FEMA Discusses the Future of Disaster Recovery in Webinar on Funding, Resource Management, and Benefit-Cost Analysis

On Thursday, June 20th, FEMA hosted a webinar to discuss funding, resource management, and benefit-cost analysis and the changes that have occurred within these processes. In addition, they discussed what the future of FEMA looks like and where they hope to send funding from here on out. 

In the future, FEMA hopes to allocate funding towards projects that are highly cost effective and increase return on investment. Rather than focus specifically on disaster relief, FEMA will fund projects centered around recovery and protection against future impacts in order to increase community and regional resiliency. This means that areas affected by disasters will be able to bounce back quickly and return to normalcy, as well as prepare properly for more oncoming disasters. The more resilient an impact zone is, the better they are able to recover their businesses, economy, and infrastructure before the next disaster comes. 

So, what are the next steps? How does FEMA get there? FEMA has been hosting a series of webinars to figure this out by asking the public for suggestions. Some ideas they have generated from this include funding large-small game-changing transformational mitigation projects that might move the risk needle, increasing applicant capability through FEMA technical assistance, or increasing tracking and monitoring of large and small projects. These are the potential solutions that FEMA has come up with in order to improve the future of funding and resource management. 

During this webinar, FEMA staff also discussed Benefit-Cost Analysis (BCA) and the tools they offer to make this analysis process easier. FEMA offers a BCA toolkit, the newest version being BCA Toolkit 6.0, which is “an excel-based tool that collects data about a project and calculates a BCR based on data inputs.” For technical assistance, FEMA regional staff may be able to assist with the BCA development, which must be included in any grant application. 

Questions? Visit www.fema.gov for more information. 

Autumn Robertson