Homeland Security Chief pressed about Multiple Perils Bill

By Rebecca Powers - bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Homeland Security Chief Janet Napolitano spoke at the National Governor's Conference in Biloxi Sunday to a small group of reporters about the importance of being prepared for a disaster.

Rebecca Powers took that rare opportunity to press her about not even considering Congressman Gene Taylor's "Multiple Peril's Bill" when he first presented it to her and the President.

Secretary Janet Napolitano said, "Well, I don't want to comment on a particular piece of legislation. Let me just say that our view is, what we need is to be prepared when natural hazards occur. They occur; They will recur. We need to be prepared. We need to be resilient. We need to have a sense that there are things we can do, every person, every family. Do they have a re-unification plan? Have they thought through that? How are they going to help their neighbors? Then the government can focus on those who have special needs who aren't going to be that empowered. So our focus right now, particularly in the hurricane states, is to encourage people, be prepared, put that stuff aside, re-fresh what you have done."

Powers said, "You see our insurance went up 300 percent. It's almost like making us all homeless again."

Secretary Napolitano responded, "Yeah, I understand and that I understand it is a problem. And there's legislation moving through."

Powers said, "Will you look at it this time?"

"Well, it doesn't go to me. It goes to the President," Napolitano said. "But I'm sure; we'll see it as it comes through the system, absolutely."

If passed, Congressman Taylor said the multi perils bill will help dramatically lower "through the ceiling" insurance costs in the Gulf South, by spreading out the risk and sharing the cost with all states. He did meet with Napolitano this week during the National Governors Association Conference in Biloxi, asking her again to consider backing this bill.

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