Chuck Chaitovitz Chuck Chaitovitz
Vice President, Environmental Affairs and Sustainability, U.S. Chamber of Commerce


June 25, 2024


Challenges: Businesses of all sizes are being impacted by the growing number of over $1 billion extreme weather events and natural disasters. 

Employees cannot get to work if the highway washes out, respond to customers if the electricity goes out, or meet basic needs for their families without clean drinking water and adequate sanitation.

What’s more, over 65% of small businesses do not have contingency plans in place in the case of a natural disaster.

Solutions: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and our members have long made building smart, modern, and resilient infrastructure a top policy priority.

New research by Allstate and the U.S. Chamber shows that pre-disaster mitigation will continue its unparalleled return on investment for the American taxpayer with an estimated benefit-cost ratio of up to 13-to-1 for economic savings, damages and cleanup costs.

However, more funding, technical assistance, and policy tools are needed, including:

  • A National Resilience Strategy. Elevating resilience as a national priority can be accomplished, in part, by establishing a Chief Resilience Officer at the White House and calling for interagency coordination and the development of a National Resilience Strategy.
  • Pre-Disaster Funding. Increase the portion of post-disaster funding directed to pre-disaster mitigation purposes (e.g., for retrofitting older homes and structures or updating the most recent editions of building/construction codes), especially FEMA’s BRIC program.
  • The Right Incentives for Businesses and Individuals. Promote incentives, including tax credits for individuals and businesses, for pre-disaster mitigation measures and expenses. Ensure state disaster assistance for individuals and businesses does not count as federal taxable income.

In addition, more technical assistance is needed to ensure that at-risk communities have the resources to pursue and secure funding, especially the most vulnerable communities (e.g., small and disadvantaged communities). The Chamber’s Climate Resilience Report, in partnership with Allstate, is one resource available on where to get started. Wildfire, drought, and electricity grid resilience should also be priorities.

Resilience is, simply put, good public policy for our environment and our economy.

About the authors

Chuck Chaitovitz

Chuck Chaitovitz

Chuck Chaitovitz is vice president for environmental affairs and sustainability at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

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