What is the Stafford Act and why might it be making disaster relief worse?
After the U.S. and its territories were slammed by natural disasters ranging from catastrophic hurricanes to deadly wildfires this year, one law is coming to the forefront of emergency response talks: the Stafford Act.
The nearly 29-year-old bill was created to bring a systematic way for the federal government to assist state and local governments during a natural disaster.
But as the U.S. braces for the possibility that hurricanes like Harvey, Maria and Nate will become the rule rather than the exception due to changing climates, lawmakers and government officials are rethinking some of the provisions in the Stafford Act.
One provision of the law that Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Brock Long thinks needs to be changed is section 404, the part of the bill dealing with disaster mitigation.