How the federal shutdown could impact disasters

I asked FEMA’s Deputy Administrator Rich Serino today how the government shutdown is affecting FEMA.  Here’s what one of his assistants told me:
“FEMA remains committed to supporting disaster survivors. Our ongoing response operations to recent as well as any future disasters will not be impacted in the immediate term by the government shutdown. FEMA’s response to disasters and emergencies is funded by the Disaster Relief Fund (DRF), which is not initially affected by a funding lapse for annual appropriations. Assistance to disaster survivors, for existing or newly declared disasters, will also continue in the immediate term.
“Work on previously approved and ongoing long-term recovery projects, which are funded by the DRF will also continue. However, due to potential staffing impacts at FEMA and our partner agencies as a result of a lapse in funding, review and approval of recovery projects and spending plans may be delayed until resumption of normal government activities.”

Robert G. Ottenhoff

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