The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently published a report on the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) implementation of the National Disaster Recovery Framework, which provides the overarching interagency coordination structure for the recovery phase of incidents and calls for a “whole community” approach to recovery. The report, GAO-16-476, examines FEMA’s implementation of the framework in Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, New York, and Oklahoma.
During their study, GAO looked at the roles and responsibilities of FEMA and state emergency management offices and the extent to which FEMA worked with selected states to implement the framework. GAO also interviewed state and FEMA officials and reviewed state recovery plans and documents, FEMA plans and policies, and other relevant statutes.
GAO found that while FEMA provided a number of outreach activities to promote state adoption of the framework, officials in four of the five states did not understand aspects of the framework. GAO also found that only two of the five states had developed pre-disaster recovery plans based on the framework, and FEMA officials estimate that over three-fourths of the states do not have pre-disaster recovery plans based on the framework. The study also revealed that FEMA has not utilized readiness assessments to analyze operations across its regional offices.
GAO recommends that FEMA conduct a systematic analysis of its assessments to determine the effectiveness of its framework outreach. They also recommend FEMA develop and disseminate best practices and lessons learned for conducting framework outreach. The Department of Homeland Security concurred with GAO’s recommendations.
For more information on GAO-16-476, please follow the link below.
GAO-16-476, Disaster Recovery: FEMA Needs to Assess Its Effectiveness in Implementing the National Disaster Recovery Framework