“Smarter Disaster Management”- updated

About a week ago, I did a posting that indicated that major changes to FEMA’s public assistance program was underway — see Jan. 22 posting.

Also on that topic see the article in The Street titled Winter Storm Jonas Aftermath: FEMA Considers Plan to Tighten Disaster Funds Faucet. The article notes a report (and link) to an article titled Smarter Disaster Management, by Juliette Kayyem, in the Journal of Democracy. She discusses going beyond the need to repair the public assistance program and argues for major changes in the Stafford Act, the enabling legislation for FEMA.

Update: the Diva received a number of comments from readers, all of which were quite positive about Ms Kayyem’s recommendations.

And Quin Lucie provided some background, via a post on Homeland Security Watch, on the need for changes in the declaration process and reform of the Stafford Act. See that posting from 2013:  Where The Heck’s My Declaration?


3 thoughts on ““Smarter Disaster Management”- updated

  1. Pingback: What Comes Around, Goes Around (and Around and Around): Reviving the Lost History of FEMA and its Importance to Future Disasters - HOMELAND SECURITY AFFAIRS

  2. 80% of all disaster outlays for floods since 1951 when Public Law 875 of the 81st Congress made ongoing disaster response and recovery an entitlement once the President has issued a declaration. All citizens and legal residents of the UDSA are entitled to Equal Protection of the Law [in this case the Constitution]! Ms. Kayyem is correct in her conclusions. But there is a missing link. Reform of the NFIP also necessary. The first NFIP policy issued June 6, 1969, in Monroe County, FLA.

    But the NFIP is a land use program masked as an insurance program. Like the Stafford Act it is written and authorized by the wrong Congressional committees. The NFIP is overseen by the Banking [finance] committees that are total ignorant of science and mitigation just as the Stafford Act is overseen by the Public Works Committees that are also totally ignorant of science and mitigation.

    I have discussed NFIP reform on several blogs. HLSWatch.com for one. That program should be modified to provide dire4ct federal insurance and regulation only in the 300 coastal counties of the USA with a roll-off of policies issue in the other 3800 [of 4100 counties] that may have riverine/inland flooding. Federal reinsurance could be provided if necessary in layered form. But the offering of direct insurance in those 3800 counties can be provided if it wishes to do so in those 3800 counties. Mitigation and mapping should be a State responsibility [or river basin commission] if the States wish to do so. The NFIP was designed as a riverine/inland flooding program as Dr. Gilbert White, PhD, now deceased long argued.

    See http://www.fas.org/irp/agency/dhs/fema/index.html !

    That 50 year experiment has now ended and only the 300 coastal counties should be of major concern to the federal government since 40-50% of total USA population occupy them for up to six months a year.

    Bottom line the peril of riverine/inland floods should no longer be in definitions of the Robert T. Staffor Act, AS amended [Public Law 100-707] codified at 42 USC Sections 5101 and following.

    The statutes controlling the NFIP are codified at 42 USC Sections 4101 and following.

    It should be noted that the key to reducing disaster outlays is the NFIP not the Stafford Act.

    There should be a reassignment to both the Science Committees in the Congress of the NFIP and the Stafford Act.

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