of Waveland, Mississippi, for example, most of the homes within a few blocks from the beach were destroyed, and only some have been rebuilt, reducing the population of the town by almost half. Rebuilding remains difficult today because of the cost of flood insurance.
During its trip, the committee met with representatives of a group of nonprofit organizations who emphasized the importance of nongovernmental organizations in creating resilience and responding to disasters. These organizations help affected households recover from a disaster, apply for aid, and prepare for future disasters. Representatives of these organizations also emphasized the importance of getting businesses back in operation to provide employment and goods and services for the people affected by a disaster.
INSURANCE AND REAL ESTATE
During the first of five discussion panels held at the workshop, some participants emphasized that durability needs to be an integral part of performance measures for structures. Building codes provide a basic level of durability, but they need to be enforced, and fortified standards may be required to provide necessary levels of protection. The best aspects of building codes in one jurisdiction need to be adopted in others. They also noted that mitigation is not necessarily expensive, and it saves money for everyone during a disaster. The panelists discussed the idea that encouraging people to adopt effective mitigation measures may be needed to address the affordability gap for mitigation.
In the panel on critical infrastructure, the committee heard from representatives of the water and sewer authority in New Orleans, public transportation in the city, the regional electricity and gas company, and a cell phone provider. The four representatives emphasized their interdependence, requiring coordination among different organizations. Utilities also need to be able to draw on other people and organizations within their industry from outside an affected area to help respond to a disaster. Finally, the representatives of the utilities emphasized the human resources aspects of their organizations. The employees of utilities are subject to the same disasters as other people in a region, and their needs have to be recognized and met.
In the area of governance, presenters emphasized the need for collaborations within government and between the public and private sectors. Nongovernmental organizations can bring an energy and creativity to resilience planning and disaster recovery that government agencies cannot achieve. Government ought to