In a hearing Tuesday on Capitol Hill about recovery efforts after Hurricane Sandy, Mississippi’s top emergency-management official told Congress that federal dollars need to be released to disaster relief officials sooner.
Government red tape can hold up money for people affected by storms such as Sandy, said Robert Latham, the executive director of the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, who’s overseen a dozen disasters in his state, from floods to tornadoes.
“We need to change the language in the law to allow for estimates,” Latham said. He urges allowing the Federal Emergency Management Agency to supply grants to local governments sooner, without waiting for detailed damage estimates.
His testimony before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee came the same day that FEMA issued its first large payment to New York City, more than a month after the devastating hurricane.