On Wednesday, May 22nd, Sonoma County, Calif. Supervisor James Gore testified on behalf of NACo before the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management at a hearing titled “Disaster Preparedness: DRRA Implementation and FEMA Readiness.”
Supervisor Gore’s testimony highlighted the role of America’s counties in disaster mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. Supervisor Gore reminded Congress that counties manage most crises alone or in partnership with mutual aid partners. However, federally designated disasters can completely overwhelm local and regional capacity, and it is in these instances that counties lean on FEMA and other federal and state partners for help.
Counties are currently tackling one of the largest cumulative recovery efforts our nation has ever experienced. Rapid and efficient implementation of the Disaster Recovery Reform Act (DRRA) is needed now so they can be put to into practice to strengthen present recovery efforts and help build more resilient infrastructure. Supervisor Gore advocated for increased transparency and communication between counties and FEMA to ensure specific policy changes are clarified and implemented in the field during on-going disaster recovery efforts nationwide.
Supervisor Gore emphasized that DRRA was passed to improve the resiliency of our nation, which NACo strongly supported, and counties need these reforms to be implemented now to help our communities, residents and economies recover.
DRRA was passed in October 2018, NACo is continuing to work with FEMA as they implement over 50 program reforms. To watch the hearing, click here.