A House Appropriations subcommittee bill released May 15 would provide the Homeland Security Department with $38.9 billion in discretionary funding for fiscal 2014, a $617.6 million decrease from the fiscal 2013 enacted level. But, based on preliminary scoring from the Congressional Budget Office, that would be a $981 million increase above post-sequestration levels, the committee says in an overview of the bill (.pdf).
"It's very simple for us," FEMA's Tonya Schreiber said. "If it doesn't work in the field, then it doesn't work." Put another way: "If you can't get your job done in a disaster, then you can't get your job done."
The Federal Emergency Management Agency initially believed it possessed 430 unauthorized information technology systems after declaring a 2 week amnesty in March 2012 for their owners to come forward and report them. Before the amnesty, FEMA has 74 systems with an authorization to operate, 46 of which had undergone a privacy threshold analysis.
Training and equipment that Boston police received from the federal government saved lives after the April 15 Marathon bombings, Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis told a House panel May 9. He singled out the Urban Areas Security Initiative, a grant program run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The Defense Production Act is a critical, if seldom-used, tool for emergency response and should be reauthorized before it expires at the end of fiscal 2014, David Kaufman of the Federal Emergency Management Agency told a House panel May 8. FEMA's most recent use of the DPA was in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
The New Madrid zone, located in southeastern Missouri, northeastern Arkansas, western Tennessee, western Kentucky and southern Illinois, is the most active seismic area in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains. In 1811 and 1812, hundreds of earthquakes occurred there, with three large events reaching estimated magnitudes of 7.9, 7.6 and 8.0.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency says it will update the National Incident Management System, the national structured framework for all-hazards disaster response at all levels of government.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has yet to implement training for its reservist workforce that doesn't occur at the time of deployment, the Government Accountability Office says. Lack of advance training has been a long-standing complaint among reservists, but "the new program is not yet fully implemented, pending funding availability," the report says. Sequestration cut the fund by approximately $1 billion.
FEMA has supported eight exercises in Boston in the past 3 years to prepare for attacks. It also provided training to 5,500 Boston-area first responders on how to handle various types of attacks and mass-casualty situations.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency likely will be smaller in the coming fiscal year, with the Obama administration's fiscal 2014 proposal transmitted to Congress April 10 proposing $9.59 billion in appropriations--an amount that's 12.5 percent less than current year levels when taking into account White House-projected levels of inflation.