WASHINGTON, District of Columbia—Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.) last week introduced, H.R. 1117, the FEMA Relief Improvement Act (FRIA), a bill to foster more open communications between the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) disaster response operations and those communities struggling with the aftermath of a major disaster by providing more transparency, increased consistency, and ultimately, better assistance during the recovery phase.
“Following a major disaster, like the recent tornadoes in Louisiana or the flooding in Missouri in 2015 and 2013, people need accurate information regarding recovery efforts and where to turn for help,” Hartzler stated. “Though FEMA was there to assist after such disasters, many Missourians were left in the dark when it came to things like the status of their applications and grants, what was being done to help, and which agency or person they should speak with at any given time.”
Stemming from concerns raised about FEMA’s response to the record-setting flood in 2013 in southern Missouri, Hartzler’s bill makes sure FEMA is providing the information and assistance needed to our communities during its response to a major disaster.
“FRIA will make sure that not only Missourians, but all Americans going through an emergency, know what is going on and are confident that relief is on its way,” Hartzler said of the bill.
Using lessons learned from previous recoveries, the FEMA Relief Improvement Act requires FEMA to implement processes to provide consistent guidance for disaster relief, maintain accurate and appropriate records of recovery efforts, and use the technology available to best disseminate information to those affected.
Congresswoman Hartzler represents Missouri’s Fourth Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. She serves on the House Agriculture, Armed Services, and Budget Committees.
In other related news, some Hartzler constituents demanded to hear from her in person: