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Thursday, June 13, 2024

House Homeland Dems Announce Creation of Congressional Disaster Equity and Building Resilience Caucus

Members aim to use the Caucus to have conversation about how Congress can make disaster outcomes more equitable and make communities stronger.

Today, Reps. Bennie G. Thompson, Troy A. Carter, Sr., Dina Titus, and Brian Higgins announced the creation of the Congressional Disaster Equity and Building Resilience Caucus to promote the benefits of resilience and the need for equity in the country’s disaster preparedness and response infrastructure. Research has shown that racial minorities, rural areas, low-income communities, tribes, individuals with disabilities, seniors, and children are all more likely to experience the most devastating impacts of disasters.

Reps. Thompson, Carter, Titus, and Higgins will serve together as co-Chairs of the Caucus. They, along with Caucus members, aim to use the Caucus to have conversation about how Congress can make disaster outcomes more equitable and make communities stronger. The Caucus hopes to hold events in the coming weeks and months.

“Whether you receive assistance and can properly recover after a disaster shouldn’t depend on your zip code or background,” said Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security. “For decades, we have seen low-income communities and communities of color left behind after a disaster strikes. That is not fair or equitable. While I am glad that the Biden Administration has made many positive changes to the Federal government’s disaster management programs to address inequities, there is much more we can do to make disaster assistance equity a real priority and reduce barriers to recovery. I look forward to having frank discussions with my Caucus colleagues and disaster recovery experts on how we can do better.”

“Storms know no boundaries and disaster relief shouldn’t either. Yet there have been long-standing inequities in disaster relief, especially for low-income, rural, and other minority communities. Louisiana knows this all too well. Some of the deadliest tropic storms and hurricanes to ever hit the United States have struck our shoreline. I’m proud to co-chair the Congressional Disaster Equity and Building Resilience Caucus which will advocate for disaster preparedness and recovery that better serves EVERY American,” added Rep. Troy A. Carter, Sr. (D-LA), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security’s Emergency Management & Technology Subcommittee.

“We are only as strong as our most vulnerable communities. Natural disasters hit them hardest, which is why I’m grateful to Co-Chair the new Disaster Equity and Building Resilience Caucus. Disasters wreak havoc on red states and blue states, and as Ranking Member of the House subcommittee overseeing emergency management, I’ve worked with FEMA and my congressional colleagues to push for equitable disaster recovery across the board. Together we can work to close the recovery gap and help every affected community rebuild,” said Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV).

“Extreme weather often has the greatest impact on our country’s most vulnerable communities, this is something the Buffalo-Niagara region, knows all too well,” said Rep. Brian Higgins (D-NY). “From deadly blizzards to ice storms and lakeshore flooding, we have experienced first-hand the challenges that low-income communities face when a natural disaster strikes. I am proud to serve as a co-chair of the Congressional Disaster Equity and Building Resilience Caucus. I would like to thank Rep. Thompson for his long-standing leadership and efforts in addressing issues of equity across our country. Together we can eliminate barriers and inequities communities face in disaster preparedness and recovery, so all Americans have the opportunity to rebuild following devastating storms and other types of natural disasters.”

In recent years, the Committee on Homeland Security has held hearings on the issue of equity in disaster preparedness. The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) also produced a report on disaster equity and barriers to recovery. Both led to legislation authored by Rep. Bennie G. Thompson to address systemic inequities in the Federal government’s response to disasters and how it distributes assistance.

Read more at the House Homeland Security Committee

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Homeland Security Today
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.
Homeland Security Today
Homeland Security Todayhttp://www.hstoday.us
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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