Congressman Ron Klein (FL-22), a longtime advocate for next generation hurricane tracking technology, today celebrated the inclusion of $1 billion to upgrade hurricane forecasting technology, including satellite and radar systems, in the President’s budget as submitted to Congress.
“We are thrilled to see that the Administration has heard our call, and the call of Floridians, for the most up-to-date hurricane tracking technology available in order to save lives and protect property during a storm,” Klein said. “This has been a long fight, but the funding included in this year’s budget is a serious step forward. We are not letting up now: as the budget moves through the House and the Senate, we will be fighting tooth and nail to ensure our hurricane trackers at the hurricane center in Miami have the full range of resources they need to track and predict upcoming storms.”
Klein authored and introduced the Hurricane Satellite Modernization Act in 2008, and again in 2009, following the failure of the QuikSCAT satellite system. Klein’s legislation authorizes the construction of next-generation hurricane tracking satellites, as recommended by the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab. The next-generation satellites will provide significantly improved information to narrow the cone of uncertainty and protect Florida’s families when a storm approaches.
In addition, Klein wrote to the President in December, urging him to include funding for new hurricane tracking technology in his upcoming budget. The $1 billion investment in tracking technology recommended by the President’s budget is a common-sense and cost-effective way to reduce the estimated $14 billion sustained in weather-related damage every year.
“Our hurricane forecasters are the best in the world, but they are only limited by the tools and technology they have access to,” Klein said. “I have made it my mission to ensure that forecasters have the cutting-edge resources they need to make accurate, timely predictions that narrow the cone of uncertainty and bring peace of mind to thousands of families and businesses in Florida and across the coastline when a storm is approaching.”