With disaster relief costs climbing into the billions of dollars annually, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has tried to ease regulations and encourage efforts to mitigate damage. But the process moves at a frustratingly slow pace, said FEMA's David Miller during a Senate hearing May 14.
Tools like ham radios that seem outdated still need to be part of disaster response plans, said Adrian Gardner, the Federal Emergency Management Agency's chief information officer.
Agencies with large property holdings are failing to assess security risks at their combined 52,000 facilities across the country, a recently released Government Accountability Office report says.
Funding to prepare for accidents involving trains that transport crude oil has not matched the recent, intense growth in rail cars moving crude oil, senators said at a March 25 hearing. An estimated 400,000 carloads of crude oil traveled along railroad tracks in the United States last year, up from about 10,000 in 2009.
Rejection two years running hasn't prevented the Federal Emergency Management Agency from again proposing consolidation of most of its grants into a single program.
The promise of post-disaster federal assistance for rebuilding infrastructure often transmutes years later into a federal audit demanding repayment on the grounds that the construction contracts were improperly let.
Data analytics remains a challenge for the Homeland Security Department, officials from it acknowledged throughout a conference dedicated to homeland security matters.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency would receive $10.38 billion under President Obama's fiscal 2015 budget, up from $9.96 billion enacted for this year.
The Obama administration's fiscal 2015 budget requests $1.05 billion less in discretionary spending for the Homeland Security Department than it's set to receive this year. Still, its total budget authority, including mandatory spending and fees, would rise by about $264 million.
The dollar threshold for a disaster recovery project considered "small" by the Federal Emergency Management Agency has gone up by more than half, to $120,000. Small construction projects that FEMA funds through public assistance grants after presidentially declared major disasters are subject to significantly less paperwork and inspection requirements.