2018 Pacific Disasters: Preliminary Observations on FEMA's Disaster Response and Recovery Efforts, Statement for the Record by Chris Currie, Director, Homeland Security and Justice, Statement for the Record to the Committee on Natural Resources, House of Representatives   [open pdf - 3MB]

From the GAO [Government Accountability Office] Highlights: "The CNMI [Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands], Guam, and Hawaii experienced an unprecedented number of natural disasters in 2018--including typhoons, earthquakes, mudslides, and volcanic eruptions. FEMA is the lead federal agency responsible for helping states and territories prepare for, respond to, and recover from natural disasters. Due to the remoteness of Hawaii and the Pacific territories, disaster response and recovery in the region can be challenging. Title IX of the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act of 2019 included a provision for GAO to review FEMA's response and recovery efforts for 2018 natural disasters, including those in the Pacific region. This statement is based on ongoing work and provides preliminary GAO observations on (1) the status of FEMA disaster assistance for the CNMI, Guam, and Hawaii as of May 2020; (2) the extent to which officials in the CNMI, Guam, and Hawaii found FEMA's response to the 2018 disasters effective; and (3) the challenges, if any, FEMA experienced implementing recovery assistance programs in these locations."

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