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In the wake of Harvey and Irma, how money moves through government and into disaster aid relief




Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke (C) speaks to reporters during a news conference at Ellington Airport on September 6, 2017 in Houston, Texas.
Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke (C) speaks to reporters during a news conference at Ellington Airport on September 6, 2017 in Houston, Texas.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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On Wednesday, the House of Representatives passed a $7.85 billion aid package for Harvey, with money for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Small Business Administration.

As the package heads to the Senate, we’re taking a look at the Federal mechanisms in place that provide aid after disasters. Agencies like FEMA and the Small Business Administration play a big role, as well the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). There’s also the National Flood Insurance Program, which was nearly $25 billion in debt prior to Harvey. And in the case of disaster like Harvey and now Irma, there are also special appropriations that can be passed by Congress.

So what are the agencies involved in disaster relief and how are the funded? How was disaster relief distributed in the cases of Sandy and Katrina? And what can we expect going forward, as the Federal government works to provide aid, and funds for the aid, for the communities affected by Irma and Harvey?

Guests:

Gavin Smith, director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Coastal Resilience Center of Excellence and a Professor of City and Regional Planning at the University of North Carolina; he has been working with the state of North Carolina on Hurricane Matthew recovery, a Category 5 storm that hit the Carolinas and devastated Haiti and Cuba

Chad Berginnis, executive director of The Association of State Floodplain Managers based in Wisconsin; the organization focuses on flood management issues all across America and works with the federal government and agencies like HUD, The United States Army Corps of Engineers and FEMA