Disaster Preparedness and Recovery
Louisiana has experienced four devastating hurricanes, a massive oil spill and historic flooding along the banks of the Mississippi River in the last seven years. Senator Landrieu has been instrumental in providing funding for flood protection, housing, infrastructure, and economic development in the aftermath of these events. She has also dedicated herself to improving the federal government's organizational culture, policies, and community partnerships to ensure a smarter, more efficient approach to disaster preparedness and recovery.
Senator Landrieu secured more than $13 billion in Community Development Block Grants for Louisiana to fund the Road Home Program, which has assisted over 120,000 homeowners, renters, and landlords in the state. She also secured funding for the Corps of Engineers to construct a $14 billion state-of-the-art flood protection system and to re-design levees along the state's rivers, bayous, and canals.
Senator Landrieu also established an arbitration panel that resolved a dispute between FEMA and the state and provided $492 million for the construction of a new medical facility in Mid-City, as well as a provision that required FEMA to provide a lump sum settlement for school reconstruction totaling $1.8 billion. She authorized similar lump sum settlements for police stations, fire stations, and criminal justice facilities and eliminated a burdensome cost-share requirement on state and local governments that prevented them from leveraging federal rebuilding dollars.
Senator Landrieu has authorized provisions that have facilitated the cancellation of more than $600 million of Community Disaster Loans to local governments in Louisiana that borrowed federal funding after Katrina and Rita. In 2011, Senator Landrieu authored legislation that prompted FEMA to provide the State with an additional $390 million for hazard mitigation measures such as home elevations, storm shutter installation, levee repairs, and drainage improvements. And in the FY 2012 year-end federal funding legislation, Senator Landrieu included a provision that authorizes FEMA to suspend recoupment proceedings against individuals and households that received funding from the agency after the 2005 that they would otherwise be required to repay to the federal government as a result of FEMA processing errors. In February 2012, Sen. Landrieu announced that FEMA would send letters to 90,000 affected individuals and households informing them they may be eligible for a waiver. Learn more.
Stafford Act Reform
In September 2011, Senator Landrieu introduced the Disaster Recovery Act, which makes critical reforms to Stafford Act programs governing housing assistance, infrastructure rebuilding, case management and mental health counseling, and interagency coordination in the wake of a disaster. The legislation draws from lessons learned after the 2005 and 2008 hurricanes, recommendations from numerous think tanks and university researchers, and dozens of hearings that Senator Landrieu chaired during her four-year tenure as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Disaster Recovery.
The Stafford Act authorizes various forms of federal assistance to state and local governments, certain nonprofit organizations and individuals in the event of a Presidentially-declared emergency or disaster. Since its enactment in 1988, it has been significantly revised by the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 and the Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act of 2006. While these changes have strengthened FEMA's capacity to support hazard mitigation and emergency response, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita revealed inadequacies in the law's ability to support comprehensive disaster recovery.
Learn more about Senator Landrieu's legislation.