Header, the Administration of the Honorable Lincoln C. Almond
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Executive Order 98-13
December 18, 1998


WHEREAS, the State of Rhode Island is geographically vulnerable to hurricanes, tornadoes, fresh water flooding, and other natural disasters that in the past have caused extensive loss of life and property and severe disruption to essential human services; and

WHEREAS, Rhode Island is one of the nation's most densely populated states, with two-thirds of the population living along the state's 420 miles of coastline; and

WHEREAS, the hurricanes of 1938 and 1954 caused the loss of 281 lives and over $1 billion (in today's dollars) in property damage, and Hurricane Bob in 1991 caused more than $115 million in property damage; and

WHEREAS, more than $83 billion worth of residential and commercial coastal property in Rhode Island are at risk from damage in a repeat of the 1938 and 1954 hurricanes, or in the event of a 100-year flood; and

WHEREAS, to protect our residents, the State of Rhode Island has embarked upon an unprecedented public/private partnership called the Showcase State Initiative in partnership with the Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS), the State of Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency, Rhode Island Sea Grant at the University of Rhode Island/Coastal Resources Center, the Federal Emergency Management Agency Region I, Rhode Island local governments and the business community; and

WHEREAS, the State of Rhode Island is committed to providing the highest possible level of protection to its citizens.

NOW THEREFORE, I, Lincoln Almond, by virtue of the authority vested, in me as Governor of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations proclaim the State of Rhode Island a Showcase State for natural disaster resistance and resilience. In cooperation with public and private partners, the State will work: in 14 initial areas to demonstrate the benefits of takin9 specific, creative steps to help Rhode Island communities reduce deaths, injuries, property damage, economic losses and human suffering caused by natural disasters. The State, under the leadership of the Rhode .Island Emergency Management Agency, will do the following:

1. Identify state agencies and private sector entities responsible for implementing actions in each of the areas listed below. Executives with authority and accountability in these areas will be asked to develop a five-year strategic plan and a first-year plan.

2. Complete a state wide hazard analysis and risk assessment, and provide assistance to municipalities to identify their natural hazard risks.

3. Develop partnerships with businesses to provide a public-private link for coordinated mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. Partnerships should include critical businesses involved in recovery from natural hazard events (e.g., utilities, communications, food suppliers, and medical facilities) and those businesses that would impact the local and state economy.

4. Promote and support enforcement of the latest version of the model building code as adopted by the State of Rhode Island and implemented without local amendments.

5. Address relevant hazards and the risks they pose in state-level land use decisions, including plans for State-owned property development. The State will also encourage the adoption of local land use plans that incorporate hazards into decision making.

6. Maintain a state emergency response plan and develop a State post-disaster recovery plan. Provide technical assistance to municipalities for development of local recovery plans.

7. Encourage communities to participate in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and the Community Rating System (CRS), and improve the present rating of those communities that currently participate. Provide technical assistance for the preparation of CRS applications.

8. Encourage communities to develop their Fire Suppression Rating System grade. Coordinate an Incident Command System and mutual aid agreements as appropriate.

9. Develop programs to increase public awareness of the importance of mitigating the damage caused by natural hazards, through a coordinated effort with multiple stakeholders.

10. Support the incorporation of natural hazard reduction programs into school curricula.

11. Support the IBHS in the non-structural retrofit of non-profit childcare centers.

12. Develop and conduct mitigation training for building, design and construction professionals.

13. Develop a set of public sector incentives to implement mitigation measures in collaboration with private sector financial incentives. Public sector incentives could include tax incentives and regulatory streamlining or acceleration of the permit process for Chose who implement mitigation activities.

14. Encourage the development of disaster resistant communities within the State through collaboration with the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Project Impact initiative.

This Executive Order shall take effect immediately upon the date hereof.

So Ordered:

Lincoln Almond