FEMA released its 2022-2026 strategic plan on December 9, describing the agency’s vision and goals for the coming years. The plan was developed with input from FEMA employees and external partners like state, local, tribal, and territorial governments and is updated every four years. Thanks to the work of advocates such as the members of the NLIHC-led Disaster Housing Recovery Coalition – a group of over 850 local, state, and national organizations working to ensure that all disaster survivors receive the assistance they need to fully recover – the document emphasizes the need for equity in FEMA programs and calls for greater participation by disaster survivors in how FEMA programs operate and are measured.
Until recently, FEMA has resisted efforts to reform its programs to be more equitable. That stance shifted over the past year after the agency released substantial reforms to its individuals and households program. The strategic plan indicates that FEMA will continue to work on these issues. The first goal in the plan is for FEMA to “Instill Equity as a Foundation of Emergency Management.” This section includes objectives to “Remove Barriers to FEMA Programs Through a People First Approach” and “Achieve Equitable Outcomes for Those We Serve.”
The document references the lack of coordination between federal agencies responding to disasters and the complicated process to apply for assistance, a point often raised by disaster survivors and their advocates. The plan directs the agency to increase the number of applicants “satisfied” with the simplicity of its programs and to reduce gaps in service between federal recovery programs.
Read the 2022-2026 FEMA Strategic Plan at: https://bit.ly/3ydGDcu