Make America Resilient Again

The destruction from last year’s hurricanes and wildfires is still felt today. But 2017 wasn't a fluke. Natural disasters are increasing in frequency and severity, and lives, homes, and taxpayer dollars are being lost at a staggering rate. We must ensure the U.S. is better prepared before the next disaster strikes. We must PASS DISASTER REFORM NOW!

We’re spending hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars rebuilding to the same outdated standards that left so many vulnerable in the first place. We must pass the Disaster Recovery Reform Act to break the cycle and invest in a stronger America that will save lives, property, and taxpayer dollars.

Last Year's Devastation


The United States experienced an unprecedented series of natural disasters in 2017. Between Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria and the California wildfires, the death toll was over 3,000 and damages exceeded $300 billion.

Prior to the 2017 hurricane season, Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy topped the charts as the first and second costliest disasters in U.S. history. However, all three of the 2017 season’s major hurricanes now place in the top five, totaling $265B in damages alone. Hurricanes Harvey and Maria passed Sandy to become the second and third costliest disasters in U.S. history, with Hurricane Irma rounding out the top five.

Largest Disasters in U.S. History

1Hurricane Katrina$161 Billion2005
2Hurricane Harvey$125 Billion2017
3Hurricane Maria$90 Billion2017
4Hurricane Sandy$71 Billion2012
5Hurricane Irma$50 Billion2017

A Dangerous Trend

While these numbers are staggering, recent disasters are part of a devastating larger trend.

Natural disasters are rapidly increasing in frequency and severity.


And federal taxpayer dollars are covering a rising share of disaster recovery.



However, research shows that proactive investment in pre-disaster mitigation saves lives & taxpayer dollars.


Yet, the U.S. spends 14x more on reactive, post-disaster mitigation.


Breaking the Cycle

The Disaster Recovery Reform Act

The Disaster Recovery Reform Act (DRRA) will save American lives, property, and taxpayer dollars. In the aftermath of the 2017 hurricanes and wildfires, Congress responded by passing the first of three DRRA reforms. This initial reform incentivizes states to invest in pre-disaster mitigation by offering an additional 10% in post-disaster funding. However, it alone is not enough to break the dangerous disaster spending cycle that cost the U.S. over 3,000 lives and $300 billion last year.

The U.S. must take two more important steps to save lives, property & taxpayer dollars. PASS DISASTER REFORM NOW!

  • Leverage the Life- and Cost-Saving Power of Prevention

    by providing states with access to an on-budget pre-disaster mitigation fund for activities that provide a measurable reduction of risk

  • Invest in a Stronger Future Following Disasters

    by focusing recovery funds toward resilient building code adoption and enforcement


About the Buildstrong Coalition


The BuildStrong Coalition is a group of firefighters, emergency responders, insurers, engineers, architects, contractors and manufacturers, as well as consumer organizations, code specialists, and many others committed to building a more resilient America.

For media inquiries or for additional information on reforming disaster spending in America and the activities of the BuildStrong Coalition, please contact