Connecticut looks to strengthen its defense against natural disasters with new legislation

Hurricane IreneConnecticut’s governor, Dannel Malloy, has announced that he will be introducing new legislation that could establish new performance standards for the state’s utilities companies. These new standards would require utilities companies to adopt more assertive practices in the event of natural disasters and other emergency situations. The recent spate of catastrophes in the U.S. has led to the formation of the legislation, especially as insurers warn that disasters could have significant and long lasting effects on the state’s economy.

Hurricane Irene struck the state in April last year, causing significant damage to Connecticut’s energy infrastructure and leaving many without power for several days. In October, an unusually powerful snowstorm compounded the damage caused by the earlier hurricane, and left much of the state without power for nearly two weeks. Governor Malloy has been working with insurance experts to draft the new legislation in the hopes of improving the state’s emergency response capabilities.

It is unclear whether 2012 will be as prone to disaster as the previous year, but insurers have begun taking steps to mitigate any potential disasters. With Connecticut taking a strong stance on embolding its defenses against catastrophes, other states at risk of hurricanes, snowstorms and similar events may be inclined to follow suit. Governor Malloy expects to introduce the legislation to the state’s lawmakers at some point in February.

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