Two Keating Disaster Relief Amendments Pass House

William Richard Keating

WASHINGTON – The House of Representatives passed two amendments filed by Congressman Bill Keating (D-Bourne) aimed at increasing disaster relief and prevention.

Keating and Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL) pushed legislation that would require the head of FEMA to provide additional training to local officials and stakeholders to address disaster preparation, mitigation, and response efforts.

The first amendment would require the FEMA Administrator to work with local representatives on emergency response plans, which Keating and Murphy say would provide state and local officials the best practices to deal with a disaster. In particular, the amendment would increase guidance and training for local healthcare facilities.

The second amendment would require the FEMA Administrator to work with local officials on coordinating emergency response strategies in the event of a disaster or severe storm. The proposal would provide additional training and guidance when it comes to hazardous materials issues that could arise during a disaster.

“Over the last few years, the severe winter weather in Massachusetts, and in particular in my District, has damaged many homes and businesses and left tens of thousands without power. These powerful storms not only endangered the lives of so many, but also made it harder for hospitals and long-term care facilities to provide care,”saidKeating.

“It is crucial that our state and local governments, including our first responders, are given the best tools possible to limit the loss of life, and ensure these communities return to normal. The best way to mitigate damage is to prepare for every possible scenario.This extends to preparing our first responders and others for the unique dangers presented by damage to chemical plants and other facilities during storms and major disasters. We must be doing everything we possibly can to keep everyone safe, including our most vulnerable community members and our first responders,” Keating added.

Both amendments passed as part of the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization.

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