Disaster Assistance: FEMA Has Taken Steps Toward Better Supporting Individuals Who Are Older or Have Disabilities, Statement of Elizabeth H. Curda, Director, Education, Workforce, and Income Security, Testimony Before the Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Recovery, Committee on Homeland Security, House of Representatives   [open pdf - 194KB]

From the GAO (Government Accountability Office) Hightlights: "Three sequential hurricanes--Harvey, Irma, and Maria--affected more than 28 million people in 2017, according to FEMA. Hurricane survivors aged 65 and older and those with disabilities faced particular challenges evacuating to safe shelter, accessing medicine, and obtaining recovery assistance. In June 2018, FEMA began implementing a new approach to assist individuals with disabilities. This statement describes (1) reported challenges faced by these individuals in accessing disaster assistance from FEMA and its nonfederal partners following the 2017 hurricanes; and (2) the extent to which FEMA has implemented changes in how it supports these individuals. This statement is based on a May 2019 GAO report and selected updates. For the report, GAO analyzed FEMA documents and data from FEMA call centers and also visited 2017 hurricane locations to interview state, territorial, and local officials. GAO also interviewed FEMA officials from headquarters and deployed to each disaster location. To update FEMA's progress toward addressing its recommendations, GAO interviewed FEMA officials and analyzed agency documents."

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