The Reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program: FEMA’s Perspective

Posted by Brad Johnson Fri, 28 Apr 2023 13:00:00 GMT

Hearing on the reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program.

  • David Maurstad, Assistant Administrator, Federal Insurance Directorate, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

Hearing memo

Floods are the most common, most expensive, and most deadly natural disaster that communities across the United States experience. Reports reveal approximately 90 percent of all U.S. natural disasters also involve flooding from any number of sources, including inland flooding, flash floods, and flooding from seasonal storms.

While such events have long been a concern, recent experiences have shown that flooding has become both more frequent and severe. The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) 50+ year old National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which is by far the nation’s leading provider of flood insurance coverage, has experienced two of its top five, four of its top ten, and ten of its top 20 costliest flood events all in the last decade alone.

Previously, the NFIP dealt with only two $1+ billion flood events prior to its most costly flood, which was Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Since then, the NFIP has experienced eight $1+ billion flood events.

The NFIP’s last formal 5-year reauthorization expired at the end of September 2017. Since then, the NFIP has been subject to three brief lapses and 25 short-term extensions, nearly all of which have been enacted as a part of the congressional appropriations process and not through legislation initiated by the Financial Services Committee.

Fiscal Year 2023 Budget Request for the Federal Emergency Management Agency

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 25 May 2022 15:00:00 GMT

Hearing page

  • Deanne Criswell, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency

The FEMA FY2023 budget request is $29.5 billion.

The Homeland Security Act, as amended by the Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act, directs FEMA to reduce the loss of life and property and protect the nation from all hazards, including natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and other disasters through a risk-based, comprehensive emergency management system of preparedness, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation. As of January 2022, FEMA employed more than 22,000 personnel – including term and intermittent employees – to carry out the Agency’s mission.

The Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (Stafford Act) authorizes the Federal government to provide assistance to State, territorial, and local governments, tribal nations, eligible private nonprofit organizations, and individuals affected by an incident that receives a Presidential major disaster or emergency declaration.

The Disaster Recovery Reform Act of 2018 (DRRA, Division D of P.L. 115-254) includes reforms to improve FEMA’s ability to carry out its mission and better prepare the nation for disasters. FEMA continues to make progress implementing its provisions.

FEMA also delivers the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), pre-disaster and post-disaster mitigation grant programs, flood mapping, disaster planning, exercise management and coordination, urban search and rescue coordination, the Homeland Security Grant Program, the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program, and other grants, training, and exercise programs.

The FY 2023 President’s Budget includes increased funding for programs and activities that support the goals outlined in the 2022-2026 FEMA Strategic Plan:

Civil Rights and Reasonable Accommodation Services and Support ($3.9M, 3 FTE)

Funds enable the Office of Equal Rights to enforce and ensure compliance with FEMA’s civil rights responsibilities and proactively and comprehensively respond to civil rights complaints filed by disaster survivors and members of the public regarding FEMA programs.

Privacy Organization Program ($2.0M, 4 FTE)

FEMA will significantly advance its Privacy Program by expanding participation and customer support for FEMA operations and State, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) stakeholders to enhance privacy compliance and bolster privacy safeguards during rapid-paced response and recovery efforts. FEMA will use an additional $2.2M from DRF carryover balances to support this program in FY 2023 for a total increase of $4.2M.

Regional Steady-State Interagency Coordination ($2.0M, 12 FTE)

Funds will assist FEMA in providing more equitable investment in disadvantaged communities and aid underserved and marginalized communities to develop the structures, relationships, and planning processes that promote equitable access to recovery resources post-disaster. FEMA will also focus SLTT capacity building to mitigate existing gaps in steady-State services and resources to communities.

Flood Hazard Mapping and Risk Analysis ($74.5M)

The Budget includes an additional $74.5M to further FEMA’s inventory of maps showing future conditions for a program total of $507.7M. These funds may also be used to support the Federal Flood Risk Mitigation Standard (FFRMS) and its climate-informed science activities with the purpose of preparing for future flood conditions.

Equitable Investment in Risk Reduction ($5.0M, 12 FTE)

Funding will support sustained and equitable investment in risk reduction through catalyzing community partnerships. Funds will also support creation of efficiencies and increase capabilities within FEMA’s Regional and program offices that assist our SLTT partners, while maximizing all available resources across three key assistance programs – Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, National Dam Safety Program, and BRIC grant programs.

Flood Hazard Mapping and Floodplain Management Expansion ($4.3M, 30 FTE)

Funding for the NFIP will allow the program to be staffed to complete the mapping projects initiated to deliver credible, up-to-date flood hazard information to communities and to manage development in a way that reduces flood losses, equitably reduces disaster suffering, encourages nature-based solutions and builds community resilience.

FY 2023 Major Disaster Estimate ($19.7B, 9,010 FTE) The Budget reflects a major disaster allocation totaling $19.7B to address ongoing Stafford Act disasters. The FY 2023 requirement includes more than $941.0M over the FY 2022 Budget for the response to COVID-19 and other recovery projects. Cost estimates are derived from spend plans prepared by FEMA Regions working with affected states and localities for ongoing catastrophic disasters, historical average of obligations for non-catastrophic disasters, allocation for BRIC, and a reserve to ensure FEMA maintains the ability to fund initial response operations for new significant events.

Mount Weather Emergency Operations Center (MWEOC) ($53.0M)

MWEOC has 565 acres and is a national asset providing resilient infrastructure, facilities, logistics support, communications, operations centers, and support personnel for a wide variety of vital government functions. It supports 30 plus different departments and agencies’ continuity missions. FY 2023 funds support facilities construction and modernization projects at the site.

Emergency Food and Shelter Program – Humanitarian Relief ($24.0M)

The Budget includes an increase of $24.0M to provide critical resources to migrants crossing the southern border and communities providing humanitarian relief to the thousands of families and individuals that do so, as well as any other humanitarian crisis that may arise. Funds will support providing food, shelter, transportation, COVID-19 testing, and care associated with recommended quarantining and isolation of this population.

Emergency Management Institute (EMI) Revitalization ($8.0M, 4 FTE) To advance the Administration priorities of climate resilience and equity, EMI Revitalization will modernize e-Campus systems, expand satellite partnerships, streamline course catalog, develop executive crisis leadership program, and facilitate emergency management thought leadership. This work will transform EMI to a National Emergency Management college, continuing EMI’s 70-year history of educating and training the national security workforce to meet the current risks of climate change and other emergent, persistent, and frequent hazards.

Support for Incident Management (IM) Workforce ($6.4M, 37 FTE)

This increase funds information technology and human capital specialists needed to recruit, hire, equip, and support a significant expansion of FEMA’s IM Workforce. Funding will also support non-pay costs associated with hiring, training, and equipping of incident management workforce enabling FEMA to successfully execute its disaster response and recovery functions. FEMA will use an additional $10.0M from DRF carryover balances to support the IM Workforce for a total increase of $16.4M.

Non-Stafford Act Incident Management Assistance Team (IMAT) ($4.3M, 21 FTE)

Funds will provide FEMA with a ready-made capability to support the growing number of contingencies related to complex incidents that are not related to a specific disaster declaration under the Stafford Act.

FEMA: Building a Workforce Prepared and Ready to Respond Part 2

Posted by Brad Johnson Tue, 01 Mar 2022 15:00:00 GMT

Hearing page

Hearing part 1

  • Erik A. Hooks, Deputy Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

FEMA: Building a Workforce Prepared and Ready to Respond

Posted by Brad Johnson Thu, 20 Jan 2022 15:00:00 GMT

hearing page

  • Chris Currie, Director, Homeland Security and Justice Team, U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO)
  • Carra Sims, Senior Behavioral and Social Scientist, The RAND Corporation
  • Craig Fugate, Senior Advisor, Blue Dot Strategies and Former Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency

Nominations of Deanne Bennett Criswell, of New York, to be FEMA Administrator, and Jason Scott Miller, of Maryland, to be Deputy Director for Management, OMB

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 14 Apr 2021 13:45:00 GMT