Re: Jailed 10 yrs: New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin on corruption
You got it. That's exactly right. It's also the way the laws are written about disaster response and recovery.
Originally Posted by Hatuey
The local is where the work either gets done or doesn't get done.
The state allocates resources from a state level, coordinates resources from mutual aid assistance from unaffected areas and federal assets to where they are needed (which has to be requested by the locals first) and depending on the state, they may contribute money for reimbursement of costs.
The feds are basically a big check book and technical adviser. There are very few real mission assignments that the feds can self perform (although it's mostly contractors). FEMA can provide through the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) ice, water, temporary housing (which can take weeks to set up), temporary roofing (the blue tarps you see on roofs on the news), search and rescue through FEMA USAR teams, temporary field hospitals through FEMA DMAT teams, mass casualty assistance through FEMA DMORT teams, other medical assistance through the NDMS (national disaster medical system), debris removal through USACE contractors, emergency power (prime power) through USACE for generators for hospitals and other critical facilities and emergency flood fighting through USACE contractors, dead animal disposal for major livestock kills, and a few other items.
But none of what FEMA does is anywhere close to what most people think FEMA will or can do. The local government is supposed to do most of the work, or contract it out, and FEMA will pick up anywhere from a minimum of 75% of eligible costs to up to 100% during extraordinary events such as Katrina, which was in fact 100% federally funded.
Hurricane Sandy was not 100%, by the way. It was either 75% or 85% depending on the type of work done. Debris removal was 85%, everything else was 75%, with the states and local government picking up the rest. NY paid half the local share, as did NJ. So, unlike NoLa, local governments in NY and NJ had to pay anywhere from 7.5% to 12.5% of the total costs. That may not sound like much, until you know that debris removal in Nassau County, NY was over $250 Million. That means that the locals had to pay almost $40 Million, just for debris removal, out of budgets that didn't have any extra money just laying around. The reimbursement from the feds is supposed to be raised to 90% according to the Sandy Recovery Act, but most locals haven't seen the money yet.
So, to recap, the local government is actually in charge... Period. A disaster response and recovery either succeeds or fails based on the local government. Not the state and not the feds, although they can make it harder with red tape, but not make it fail.
Last edited by Beaudreaux; 07-09-14 at 06:52 PM.