Looks like the senators chairing the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee have run out of patience with FEMA. Senators Seek Finalized Disaster Recovery Framework from FEMA; HStoday.com, June 1.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) must release a disaster recovery plan required by legislation passed in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the heads of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee demanded Tuesday.
Sens. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), chair and ranking member of the committee respectively, wrote to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to finalize the National Disaster Recovery Framework, which faced a congressional deadline four years ago.
FEMA produced a draft of the recovery framework early last year in an effort to meet the requirement of the Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act of 2006 (Public Law 109-295). But the agency has not yet finalized the plan, which would outline how FEMA would support disaster recovery in local communities.
“As storms and flooding continue to ravage the Central and Southeastern United States, and with hurricane season beginning tomorrow, it is critical that we have a clear plan for disaster recovery,” Lieberman and Collins wrote.
They added, “We have learned from the difficulties in the recovery from Hurricane Katrina that a well-developed recovery plan is essential to ensure that communities will be better able to recover from disasters — and to do so with coordinated assistance.”
The Post-Katrina Act codified responsibilities for providing such assistance under FEMA, tasking it with responsibilities and capabilities beyond those the agency had during Hurricane Katrina.
But the agency failed to deliver the National Disaster Recovery Framework to Congress within 270 days of passage of the act.
As of June 2, I was told that Sec. Napolitano promised to issue the Framework in final form in 7 days; but I cannot verify this.
Note that fellow blogger Eric Holderman has offered some comments on why this framework is needed. (June 3, 2011)