On October 13th, United States Congress' Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management held a hearing to discuss how to more efficiently and cost-effectively streamline the programs within FEMA. The subsequent news release issued by this committee "Subcommittee Hearing Focuses on Streamlining Emergency Management Programs," underlines the clear need for reform of these programs.
Highlighted within this release are comments from Keith Stammer, Director of Joplin/Jasper County Emergency Management Agency in Missouri, which give a spot on description of what applicants for FEMA Public Assistance are facing. Mr. Stammer said, "While hardly unique to our situation, an overriding problem we faced was the realization that there were three separate entities on scene, each trying to work the problem at hand. These three were: local government, state government, and FEMA. Trying to communicate between these three was a continual chore, especially when the human element was factored in. State and federal people were continually changing out, resulting in some confusion as to who occupies what roles. Beyond the fact that new introductions needed to be made all around, each new person seemed to have a somewhat different understanding of the rules and program, resulting in more time needed to integrate them into the current effort."
Mr. Stammer's statement is a testament to the challenges in disaster recovery faced by applicants, and also the burden placed on the grant process as a result of these inefficiencies within FEMA. His words shed light on the importance of enlisting the services of those that have a thorough understanding of the FEMA assistance programs. Here at Adjusters International, our disaster recovery consultants provide our clients not only with years of expertise, but also much needed continuity throughout the recovery process. This allows decision-makers to operate with the best possible information and analysis in implementing their recovery strategy.
The full news release, along with additional details on the hearing is available via the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee's website.