FLASH President and CEO Addresses United Nations in Conjunction with October 7 – World Habitat Day 2013

Remarks Focus on Advancing Resilience through Policy Leadership, Social Value and Open Source Information

TALLAHASSEE, Fla., Oct. 7, 2013 — Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) President and CEO Leslie Chapman-Henderson delivered remarks at the United Nations (UN) Headquarters Friday in New York as part of a panel entitled “Resilient Design – To Build or Not to Build?”. Her address offered an in-depth look at fostering a ‘culture of prevention’ through policy leadership, creating public value and leveraging an open source information framework. The event, hosted by the UN’s Economic and Social Council in conjunction with UN-Habitat, brought together experts on natural disasters to identify resilient design challenges and opportunities, and to share best practices and innovative, replicable ideas. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and UN General Assembly President John Ashe opened the day with inspirational remarks, urging participants to strive for resilience throughout the globe.

“It is an honor to work with the world’s most influential and talented minds to advance disaster resilience in America and across the globe,” said Chapman-Henderson, who spent 12 years in the insurance industry responding to natural disasters and delivering risk mitigation policy followed by 15 years as the leader of the nonprofit FLASH.  “Empowering policy makers, thought leaders, individuals, families and communities with information to drive strong, safe and sustainable homes is a critical first step in achieving resilience worldwide.”

Specifically, her address examined:

  • the state of building codes and enforcement as a matter of public policy in the United States and internationally;
  • proposed policies to incent homeowners to build or retrofit homes with resilience in mind;
  • award-winning public awareness initiatives designed to create a future generation that understands, values and demands resilience;
  • an initiative to embed resiliency into higher education and graduate programs through creation of model curriculum; and,
  • a case for open science laboratories and open source information to accelerate understanding and acceptance among design professionals, developers, home builders and realtors.

“My convictions are a reflection of nearly three decades of experience on the frontlines of disaster safety, from delivering regulatory and policy solutions to help manage financial exposure to catastrophic risk to developing innovative and effective public awareness and higher education initiatives,” said Chapman-Henderson.  “Our mission is to share that experience with others committed to advancing the mission of strengthening homes and safeguarding families.”

View the United Nations broadcast or download the prepared statement.

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