornado zones should have at least underground tornado shelters to sustain living for up to a year for their families while rebuilding is affected in their areas. Insurance companies need to charge riders for any structure within a tornado alley zone. Also public building like schools, hospitals and malls should have ample tornado shelters for the maximum number of occupancy people of the premise, all at the owners or jurisdictions expense, not the national public. Wild fire areas need bracken water (slightly salted from sea water desalination systems) spray breaks around towns, cities and high population zones to protect them from natural and man made wild fire destruction. Individual homes should have a connection and home system to prevent wild damage also. Again those areas affected pay for these systems, not the country at large. The government could use tax credits to finance such systems which would be offset by future damage payouts or refinancing. Mud slide areas should not be built unless builders and potential home owners pay for special bulk-heading & foundation piling systems are develop to sustain mud slide damages. Public roads & utility systems should be also build with similar specifications. Earthquake zones need stronger building codes for private and public sector buildings and homes for all new construction and rebuilt construction. This is not a heartless outlook at a reoccurring expenses that the American public has paid for over the last century. The private and public sectors who live in dry water areas pay increased fees for drinking water or water systems that require high maintenance, other areas do not. Some state pay for a higher cost of living for commodities and government services, where other do not, for a reason. The same should apply when it comes to disaster mitigation. The American public should not have to finance private homes and businesses or even public facilities being rebuilt using the same building codes on the same disaster prone areas. I fear the federal taxpayer monies received in NY & NJ for Super Storm Sandy will be used to rebuild exactly the same as before because it is cheaper for now and if need be the American taxpayer in the future will continue to pay for piss poor planning & mitigation>