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Inhofe's disaster bill signed into law


OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- President Clinton has signed a bill into law that authorizes funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency's disaster mitigation programs, an Oklahoma senator says.

The Disaster Mitigation Act authorizes state and community-based pre-hazard mitigation projects which will help to streamline the cost of federal disaster assistance in the wake of natural disasters, Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., said in a news release on Tuesday.

The measure also authorizes Project Impact, FEMA's nationwide disaster mitigation initiative. Four Oklahoma cities -- Tulsa, Lawton, Miami and Durant -- participate in the program.

As chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Clean Air, Wetlands, Private Property and Nuclear Safety, Inhofe oversees FEMA and Project Impact, he said.

"By fostering community-based mitigation projects, we are not only saving lives and private property but we are also streamlining the administrative process while returning more control to the state and local level," Inhofe said.

Using federal funds, Oklahoma is able to provide incentives for homeowners to build a "safe room," for example, in their homes to provide protection against tornadoes and extreme winds, he said.

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