Cato study: States handle disasters better than FEMA

Cato study: States handle disasters better than FEMA

Congress should abolish the Federal Emergency Management Agency because it has politicized and bureaucratized how the nation responds to major disasters like Hurricane Sandy, according to a new think tank study. …

The process of securing disaster declarations which are followed by federal tax dollars in the form of FEMA grants has come to depend more on political influence than human need.

“Politics infuses the process. Studies find states that are politically important to the president have a better chance of receiving a disaster declaration, and also that states with a member of Congress serving on the House committee overseeing FEMA typically receive more funding,” Edwards says.

State and local officials can easily handle relief efforts in most disasters, the Cato author says, citing a recent Government Accountability Office estimate “that in recent years, 60 percent of federally declared disasters had a cost of less than $25 million. Even the smallest state could easily find the money to pay for a disaster of that size.”

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