Congressman Sam Graves (MO-06) introduced legislation to help Missouri communities recover from this year’s devastating floods and better prepare for future floods. The bill, the “Resilient Communities Act of 2019” (H.R. 3531), allows the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide Missouri and other states resources to set up a fund for mitigation projects that reduce disaster risks. The bill gives local communities greater flexibility for the types of projects that are eligible for disaster funding, compared to FEMA’s existing programs.  

“North Missouri has been devastated by this year’s flooding. We’ve got to make sure that our river communities have the ability to recover, as well as prevent future flooding. This bill will provide another important tool for our communities, farmers, and businesses to prevent future disasters,” said Rep. Graves, the lead Republican of the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, which has jurisdiction over FEMA and federal disaster programs.

By expanding the types of projects eligible – for example, repair and reconstruction of non-federal levees – the bill will support and enhance FEMA’s existing mitigation programs.  Under the bill, assistance can also be applied to projects related to non-profits and businesses, if they reduce flood risk.

To deal with this year’s record flooding, Graves supported the disaster relief package that passed in June. Additionally, he introduced legislation to prioritize flood control on the Missouri River.  Graves also passed an amendment to help the Corps of Engineers study the recent flooding on both the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers in an effort to develop flood control plans.