The Honorable Janet Napolitano
Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Washington, D.C. 20528
Dear Secretary Napolitano:
As a former member of the House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security, and the current Representative of the Las Vegas Valley including the Strip, McCarran International Airport, University of Nevada -- Las Vegas, The College of Southern Nevada, and Downtown Las Vegas, I write regarding a draft of the 2013 Relative Risk Profile for the Las Vegas Urban Area (LVUA).
I request additional information as to why the LVUA Relative Risk Profile ranking was adjusted from 30 to 33. With the LVUA receiving funding at a level of 24 out of 31 last year, I am concerned that the LVUA will drop out of the top 25 for funding purposes. I urge you to take into serious consideration the justification provided by the LVUA in response to the draft Relative Risk Profile.
The Las Vegas Urban Area has the potential for high consequence events of significant public health, public safety and socioeconomic impact. Hundreds of thousands of people gather in large venues in Southern Nevada every day. Fifteen of the world's 25 largest hotels by room count are on the Las Vegas Strip, with a total of over 62,000 rooms. In 2012 some 37.5 million visitors came to Las Vegas and over 21,000 conventions are held annually. The LVUA is also located close to important federal assets, including Nellis Air Force Base and Creech Air Force Base, as well as the National Nuclear Security Site and Hoover Dam.
I am proud to represent Las Vegas, one of the premier vacation and business destinations in the world. Ensuring that my constituents and the millions of visitors we welcome each year stay safe is a top priority. Without UASI funding to sustain or enhance regional or nationally deployable capabilities, FEMA Region IX and the LVUA will be at a significant disadvantage in preparedness, response, and recovery capabilities. I look forward to working with you to ensure these critical counterterrorism funds are provided in a risk based manner.
Member of Congress