Providing a Helping Hand to Natural Disaster Victims

When extreme weather impacts South Dakota, government and communities must come together

Sen. Thune is steadfast in his support for federal disaster assistance for South Dakota communities impacted by tornadoes, floods, wildfires, and extreme winter weather. Rebuilding homes, communities, and infrastructure is a shared responsibility.

Highlights of Sen. Thune’s Commitment to Disaster Assistance:

  • Requests for Major Disaster Declaration:
    • Sen. Thune has long supported governors’ requests for presidential disaster declarations following tornadoes, flooding, and specifically, the blizzard that impacted western South Dakota in 2013.
    • Ag producers are particularly vulnerable to disaster damage, and Sen. Thune championed reforms to ag disaster programs in the 2008 and 2014 Farm Bill.
    • A presidential disaster declaration is necessary to trigger certain federal financial assistance for individuals, businesses, and communities.
  • Flood Mapping:
    • Sen. Thune continues to work with South Dakota communities and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to ensure flood maps accurately reflect risks faced by homeowners and communities.
    • Flood maps are the basis for determining requirements and costs for flood insurance.
  • Compensation for Government-Caused Wildfires:
    • Sen. Thune called on the U.S. Forest Service to take responsibility for the Pautre fire caused by government negligence when federal employees attempted a controlled burn that spread to private land.
    • In response to numerous fires that burned out of control, Sen. Thune introduce legislation that would prevent reckless prescribed burns on federal lands.