Progress Report: Rebuilding After Sandy

On June 18th, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Sandy Hurricane SandyProgram Management Office issued its first report tracking progress of the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force’s (“Task Force”) Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Strategy of August, 2013. The Rebuilding Strategy includes a long-term plan that delegates spending and oversight jurisdiction in order to make the affected communities more resilient to future disasters. In a press release announcing the update, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan commented, “while this report shows we are following through on this commitment, we also recognize that many families and business are still on the road to recovery and delays in connecting them to the services and support they need are often too long.”

The update for Spring, 2014, notes that, “while the Rebuilding Strategy identified specific agencies to lead implementation, in some cases the leads have changed, or more specific subcomponents of, or offices within, an agency have been identified.” In all, the Task Force makes 69 recommendations for improvements to the Rebuilding Strategy across seven pre-established goals, and also identifies the specific agencies responsible for implementing the changes it recommends. For example, the Task Force implemented requirements for all rebuilding projects funded by the “Sandy Supplemental” to meet a single uniform flood risk reduction standard to take into account increased risk from extreme weather events and sea level rise. The Task Force’s reconfigurations and increased scrutiny of each dollar it spends in recovery efforts may be some cause for the delay in rebuilding, though the end result is expected to be as economically efficient, ecologically robust, and innovative as possible.

For more on Disaster Preparedness in the United States and abroad, visit the HSDL’s featured topic for Hurricanes; and here for more on Hurricane Sandy.

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