Andrews: As the current Vice Chair of the National Emergency Management Association’s (NEMA) Legislative Committee, what are your thoughts on the State-Led Guide, and how it was developed and rolled out?
Schulz: Both the process and the guide are really good tools, but more important I think even than the outcome or the guide itself is the process that was used when the concept of the State-Led Public Assistance process was being put together. I was really impressed.
Nancy Dragani from Region VIII led that effort and we pulled in a group of stakeholders — including directors from states that had experience with state-led and from those that didn’t — to get a broad overview and perspective. I really liked both the process and the outcome. I think it helps that it formalizes some of these issues, but what’s so important with these guides and processes always is that while there is a formalized structure, there is enough latitude or subjectivity to allow states to operate slightly differently within that construct. So overall, a very good product and tool.
Andrews: You had mentioned that states were involved from the onset in developing the State-Led Public Assistance Guide. Now that it is finalized, what do you think the next step should be for reviewing its effectiveness — and are there any modifications you would like to see made?
Schulz: I think it’s important that FEMA DR 4444 (North Dakota Flooding) goes through an After- Action Report (AAR) process, an after-action review with a subsequent report on sampling of disasters throughout the states. I think they have to be cognizant that they choose a diverse group of states, different sizes of disasters and different types of disasters — whether it’s hurricane, overland flooding, tornados and others, just to get a feel, a real broad range of perspectives on how the implementation is working at the state level. That would be useful for FEMA to do.
State-Led Public Assistance Guide February 2019