Disaster Recovery: Recent Disasters Highlight Progress and Challenges. GAO-20-183T: Published: Oct 22, 2019. Report is 37 pp.; highlights also available.
The federal government faces challenges in helping communities recover from disasters. Disaster costs are projected to rise as extreme weather becomes more frequent and intense. Federal disaster assistance since 2005 has topped $450 billion.
We testified that federal recovery programs are complicated and can be slow to provide help. For example, FEMA provided $2.4 billion to help communities recover from wildfires from 2015-2018. Yet, local officials cited challenges in providing housing, removing debris, and meeting FEMA’s paperwork requirements.
This is an important report; it covers a lot of recent history and many facets of recovery.