WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee’s commitment to fund implementation of the National Windstorm Impact Reduction Program (NWIRP) is a crucial step forward in protecting the public from the devastating impact of windstorms such as hurricanes and tornados, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). The effort, championed by Congressman Dennis Moore (D-Kan.) and included in the fiscal year 2008 Commerce-Justice-Science appropriations bill, will coordinate federal plans aimed at reducing loss of life and property from windstorms.

Intended to help policymakers, private industry, and homeowners adopt strategies for reducing risks to human life and economic loss, the National Windstorm Impact Reduction Act (2004) established the interagency NWIRP. Under the current proposal, the ASCE said, much needed funding would be directed to the National Science Foundation, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, each of which is responsible for implementing a distinct component of the NWIRP.