RAND Gulf States Policy Institute
Congressional Newsletter
Quarterly updates to Congress on RAND's work in the Gulf States region


RAND Work Provides Insight into Reforms Proposed by the National Flood Insurance Reform and Modernization Act

an elevated house

As the Gulf States gear up for hurricane season, Congress is working on a five-year re-authorization of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), a part of the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). President Obama recently signed a short-term extension of the program. Current legislation includes a number of reforms (see H.R. 1309, the Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2011 [PDF]). In recent studies, RAND has identified key topics for discussion as Congress shapes new legislation: insurance premiums that more accurately reflect the true risk of flooding; incentives to reduce the vulnerability of households and businesses to flood risk; private reinsurance by the NFIP to reduce taxpayer risks; and the solvency of the National Flood Insurance Program.

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Louisiana's Coastal Master Plan Benefits from RAND's Technical Expertise

bayou on the Gulf Coast

RAND played a prominent role in supporting the development of Louisiana's draft 2012 Comprehensive Master Plan for a Sustainable Coast, which will guide the state's coastal investments and help its coastal residents plan for the future. RAND developed two models: a new hurricane flood risk model to assess effects of projects designed to reduce damage from flooding; and a planning framework and decision support model, called the Planning Tool, to develop and compare different coast-wide groupings of risk reduction and restoration (land-building) projects. The Plan was released for public comment in January and will be finalized in March.

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Admiral Thad Allen Focuses on Community Resilience in the Face of Disaster

resilient communities podcast logo

Resilient communities prepare for, respond to, and recover from natural and man-made disasters. In this podcast, Admiral Thad Allen discusses the critical questions confronting the field of community resilience as well as a new toolkit developed by RAND researchers to support community disaster planning.

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RAND has implemented and evaluated community resilience-building activities worldwide and identified opportunities to integrate the non-profit and for-profit sectors in public health and emergency preparedness, infrastructure protection, and the development of economic recovery programs.

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Interactive Guide Helps Child-Serving Organizations Prepare for Emergencies

children doing a safety drill

The Promising Practices Network has developed an online emergency planning guide that presents high-priority preparedness activities and documents to help child-serving organizations customize their emergency plans.

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Promising Practices Network logo

The Promising Practices Network is a user-friendly website operated by RAND that provides evidence-based information on child, youth, and family policy. The site's content is organized around four main sections: Programs that Work, Research in Brief, Service Delivery, and Partner Pages. Visit the PPN site: http://www.promisingpractices.net.


Lindsey Kozberg
Vice President, Office of External Affairs

Winfield Boerckel
Director, Office of Congressional Relations

Laura Selway
Legislative Analyst, Office of Congressional Relations

RAND Office of Congressional Relations
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Sally Sleeper
Director of Research, RAND Gulf States Policy Institute

RAND Gulf States Staff


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The RAND Gulf States Policy Institute was created in 2005 to support hurricane recovery and long-term economic development in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. Today, RAND Gulf States provides objective analysis to federal, state, and local leaders in support of evidence-based policymaking and the well-being of individuals throughout the Gulf States region. Access to all RAND Gulf States research is available at www.rand.org/gulf-states.html.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND focuses on the issues that matter most, such as health, education, national security, international affairs, law and business, the environment, and more. As a nonpartisan organization, RAND operates independent of political and commercial pressures. We serve the public interest by helping lawmakers reach informed decisions on the nation's pressing challenges. Learn More »

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