Tuesday the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee held a hearing to “review the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) preparedness and response to Hurricane Sandy, receive information about the plan for redevelopment and recovery, and examine the lessons learned by other states impacted by previous disasters.”
Here’s one news report on what transpired:
“I hope that the members of the panel today will address questions regarding how we need to rethink our infrastructure,” U.S. Rep. Donna Edwards, D-Md., said. “The elephant in this room that needs to be spoken about is the impact of climate change. … We have to rebuild and rethink our infrastructure in those terms.”
Yet, when legislators asked FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate about these kinds of infrastructure issues, such as developing a long-term strategy for safer housing on the shorelines, he insisted that such issues, while important, were beyond the scope of his agency.
“Again, this goes far beyond what FEMA does, it goes far beyond the Stafford Act,” said Fugate, referring to the law that created the federal disaster relief system that is in place today.
Housing repair and replacement was a big topic. Several others testified, including HUD officials.
There’s much more. But, unfortunately, I did not have time yesterday and do not have time this morning to dig into it. I hope you will. Prepared testimony is available at the House website.