Legislative Alert – Congress Adjourns Before Addressing Disaster Funding
After passing major tax legislation and a continuing resolution to avert a government shutdown, Congress left for its December recess before resolving perhaps the most pressing issue: disaster relief funding.
Agencies including the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Housing and Urban Development have requested $81 billion in federal funding to help cope with this year’s extraordinary onslaught of disasters: Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, along the California wildfires and mudslides. That’s $21 billion more than the 2013 Sandy Recovery Improvement Act and the largest single such package in US history.
But the bill is on hold until at least January.
Much has been written and said about the scale of US disasters in 2017. They have led to the longest activation of FEMA personnel in history. This year, at least 16 weather and climate disaster events each caused more than $1 billion in damages, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National centers for Environmental Information (NCEI). Between 1980 and 2016, the annual average of such events is 5.5.
We at Hagerty Consulting sincerely hope Congress passes this legislation in its first week back in 2018.
Hagerty Consulting is an emergency management consulting firm that helps clients prepare for and recover from disasters. Established in 2001, Hagerty’s offices are in Evanston, Illinois (corporate headquarters); Austin, Texas; and Washington, D.C. Hagerty Consulting professionals live in all 10 FEMA regions and provide a rich breadth of emergency management experience to client assignments. You can learn more about our Preparedness Division here and more about our Recovery Division here.