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Dorian's Damage Underscores Need to Prepare for Storms and Climate Change

The Bond Buyer

Private investment in the reconstruction of the Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian could set a precedent for storm recovery in the United States.

Resilience expert Alan Rubin, a principal with Blank Rome Government Relations in New York, discussed the matter in Washington recently with U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y.; Engel’s chief of staff, Bill Weitz; Eric Jacobstein, senior policy advisor for the House Committee on Foreign Affairs; and representatives from the international development agency U.S. Agency for International Development, which sent a response team to the Bahamas.

“There are fundings that come from both USAID and the [United Nations],” said Rubin, nicknamed the “Hurricane Czar” for his recovery plan for South Florida after Hurricane Andrew struck in 1992. “This is one place where private investment might be the first monies in as opposed to in the U.S. where [the Federal Emergency Management Agency] is involved, and then you get U.S. money that’s allocated out of Congress.

“In this particular case, there could be private investment in companies that are doing disaster recoveries, to put the money in first, and then receive monies back from USAID,” Rubin added, “So this is very different than a public-private partnership.”

"Dorian's Damage Underscores Need to Prepare for Storms and Climate Change," by Paul Burton was published in The Bond Buyer on September 23, 2019.