House Passes Bill Commissioning Study on Streamlining Disaster Data and Damage Assessment Collection

The House of Representatives voted on October 29 to approve legislation directing HUD, FEMA, and other federal agencies involved in federal disaster recovery efforts to study ways of streamlining the collection of information on survivors and the damage after disasters. The “Federal Disaster Assistance Coordination Act,” co-sponsored by Representatives Mark Meadows (R-NC) and Scott Peters (D-CA), is one in a set of three bills introduced by the pair to improve efficiency and transparency in federal government disaster recovery spending. 

The bill directs the federal agencies doing disaster recovery work to study and report on ways in which the collection of information from disaster assistance applicants can be modified to be less burdensome, duplicative, and time-consuming for disaster survivors. The bill also creates a working group to identify where federal agencies’ work in surveying disaster damage could be duplicative and to examine how new technology could speed up the assessment process. The working group would also be tasked with identifying whether one federal agency alone could conduct the assessments, subsequently providing that information to other agencies as needed. A comprehensive report detailing the agency’s findings would be made publicly available. Having passed the House, the bill moves on to the Senate where it will be referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. 

Read the text of the Federal Disaster Assistance Coordination Act at:

Read an op-ed penned by the bill sponsors at: