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?
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