You are here:HomeNews CenterInsurance News2018FEMA Was Overwhelmed in 2017, GAO Says

FEMA Was Overwhelmed in 2017, GAO Says

Back-to-back hurricanes and catastrophic wildfires in California overwhelmed federal disaster responders last year.
September 11, 2018

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) reports that back-to-back hurricanes and catastrophic wildfires in California overwhelmed federal disaster responders last year, forcing the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to use, in some cases, uncertified workers in key roles. When Hurricane Harvey hit, FEMA was 30 percent understaffed, but the report says the agency was most challenged by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico by the territory's depleted stock of emergency supplies and the destruction of cellphone towers and the power grid.

“These events came at a time when FEMA was already supporting 692 federally declared disasters and tested the nation’s ability to respond and recover from multiple concurrent disasters,” says one official in the report.

Filed under: