WASHINGTON — A Louisiana U.S. Representative formed a bipartisan Disaster Relief Caucus to streamline the national response to a natural disaster.
Cedric L. Richmond, a Democrat from New Orleans, made the announcement to coincide with the beginning of hurricane season and in the wake of the devastating tornadoes.
“As someone who has witnessed the devastation of hurricanes firsthand, I am extremely pleased to join my colleagues in establishing the Disaster Relief Caucus to ensure that our communities are better prepared and protected,” Rep. Richmond said. “The founding of a caucus that addresses the increasing threat of natural disasters is critical as we work to rebuild our communities in the aftermath of hurricanes and tornadoes. It is vital that we unite in a common effort to proactively advocate for stronger policies, better preparation and more effective responsiveness at the onset and after a disaster strikes.”
Richmond is joined by fellow Florida democrat Patrick E. Murphy, Republican Representatives Peter King (New York) and Kay Granger (Texas).
"Having lived in Florida my entire life, I have witnessed firsthand the impact these disasters can have, especially when politics tie up response efforts,” Rep. Murphy said. “That is why I am proud to join my colleagues Reps. King, Richmond, and Granger in announcing the formation of the Disaster Relief Caucus to improve the effectiveness of disaster preparedness and response efforts."
Forecasters predict 2013 will be active due to the lack of El Nino. They call for 18 named storms, of which, nine become hurricanes and, of those, four form into major hurricanes, category 3 or above. They give a 72 percent chance of a cyclone making landfall in the U.S. and a 47 percent chance that it will make landfall in the Gulf States.
The bipartisan caucus will facilitate policy discussion to promote more organized, streamlined and timely responses to natural disasters.