U.S. Sens. Gary Peters (D-MI) and Rob Portman (R-OH) recently applauded their Community Disaster Resilience Zones Act, which aids disaster mitigation projects, being signed into law.
Specifically, the legislation makes the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) National Risk Index (NRI) permanent – adding the online tool that uses data to identify communities most vulnerable to natural disasters.
“Identifying areas in Michigan and across the country that are most affected by natural disasters will help drive public and private investment toward these communities so they can fund infrastructure projects that can withstand floods and severe storms,” Peters said. “This new law will help make sure that data and information that is gathered by FEMA is being used to ensure communities that are most vulnerable to extreme weather events receive assistance.”
The law is slated to require FEMA NRI data to establish community disaster resilience zones (CDRZs) to designate the communities nationwide most in need of mitigation projects and aid in accessing federal funding and support to plan for mitigation and resilience projects.
“I’m proud this bipartisan legislation has been signed into law because not every community in Ohio has the same vulnerabilities or experiences the same level of catastrophic outcomes even when impacted by the same disaster,” Portman, chairman and ranking member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said. “While natural disasters can be highly unpredictable, FEMA has risk index tools to help us know where we should prioritize our disaster mitigation funding. Research has found that for every dollar invested into mitigation, communities are saved six dollars due to reduced future losses. This law will help Ohio and communities across the country prioritize and focus these mitigation programs to ensure we maximize the safety and well-being of anyone affected by disasters.”