U.S. Representative Val Demings announced that she will assume the role of Chair for the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Recovery in the 117th Congress. This role is a direct evolution of Rep. Demings’ prior work to gain renewed Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) anti-terror funding for Orlando, and her work on hurricane and disaster preparedness as a member of Congress and as Orlando Chief of Police.
“I look forward to this expanded role as we work to keep Floridians and all Americans safe from natural disasters, COVID-19, and terrorism,” said Rep. Demings. “As a former 27-year law enforcement officer and Orlando’s Chief of Police, I know firsthand that adequate preparation, education, and resources are the key to effectively managing any crisis.”
The House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Recovery (EPRR) is responsible for oversight and legislative activities around preparing for and responding to mass-disaster events. It has direct oversight over the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Department of Homeland Security’s Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office.
“I am proud of the bipartisan work we have done over the past several years to bring additional counter-terrorism and FEMA support to Florida and communities across the country and look forward to expanding on these successes,” Rep. Demings added.
The EPRR Subcommittee focus areas include federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial preparedness, response, mitigation, resilience, and recovery efforts; private sector integration in preparedness, response and recovery; interoperability and other emergency communications; grant programs administered by the Department; and preparedness for high-consequence biological and chemical threats.
Key focuses for the subcommittee will include:
- Natural disaster preparedness and recovery, including hurricanes in Florida
- Urban Area Security Initiative grant authorization, law enforcement coordination, and security incident prevention and response training including for major urban areas and transit hubs like Orlando
- FEMA’s COVID-19 response