WASHINGTON -- On Dec. 20, U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI), Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, joined FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell at the agency’s headquarters to announce funding for the Safeguarding Tomorrow Revolving Loan Fund grant program.
This new program aims to foster greater community resilience and reduce disaster vulnerability and suffering. Peters authored the Safeguarding Tomorrow through Ongoing Risk Mitigation (STORM) Act to create this new program. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law invests $500 million for the program over five years. For the first year of the program, FEMA will make $50 million available in capitalization grants to eligible states, as well as Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, to fund low-interest loans. Fifteen Tribal Nations that received a major disaster declaration between Jan. 1, 2016, and Jan. 1, 2021, are also eligible for this first round of funding.
“I thank Congress, especially Senator Peters, for passing this critical piece of legislation,” said Homeland Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “The STORM Act provides significant funding for communities affected by climate change, allowing them to invest in mitigation projects to help protect from future disasters. This continues to show our commitment to building resilience.”
“FEMA remains committed to finding innovative approaches to help communities build resilience in the face of intensifying weather events driven by climate change,” said Administrator Criswell. “The low-interest loans provided by the STORM program will help eligible states and tribes, as well as Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, finance disaster mitigation projects that will enhance their climate resiliency before disaster strikes. I am grateful to Chairman Peters for his leadership in creating this critical program and helping to bring the importance of hazard mitigation to the national forefront.”
“Coastal erosion and extreme weather events, including floods continue to threaten the lives and livelihoods of communities in Michigan and across the nation. My STORM Act program, and the funding that I secured for it in bipartisan infrastructure law, will provide resources through state funds to local communities so they can invest in disaster-resilient infrastructure like seawalls, breakers and barriers,” said Sen. Peters. “Today’s announcement paves the way for states to be able access these critical federal funds and I’m grateful to Administrator Criswell and FEMA for getting this important program off the ground so quickly. I’ll also continue working to ensure Michigan communities can access these funds as soon as possible.”
WASHINGTON – Sen. Gary Peters and FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell announce funding for the Safeguarding Tomorrow Revolving Loan Fund grant program. (FEMA photo by Graham Haynes)
Following the announcement, Criswell and Peters met fellow Michigan natives who work at FEMA headquarters. They then met with FEMA Reservists and representatives from the Office of Response and Recovery to discuss the Civilian Reservist Emergency Workforce (CREW) Act. Authored by Chairman Peters, the act amends the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act as well as the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) to protect the job rights of FEMA Reservists responding to disasters and emergencies. USERRA protection will help nearly 8,000 dedicated FEMA Reservists continue serving their country without fear of losing their regular employment during their missions.
WASHINGTON -- FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell (right, center) and Sen. Gary Peters (left, center) meet with FEMA staff from Michigan after announcing funding for the Safeguarding Tomorrow Revolving Loan Fund grant program. (FEMA photo by Graham Haynes)
WASHINGTON -- FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell (center) and Sen. Gary Peters (right) speak with FEMA Reservists after announcing funding for the Safeguarding Tomorrow Revolving Loan Fund grant program. (FEMA photo by Graham Haynes)