The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday voted to pass the Preliminary Damage Assessment Improvement Act, bipartisan legislation introduced by Reps. Joe Cunningham (D-SC) and John Katko (R-NY) that would help expedite FEMA’s process for conducting damage assessments. The bill would designate permanent disaster assessment teams within FEMA to work with state and local officials on determining the impact of disasters and submitting requests for major disaster declarations.
Nationally, the average time it takes to conduct an assessment of a flooding event is 48.5 days. The establishment of full-time FEMA employees with experience and expertise in conducting assessments will lead to quicker and more consistently accurate assessments.
“South Carolina is no stranger to floods, hurricanes, and natural disasters, and in those circumstances, we know that time really is money,” said Rep. Joe Cunningham. “It is critical that FEMA is able to act quickly and efficiently when responding to natural disasters. I am proud the House voted today to pass this bipartisan legislation and help give communities impacted by a natural disaster the efficient and speedy relief they deserve.”