fema

Stephen Fowler | GPB News

As rain began to fall on Georgia’s coast from Hurricane Dorian, Gov. Brian Kemp implored those who did not evacuate to stay vigilant and safe as state officials were making final preparations for the recovery phase of the storm.

As peak tornado season bears down on the Southeast, On Second Thought is looking at who gets aid after disasters. A recent NPR investigation found that federal emergency has been a political football played by both parties. Research from Carnegie Mellon and other sources shows that how much people affected by disasters get depennds on how your district votes.

Robert Benincasa is a producer for NPR Investigations. He researched and reported on the thousands of disaster buyouts Federal Emergency Management Agency or FEMA didn't want people to see.


Rogelio V. Solis / AP Images

As peak tornado season bears down on the Southeast, On Second Thought is looking at who gets aid after disasters. A recent NPR investigation found federal emergency money has been a political football for both parties. Research from Carnegie Mellon and other sources shows how much people affected by disasters get can depend on how their districts vote.

Robert Benincasa is a producer for NPR Investigations. He researched and reported on the thousands of disaster buyouts Federal Emergency Management Agency or FEMA didn't want people to see.


  • Black Friday, Small Business Saturday Lure Shoppers
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Georgia Department of Agriculture

Hurricane Michael swept across south Georgia last week, devastating the state's pecan orchards, cotton plants, chicken coops and peanut crops. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) administrator Brock Long said Monday the true cost of the devastation won't be clear for some time. Irwin County pecan grower Randy Hudson and Berrien County cotton grower Mark Peele told "On Second Thought" they expect it could take generations for Georgia farmers to recoup their losses — if ever.

"You can't walk away, but then I'm sitting here with such a dead load," said Hudson, a fifth-generation pecan farmer. "How do I repay this now? How do I start over?"


This week, we learned that the Federal Emergency Management Agency canceled the contract of an Atlanta-based company operating in Puerto Rico.

The reason? That Atlanta company was really just one woman.

She promised to deliver 30 million meals to the people of Puerto Rico... but only delivered 50,000.

GPB’s Emily Cureton reports from Río Grande, Puerto Rico.

RICKEY BEVINGTON: Emily, tell us about this Atlanta based enterprise called Tribute Contracting.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

"We cannot keep FEMA, the Military & the First Responders" in Puerto Rico "forever," President Trump said Thursday, hinting at a possible limit on federal aid to the island territory where 3.4 million Americans have struggled to recover from two destructive hurricanes.

Here are the president's comments on the issue, compressed from three consecutive tweets:

Updated at 8:24 p.m. ET

President Trump traveled Tuesday to devastated Puerto Rico following his administration's maligned response to Hurricane Maria. But as soon as he stepped off the plane, the president was in a self-congratulatory mood.

In a hurricane briefing Trump praised his Cabinet, contrasted the devastation with "a real catastrophe like [Hurricane] Katrina," threw in an aside about how much Puerto Rico recovery was costing the U.S., and later was filmed throwing paper towels into a crowd as part of efforts to distribute supplies.

Updated at 10:10 p.m. ET

Millions of people in Puerto Rico need fuel, water, food and medicine. More than a week after Hurricane Maria devastated the island, major infrastructure is still down. Stores have trouble filling their shelves. Families are running low on the supplies they stockpiled before the storm, and across the island, many residents say they haven't seen any aid deliveries.

Meanwhile, at the port in San Juan, row after row of refrigerated shipping containers sit humming. They've been there for days, goods locked away inside.

When the floodwaters in Texas eventually recede, the cleanup and rebuilding will begin.

The cleanup bill will likely be hefty — possibly topping $100 billion — and the vast majority of those efforts will be funded by the federal government.

President Trump doesn't seem worried about Congress footing the bill. "You're going to see very rapid action from Congress," he told reporters Monday. "You're going to get your funding."

In a visit to Austin on Tuesday, Trump met with the state's two Republican senators and again alluded to the price tag for federal help.

President Trump's astonishing press conference on Tuesday was, ostensibly, an announcement about infrastructure. But his brief remarks on the permitting process were entirely overshadowed by his defense of attendees at a white supremacist rally, among other remarks.

Forecasters say the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, which begins Thursday, could bring "above-normal" storm activity. Residents along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts are making sure they have supplies and plans in place if a storm hits.

Federal Aid Approved For Georgia After Latest Storm

Jan 26, 2017
Grant Blankenship / GPB

Gov. Nathan Deal says the White House has approved federal aid for southwest Georgia residents recovering after deadly tornadoes and thunderstorms struck last weekend.

Deal said Thursday that President Donald Trump has granted assistance for six counties that suffered severe damage as waves of storms hammered the Southeast on Saturday and Sunday. Twenty people died in the region, including 15 in Georgia.

Deal said he expects the White House will later approve federal aid to 10 additional Georgia counties included in the governor's emergency declaration.

Emily Jones / GPB News

Individuals in coastal Georgia can now get disaster relief aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. FEMA funds were previously only available for government debris removal and protective measures, like shelters.

Individual assistance is available for Bryan, Bulloch, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, McIntosh and Wayne counties.

Individual aid is also available in Beaufort and Jasper counties in South Carolina, as well as 15 other South Carolina counties.