The GAO has released a new study on lessons learned from recovery efforts after Ike and Gustav. Among the principal findings:
- Big benefits accrue from developing a “clear, implementable and timely recovery plan” very soon after the event.
- Developing “financial and technical capacity” to administer funding is as important as accessibility to funding itself.
- The more that can be done to speed the recovery of private employers and business services, the more rapidly overall recovery will proceed.
- Fighting fraud, waste and abuse has to be built into the recovery effort from the beginning.
A personal take: Immediately after a disaster the media and politicians demand “flexibility” in meeting human needs. Roughly six months later the same parties will begin to complain about fraud, waste, and abuse.
In order to achieve maximum flexibility with minimum fraud there is a need – not referenced in the GAO study – for more training and exercising of disaster recovery specialists from the local, state, and federal governments and the private sector.