Legislation from Rep. Mike Volz to help communities recover from disasters and emergencies gets unanimous committee approval

A bill from Rep. Mike Volz, which would require the Military Department to administer a program for long-term community recovery from an emergency or disaster, cleared its policy committee today. The House Innovation, Community, and Economic Development, and Veterans Committee unanimously approved House Bill 1952.

“These local long-term recovery groups make a big difference as they bring together all the community resources available. That helps attract national foundations that exist for the sole purpose to respond to disasters and emergencies,” said Volz, R-Spokane. “We really need to get this bill passed because without an established long-term recovery group these national foundations won’t come to our rural areas.”

The program would support counties and tribes by assisting with recovery planning, developing a recovery manual, issuing grants to create recovery groups, providing recovery training, and creating a resource directory.

“This is a real solution that will impact many areas in my district when a disaster hits,” added Volz. “Simply put, it will help our communities be better prepared for recovery following a disaster. Any advance work we can do before a disaster strikes, will assist our residents get back on their feet quicker. And that must be our top priority.”

If the legislation becomes law, it would require the Military Department to prepare and administer a program for long-term community recovery from emergency or disaster. The program would assist county governments and federally recognized Indian tribes by facilitating long-term community recovery where it’s needed the most.

Additionally, the program would help county and tribal governments with planning, creating, and maintaining a manual to facilitate long-term community recovery. County governments would also provide long-term community recovery training in cooperation with local organizations for emergency services.

The bill also calls for creating and updating a resource directory of state, federal, and international agencies, volunteer organizations, and service providers that could help individuals and communities.

“I’m thankful to the committee for approving this bill and I look forward to seeing it progress further,” said Volz.

The bill will now wait to come before the entire House for a vote on the floor.


Washington State House Republican Communications