Disaster Recovery

Disaster Recovery

FEMA's Public Assistance Grant Program Experienced Challenges With Gulf Coast Rebuilding : Report to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, U.S. Senate

Printed Ephemera - 2008
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The devastation caused by the 2005 Gulf Coast hurricanes presented the nation with unprecedented rebuilding challenges. The Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Public Assistance (PA) grant program is a key tool for providing funds to support recovery, including rebuilding public schools, roads, and utilities. GAO was asked to examine the amount of PA grants FEMA has provided for rebuilding the Gulf Coast; challenges in the day-to-day operation of the PA program; and human capital challenges; as well as actions taken to address them. Toward this end, GAO reviewed relevant laws, PA regulations and procedures, and analyzed data from FEMA's National Emergency Management Information System. GAO also interviewed federal officials from FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Office of the Federal Coordinator for Gulf Coast Rebuilding as well as more than 60 officials from state government and eight localities in Louisiana and Mississippi. GAO makes several recommendations to the Secretary of Homeland Security including to direct FEMA to improve information sharing within the PA process and to further enhance continuity and communication when staff rotate on and off PA projects. In commenting on a draft of this report DHS generally agreed with our recommendations.

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