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  • Special Report posted October 24, 2013 by Steven P. Bucci, Ph.D., David Inserra, Jonathan Lesser, Ph.D., Matt A. Mayer, Brian Slattery, Jack Spencer, Katie Tubb After Hurricane Sandy: Time to Learn and Implement the Lessons in Preparedness, Response, and Resilience

    Sandy Makes Landfall Hurricane Sandy lived up to expectations in October 2012, delivering a powerful punch with heavy rains, strong winds, and significant storm surges. After taking 69 lives in the Caribbean, Sandy hit the eastern United States, where it claimed 72 more lives.[1] Coastal communities in the Mid-Atlantic were among the hardest hit by the storm. Flooding…

  • Issue Brief posted June 3, 2013 by Jessica Zuckerman, David Inserra Homeland Security Appropriations Need Different Priorities

    While the most recent continuing resolution contained a full year of funding for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the disorder of the overall budget process over the past several years has generally resulted in weak congressional guidance to DHS. It is important that Congress return to a normal appropriations process and express the right priorities to DHS…

  • Issue Brief posted April 12, 2013 by Matt A. Mayer Homeland Security: Developing a Strategic Road Map for the Future

    As the deadline for the second Quadrennial Homeland Security Review (QHSR) approaches at the end of this year, much attention is being given to the record of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and what the department’s proper role should be. Ultimately, the strategy cannot simply be to maintain the status quo, continuing down the same path for the next 10 years…

  • Issue Brief posted December 13, 2012 by Matt A. Mayer Hurricane Sandy: Disaster Aid Request Too Big

    The Obama Administration has requested $60.4 billion for the response and recovery related to Hurricane Sandy.[1] This enormous request vividly illustrates the problems with the federal government’s and the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) current approach to natural disasters. It also demonstrates the profligate spending approach taken by the Obama…

  • Issue Brief posted November 29, 2012 by David B. Muhlhausen, Ph.D. Fire Grants: Do Not Reauthorize an Ineffective Program

    Senator Joseph Lieberman (I–CT) has filed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 (S. 3254) that would reauthorize the ineffective fire grant program. The amendment is a revised version of the Fire Grants Reauthorization Act of 2011 (S. 550), and it reauthorizes a grant program that has significant shortcomings. Ineffective…

  • Commentary posted October 30, 2012 by Matt A. Mayer Sandy's a FEMA-Sized Storm

    In a shameless attempt to politicize Hurricane Sandy, The New York Times rushed out an editorial, "A Big Storm Requires Big Government," attacking conservatives for advocating a rebalancing of disaster response responsibilities. The Times says the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) "was put back in working order by President Obama, but ideology still blinds…

  • Issue Brief posted June 11, 2012 by David C. John Reauthorize and Reform the Flood Insurance Program

    Congress should reauthorize and reform the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The failure of Congress to pass a longer term reauthorization since the last one expired in September 2008 has delayed necessary reforms. In addition, since there are no private providers of general flood insurance coverage in the United States, all such policies come through the NFIP. The…

  • Issue Brief posted May 18, 2012 by Matt A. Mayer Congress Should Act on FEMA’s Refusal to Reform

    It is one thing for government entities to dismiss the criticisms from outside groups. It is quite altogether something else to dismiss the criticisms of government-empowered investigators who have access to the closely held data. Based on its reaction to an audit by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General (OIG), the leadership at the…

  • Testimony posted February 16, 2012 by David B. Muhlhausen, Ph.D. Disaster Response: Disaster Loan Fairness Act of 2011

    Before the Committee on Small Business, Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax and Capital Access of the United States House of Representatives Delivered February 16, 2012 Introduction My name is David Muhlhausen. I am Research Fellow in Empirical Policy Analysis in the Center for Data Analysis at The Heritage Foundation. I thank Chairman Joe Walsh,…

  • Issue Brief posted February 15, 2012 by David B. Muhlhausen, Ph.D. Fire Grants: Do Not Reauthorize an Ineffective Program

    FYI: Heritage WebMemos are now called Issue Briefs. Senator Joseph Lieberman (I–CT) filed an amendment to reauthorize the ineffective fire grant program to the federal transportation bill, aptly named the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (S. 1813). The amendment is a revised version of the Fire Grants Reauthorization Act of 2011 (S. 550), and it…

  • WebMemo posted January 24, 2012 by Matt A. Mayer Congress Should Limit the Presidential Abuse of FEMA

    After three full years (January 20, 2009, to January 19, 2012), it is clear that the Obama Administration has adopted the views of the Clinton and Bush Administrations on how to use the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as a political pork-barrel spending agency. In 2011, the Obama Administration shattered—an understatement if there ever was one—the records…

  • WebMemo posted January 3, 2012 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Top Five Priorities for Homeland Security in 2012

    By the end of 2011, at least 43 terrorist plots aimed at the United States since 9/11 had been thwarted. The frequency of attempts against the U.S. homeland has increased over the past three years. These numbers are reminders enough that the White House and Congress cannot be complacent—even in a presidential election year, when everything typically is postponed until…

  • WebMemo posted September 28, 2011 by Matt A. Mayer Federal Budget Makes Case that FEMA Reforms Are Needed

    Once again, the budget brinksmanship in Washington, D.C., ended with a deal that postponed one of the key questions driving the debate: Should the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) receive whatever funding it desires, or should the federal government rein in FEMA and its profligate spending by exercising fiscal restraint? FEMA’s current spending and declaration…

  • WebMemo posted September 8, 2011 by The Heritage Foundation FEMA Reform and Disaster Response: Heritage Foundation Recommendations

    Hurricane Irene and the East Coast earthquake earlier that week put national attention once again on America’s disaster response system, especially the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). And once again, the problems that The Heritage Foundation has been pointing out for years—the federalization of routine disasters, FEMA’s funding issues, and the condition of…

  • Disaster Relief Audio Recorded on August 29, 2011 Disaster Relief

    From The Heritage Foundation, I'm Ernest Istook. In the aftermath of Hurricane Irene, taxpayers may be asked to pay billions in disaster relief, largely because of flooding. That always raises the question, “Don't people buy insurance to cover these things?” Often they do, but the federal government subsidizes major portions of flood insurance and taxpayers…