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PASSED: Lankford’s Bill to Help States Prepare for Disasters Heads to President Trump’s Desk

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) joined by Senators Gary Peters (D-MI), Ranking Member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI), Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) applauded passage of the Safeguarding Tomorrow through Ongoing Risk Mitigation (STORM) Act, which the senators introduced earlier this year to establish loans that local governments could access to help mitigate the damage caused by natural disasters in a more cost-effective way. Studies have shown that resilience and mitigation spending saves taxpayers more than $6 for every dollar invested. The STORM Act now heads to the President’s desk to be signed into law.

 

“Natural disasters are unavoidable, but what we can avoid is being unprepared when they strike,” said Lankford. “Every Oklahoman knows how to prepare their family for a disaster; the challenge is actually taking the time to do it. The STORM Act ensures states and local communities take proactive steps now to prepare for disasters. I’m grateful for the House of Representatives’ work to pass this two-part aid program for states so they can quickly act to help small communities affected by disasters, rather than having to wait on the federal government.”

 

“Providing cost-effective tools directly to local communities across Michigan is critical to helping them stave off the harmful effects that coastal erosion, flooding and rising water levels have on people’s lives and livelihoods,” said Peters. “I want to thank Congresswoman Craig for leading this bipartisan, commonsense legislation through the House and urge the President to sign it as soon as possible so that we can ensure that Michigan’s coastlines remain safe and pristine for generations to come.”

 

“Current hazard mitigation funds, such as those provided through the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities program authorized under the Disaster Recovery Reform Act, are made available to communities only after disasters strike,” said Johnson. “These programs that fund hazard mitigation projects are critical, but we also need to focus on building resiliency in communities before they happen. Studies have shown that for every $1 spent on hazard mitigation, $6 is saved in the response and recovery process. This bill will help address and fund projects before disasters strike, saving taxpayer money and decreasing future loss of life and property.”

 

“I have seen firsthand how the coastlines in Michigan have been devastated by flooding and erosion as a result of record high Great Lakes water levels,” said Stabenow. “Our bill provides local governments in Michigan with additional resources to address this issue. This is the type of investment local officials and residents I met with said would help their communities. Now that the STORM Act has passed the House, I urge the President to sign this bipartisan bill.”

 

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