The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has released an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking as it considers the establishment of a disaster deductible as a new approach for the federal government’s support for states following disasters. Because this is a significant change, FEMA is seeking public comments on all aspects of this concept until March 21, 2016. Comments can be submitted through Regulations.gov under docket ID FEMA-2016-003.
This new approach intends to address issues Members of Congress, the Government Accountability Office, and the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Inspector General have raised with FEMA’s current population-based model to support states following disasters.
How would it work? The disaster deductible would require a predetermined level of financial or other commitment from a recipient before FEMA would provide assistance under the Public Assistance Program following a disaster declaration. FEMA believes such an approach could promote mitigation strategies and risk-informed decisions that build resilience, including for catastrophic events. FEMA expects that the new model could reduce the costs of future events for both states and the federal government; and could encourage more state and local government disaster planning. Comments on all aspects of the deductible concept are invited, including how to calculate a state’s financial commitment and how states can satisfy the commitment.