Disaster Preparedness Tax Credit

Dear FEMA,

I live in Los Angeles.  Officials and Community members speak ad nauseum about the importance of disaster readiness particularly when it comes to earthquakes and wildfires.  Most recently we have even had some flooding.  However, my proposal applies to all areas that might be subject to natural (or other) disasters.  

One of the most fundamental elements of preparedness is having an earthquake/flood/fire/disaster kit on hand. 

On the local news we tend to hear a few times a year about the importance of an earthquake kit, but people tend to assume the best, and very few citizens actually have them.

Here's my proposal:

Make the fundamental elements of a disaster preparedness kit tax deductible.  Some example items would be: Sattelite phones, potable water, flares, first aid supplies, rain gear, inflatable rafts, LED flashlights etc.  The items on the list could be items that FEMA or other government experts/studies  determine significantly increase one's (a family's) chances of survival in a disaster.

People would submit disaster kit receipts for a tax write off, and in addition, they would receive an additional $1000 tax write off for doing so.

One of the fundamental assumptions of a free market capitalist economy like ours is that nothing spurs people to action like financial incentive.  This is as true as it has ever been.

Potential lost revenues would be offset by savings from lower rescue operation costs when the next disaster hits an already prepared populace.  Additionally, an expected increase in consumer demand for disaster kit components would presumably effect some economic stimulus.

Thank you for taking the time to consider my proposal.


Zevon Odelberg