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  2d Session
                                H. R. 5499

 To reduce the impacts of hurricanes, tornadoes, and other windstorms 
through a program of research and development and technology transfer, 
                        and for other purposes.



                            October 19, 2000

Mr. Moore (for himself, Mr. Jones of North Carolina, Mrs. Morella, Mr. 
  Etheridge, Mr. Clement, Mr. LaFalce, and Mr. Snyder) introduced the 
following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Science, and in 
 addition to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, for a 
 period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for 
consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the 
                          committee concerend


                                 A BILL

 To reduce the impacts of hurricanes, tornadoes, and other windstorms 
through a program of research and development and technology transfer, 
                        and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,


    This Act may be cited as the ``Windstorm Hazard Reduction Research 
and Technology Transfer Act''.


    The Congress finds the following:
            (1) Coastal States and many island States and territories 
        are vulnerable to the hazards of windstorms. All Midwest, 
        Southern, and Mid-Atlantic States are vulnerable to the hazards 
        of tornadoes and thunderstorms and increased building activity 
        is occurring in high-risk areas such as the seashore and 
        ``tornado alley''.
            (2) Hurricanes cause enormous loss of life, injury, 
        destruction of property, and economic and social disruption, as 
        evidenced by the 56 deaths and $6,000,000,000 in property 
        damage in 1999 from Hurricane Floyd. From 1990 to 1999 
        hurricanes caused an average of 14 deaths and $4,970,000,000 in 
        property losses annually while tornadoes and other windstorms 
        caused over 58 deaths and $871,000,000 in property losses 
            (3) Improved windstorm hazard reduction measures, 
                    (A) cost-effective and affordable design and 
                construction methods and practices;
                    (B) informed land use decisions;
                    (C) impact prediction methodologies and early 
                warning systems; and
                    (D) public education and involvement programs,
        have the potential over the next 10 years to reduce these 
        losses. Losses will increase if steps are not taken to help 
        communities reduce their vulnerability.
            (4) Wind engineering research needs to address both 
        improving new structures and retrofitting existing ones.
            (5) There is an appropriate role for the Federal Government 
        in the collection, preparation, coordination, and dissemination 
        of windstorm hazards reduction information in order to protect 
        public health and safety and in increasing public awareness of 
        the dangers of windstorms and of affordable steps homeowners 
        can take to preserve life and property. Improved mechanisms are 
        needed to translate existing information and research findings 
        into usable, state-of-the-art specifications, criteria, and 
        cost-effective practices.
            (6) An effective Federal program in windstorm hazard 
        reduction will require interagency coordination, input from 
        individuals and institutions outside the Federal Government who 
        are expert in the sciences of natural hazards reduction and in 
        the practical application of mitigation measures, and improved 
        mechanisms for the transfer of new knowledge to State and local 
        officials, to homeowners, and to the design and construction 
        industry. Tax credits are an appropriate means of helping 
        homeowners apply mitigation measures.
            (7) Windstorms are a worldwide problem, and international 
        cooperation is desirable for mutual learning and mitigation.


    In this Act:
            (1) The term ``Director'' means the Director of the Office 
        of Science and Technology Policy.
            (2) The term ``State'' means each of the States of the 
        United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of 
        Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, Guam, American 
        Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and 
        any other territory or possession of the United States.
            (3) The term ``windstorm'' means any storm with a damaging 
        or destructive wind component, such as a hurricane, tropical 
        storm, tornado, or thunderstorm.


    (a) Interagency Group.--Not later than 30 days after the date of 
the enactment of this Act, the Director shall establish an Interagency 
Group, to be cochaired by the Director or the Director's designee and 
the Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency or that 
Director's designee, consisting of representatives of appropriate 
Federal agencies, including the National Science Foundation, the 
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Institute 
of Standards and Technology, the Department of Energy, and other 
agencies with jurisdiction over housing, construction, and natural 
disaster mitigation and relief, to be responsible for the development 
and implementation of a coordinated Federal windstorm hazard reduction 
research, development, and technology transfer program. In establishing 
the Interagency Group, the Director is encouraged where appropriate to 
designate lead agencies and to preserve existing programs and functions 
of Federal agencies and organizations, and shall ensure regular agency 
coordination and information sharing and where appropriate coordination 
with other agencies.
    (b) Objective.--The objective of the windstorm hazard reduction 
program is the achievement, within 10 years after the date of the 
enactment of this Act, of major measurable reductions in losses that 
would otherwise have occurred to life and property from windstorms. The 
objective is to be achieved through the creation of a program involving 
cooperation among governments at all levels and the private sector 
            (1) pertinent basic and applied research which takes into 
        account locality-specific weather, susceptibility to other 
        hazards, and design and construction practices;
            (2) better understanding of impediments and disincentives 
        to wind hazard reduction;
            (3) inventorying of existing buildings and related data for 
        use in developing and deploying wind hazard mitigation 
            (4) dissemination of information on cost-effective and 
        affordable wind hazard reduction research results, technology, 
        and techniques to industry, State and local governments, 
        homeowners, and the general public;
            (5) improved technology for prediction, storm warnings, 
        advanced planning, and disaster response;
            (6) increased public awareness of the dangers of windstorms 
        and of ways to preserve affected property and life; and
            (7) priority attention to critical lifelines, including 
        infrastructure and utilities, that are especially needed in 
        time of disaster.
    (c) Research and Development Elements.--The research and 
development elements of the program may include--
            (1) basic wind characterization and micro-climate research;
            (2) development of methods to increase accuracy and 
        reliability in the prediction of the track and magnitude of 
            (3) peer-reviewed research and development on and 
        demonstration of wind-resistant systems and materials for new 
        construction and retrofit, including composite materials; 
        building envelope components, including windows, doors, and 
        roofs; structural design; and design and construction 
        techniques, through physical testing and through computer 
        simulation when appropriate, taking into consideration cost-
        effectiveness, affordability, and regional differences 
        including susceptibility to other hazards;
            (4) development of mechanisms for collecting information on 
        building systems and materials performance in windstorms, 
        information on mitigation priorities, and other pertinent 
        information from sources such as the construction industry, 
        insurance companies, and building officials;
            (5) development of updatable, cost-effective, and 
        affordable systems, both for new construction and for 
        retrofitting, and for inventorying information on components 
        and materials and their interaction;
            (6) development of cost-effective and affordable planning, 
        design, construction, rehabilitation, and retrofit methods and 
        procedures, including utilization of mitigation measures, for 
        critical lifelines and facilities such as hospitals, schools, 
        public utilities, and other structures that are especially 
        needed in time of disaster;
            (7) research and development on techniques, methodologies, 
        and new technologies for the mapping in finer detail of 
        windstorm hazard risks, to be coordinated with the mapping of 
        other natural and manmade hazards;
            (8) development of improved systems for predicting damaging 
        windstorm impact and for identifying, evaluating, and reliably 
        characterizing windstorm hazards;
            (9) development of improved approaches for providing 
        emergency services, reconstruction, and redevelopment after a 
            (10) development of quantitative assessment techniques for 
        the delineation and evaluation of the socioeconomic effects of 
        windstorms and their application on a regional basis, including 
        exploration of adjustments that could be made to reduce 
        windstorm vulnerability and to effectively exploit existing and 
        developing mitigation techniques; and
            (11) studies of impediments and disincentives to effective 
        wind hazard mitigation, preparedness, and response policies and 
    (d) Technology Transfer.--The technology transfer elements of the 
program shall include--
            (1) the collection, classification, presentation, and 
        dissemination in a usable form to Federal, State, and local 
        officials, community leaders, the design and construction 
        industry, contractors, home owners, and the general public, of 
        research results and other pertinent information regarding 
        windstorm phenomena, the identification of locations and 
        features which are especially susceptible to windstorm damage, 
        ways to reduce the adverse consequences of windstorms, and 
        related matters;
            (2) in coordination with the private sector, academia, and 
        the States, curriculum development and related measures to 
        facilitate the training of employees of the design and 
        construction industry, the insurance industry, and State and 
        local governments, and other interested persons; and
            (3) efforts to increase public awareness and information 
        related to windstorm hazard mitigation.
    (e) Implementation Plan.--The Interagency Group established under 
subsection (a) shall refine, in conjunction with appropriate 
representatives of State and local units of government and private 
sector organizations, the objective stated in subsection (b), develop 
measurements related to the objective, including emphasis on cost-
effectiveness and affordability, and develop a 10-year implementation 
plan for achieving the objective, deferring to the private sector and 
State and local government for implementation in all appropriate 
instances. Not later than 210 days after the date of the enactment of 
this Act, the Interagency Group shall submit to the Congress the 
implementation plan. The plan shall include--
            (1) a statement of research and development goals and 
            (2) plans for the development of improved forecasting 
        techniques for windstorms, early warning systems, and systems 
        for comprehensive response;
            (3) plans for the development of an inventory of buildings, 
        building components, and damage to buildings from windstorms;
            (4) plans for transfer of technology and information to 
        State, county, local, and regional governmental units and the 
        private sector for appropriate application of research and 
        development results;
            (5) provisions for dissemination, on a timely basis, of--
                    (A) delivery of information and technology in a 
                form that is of use to the design professions, the 
                construction industry, and other interested parties; 
                    (B) other information and knowledge of interest to 
                the public to reduce vulnerability to windstorm 
            (6) a description of how Federal disaster relief and 
        emergency assistance programs will incorporate research and 
        development results;
            (7) establishment, consistent with this Act, of goals, 
        priorities, and target dates for implementation of the program;
            (8) assignment of responsibilities with respect to each 
        element of the program that does not already have a Federal 
        lead agency;
            (9) a description of plans for cooperation and coordination 
        in all phases of the program with interested governmental 
        entities in all States, particularly those containing areas of 
        high or moderate windstorm risk; and
            (10) staffing plans for the program and its components.
    (f) Participation.--The implementation plan shall avoid duplication 
whenever possible and assign responsibilities to Federal agencies with 
existing expertise.
    (g) Manufactured Housing Standards.--No design, construction 
method, practice, technology, material, mitigation methodology, or 
hazard reduction measure of any kind developed under this Act shall be 
required for a home certified under section 616 of the National 
Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974 (42 
U.S.C. 5415), pursuant to standards issued under such Act, without 
being subject to the consensus development process and rulemaking 
procedures of that Act.


    (a) Establishment.--A National Advisory Committee shall be 
established to review progress made under the program established under 
section 4, advise on any improvements that should be made to that 
program, and report to the Congress on actions that have been taken to 
advance the Nation's capability to reduce the impacts of windstorm 
    (b) Membership.--The Advisory Committee shall be composed of 21 
members to be appointed by the President (one of whom shall be 
designated by the President as chair). The members shall include 
representatives of a broad cross-section of interests such as the 
research, technology transfer, architectural, engineering, and 
financial communities; materials and systems suppliers; State, county, 
and local governments concerned with the reduction of windstorm 
hazards; the residential, multifamily, and commercial sectors of the 
construction industry; and the insurance industry, and other 
representatives (not including members of Federal agencies) from areas 
impacted by windstorm hazards.

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