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Florida Senators introduce National Hurricane Research Initiative

By Staff | Jul 21, 2009

On Tuesday, U.S. Senators Mel Martinez (R-FL) and Bill Nelson (D-FL) reintroduced an effort to better research, predict and prepare for hurricanes. This five-year, $375 million dollar National Hurricane Research Initiative will help build a foundation for targeted and coordinated research that will marshal the resources and expertise of the government’s scientists in a more focused way.

“Giving Floridians the most timely and accurate information available when it comes to hurricanes will help them to better prepare for storms,” Martinez said. “Coordination by federal agencies, research universities, and the private sector will improve technology and research capabilities to monitor hurricanes. This initiative will go a long way in streamlining research methods and advancing our response to hurricanes.”

“If you’ve ever lived through a hurricane you’d know why we need to find out how to keep these storms from killing people and blowing away our houses,” said U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson.

The bill directs the Under Secretary of Oceans and Atmosphere to coordinate with the Director of the National Science Foundation to create a National Hurricane Research Initiative that will focus on a greater understanding of hurricane and prediction methods by improving aspects such as storm tracking, storm intensity, and forecasting.

The federal government would also be required to monitor and track research to ensure that it is meeting milestones and goals to improve upon current research knowledge.

Senators Martinez and Nelson introduced the bill this week as part of their “Hurricane Six Pack” of proposals addressing ways to improve hurricane preparedness and response, cost mitigation and the creation of a national catastrophe fund.