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Congressman Dan Donovan

Representing the 11th District of New York


Donovan, House Vote To Improve Hurricane Forecasting

January 12, 2017
Press Release
House passes legislation to improve national preparedness and response to extreme weather events

Washington, DC—January 12, 2017.... Congressman Donovan (NY-11) and the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act of 2017 to improve the prediction of high impact weather and storms. The bill, which passed with strong bipartisan support, advances the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) storm forecasting capabilities, which will allow for more accurate, real-time storm predictions and warnings.

Donovan said: “Four years ago, Superstorm Sandy devastated our city and claimed dozens of lives. This bill will improve the NOAA’s forecasting capabilities to help ensure that families and communities have the information they need to properly prepare for dangerous storms. Congress cannot control the weather, but we can help ensure that agencies have the resources they need to protect Americans.”

More specifically, this legislation directs the NOAA to prioritize weather research and use of innovative technologies to more accurately predict when and where a storm will hit. Additionally, the bill enhances coordination among various government agencies to improve the exchange of weather data, which will help researchers more effectively communicate warnings about severe storms to the public.

Extreme weather events pose significant risks to the safety of millions of Americans, businesses, and property. Increases in severe storms have highlighted the need for more accurate weather data and forecasts. Since 1980, the NOAA estimates that the U.S. has been affected by at least 178 weather disasters, including Superstorm Sandy, which have cost more than $1 billion each.

This week’s vote is Donovan’s latest step to improve disaster response and resiliency. Donovan has been a strong advocate for the construction of the Staten Island Seawall, which will reduce flood risk for tens of thousands of Staten Island residents during storms. Last year, Donovan introduced and passed the Flood Insurance Mitigation and Policyholder Protection Act (FIMPPA), legislation that reforms the disaster recovery process by streamlining the claims appeals process and eliminating the opportunity for damage inspectors to fraudulently alter their reports after a disaster.

The bill will now go to the Senate for consideration.