What is FEMA and how does it work? - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

What is FEMA and how does it work?

Social Teaser: “Helping people before, during, and after disasters.” – FEMA Mission Statement (Source: RaycomMedia) Social Teaser: “Helping people before, during, and after disasters.” – FEMA Mission Statement (Source: RaycomMedia)

(RNN) - The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was enacted in 1979 under an executive order signed by President Jimmy Carter and has since served to help Americans prepare, manage and recover from both natural and man-made disasters.

After disasters, people often deal with loss of income, loss of life, and loss of homes, and FEMA will be there to aid.

FEMA is arguably most commonly utilized throughout hurricane season which runs annually from June 1 through Nov. 30.

FEMA is operated through 10 regional offices and has about 2,600 full time employees nationwide. There are also another 4,000 employees who are reserved for disasters.

Although FEMA has been tapped as a governmental role in helping all Americans during disastrous times, the agency’s effort has not been without criticism.

FEMA and controversy:

Most recently the agency was condemned over its response to Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory, which received catastrophic damage from Hurricane Maria.

The storm impacted the island on Sept. 20, 2017 as a Category 4 Hurricane.

Hurricane Maria is responsible for the second deadliest hurricane reported in U.S. history with an official death toll of 2,975.

Initial death reports only accounted for 64 people.

It wasn’t until the conclusion of a new study in Aug. 2018 that the official death toll was revealed.

The island was devastated and without power for several months and left with a reported $100 billion in damages.

Here's how FEMA works: 

Directly after disaster strikes, FEMA also works with other government agencies that provide relief in the areas of transportation, communications, medical care, search and rescue, hazardous materials and more.

This coordination of government wide relief efforts is called the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act which was signed into law in 1988.

Here are ways FEMA helps once basic and immediate needs are taken care of directly after a disaster.

Medical: The agency will help with medical treatment and medical expenses and costs associated with loss of life.

Property: The agency will aid in transporting, storing and/or replacing private property and it will help with rebuilding efforts and moving expenses.

Housing: The agency can assist with temporary housing arrangements, provide resources for grant money to help with uninsured homes that were destroyed and help cover damages not covered by insurance.

To apply for aid Americans should call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). They should also live in areas that are FEMA eligible.

Copyright 2018 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

  • National, world weatherWeather and disaster coverageMore>>

  • Florence shows how storm coverage is politicized

    Florence shows how storm coverage is politicized

    Wednesday, September 19 2018 6:29 PM EDT2018-09-19 22:29:46 GMT
    Thursday, September 20 2018 8:09 AM EDT2018-09-20 12:09:27 GMT
    Florence shows how politics has been drawn into coverage of major storms.More >>
    Florence shows how politics has been drawn into coverage of major storms.More >>
  • Women die in flooded van driven by South Carolina deputies

    Women die in flooded van driven by South Carolina deputies

    Thursday, September 20 2018 1:24 AM EDT2018-09-20 05:24:25 GMT
    Thursday, September 20 2018 8:01 AM EDT2018-09-20 12:01:48 GMT
    (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert). Responders congregate Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018 near where two people drowned Tuesday evening when they were trapped in a Horry County Sheriff transport van while crossing an overtopped bridge over the Little Pee Dee River on...(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert). Responders congregate Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018 near where two people drowned Tuesday evening when they were trapped in a Horry County Sheriff transport van while crossing an overtopped bridge over the Little Pee Dee River on...
    Officials say two women being transported to a mental health facility by deputies have drowned when they were trapped in the van as it was engulfed in rising South Carolina floodwaters.More >>
    Officials say two women being transported to a mental health facility by deputies have drowned when they were trapped in the van as it was engulfed in rising South Carolina floodwaters.More >>
  • The longest week: Carolinas worn out by Florence

    The longest week: Carolinas worn out by Florence

    Thursday, September 20 2018 12:29 AM EDT2018-09-20 04:29:52 GMT
    Thursday, September 20 2018 8:01 AM EDT2018-09-20 12:01:36 GMT
    (AP Photo/David Goldman). Part of the Starlite Motel is washed away in the aftermath of flooding from Hurricane Florence in Spring Lake, N.C., Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018.(AP Photo/David Goldman). Part of the Starlite Motel is washed away in the aftermath of flooding from Hurricane Florence in Spring Lake, N.C., Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018.

    Frustration and sheer exhaustion are building as thousands of people wait to go home seven days after the storm, which is blamed for at least 37 deaths, began battering the coast.

    More >>

    Frustration and sheer exhaustion are building as thousands of people wait to go home seven days after the storm, which is blamed for at least 37 deaths, began battering the coast.

    More >>
  • East Coast braces for Hurricane FlorenceHurricane FlorenceMore>>

  • Florence shows how storm coverage is politicized

    Florence shows how storm coverage is politicized

    Wednesday, September 19 2018 6:29 PM EDT2018-09-19 22:29:46 GMT
    Thursday, September 20 2018 8:09 AM EDT2018-09-20 12:09:27 GMT
    Florence shows how politics has been drawn into coverage of major storms.More >>
    Florence shows how politics has been drawn into coverage of major storms.More >>
  • Women die in flooded van driven by South Carolina deputies

    Women die in flooded van driven by South Carolina deputies

    Thursday, September 20 2018 1:24 AM EDT2018-09-20 05:24:25 GMT
    Thursday, September 20 2018 8:01 AM EDT2018-09-20 12:01:48 GMT
    (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert). Responders congregate Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018 near where two people drowned Tuesday evening when they were trapped in a Horry County Sheriff transport van while crossing an overtopped bridge over the Little Pee Dee River on...(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert). Responders congregate Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018 near where two people drowned Tuesday evening when they were trapped in a Horry County Sheriff transport van while crossing an overtopped bridge over the Little Pee Dee River on...
    Officials say two women being transported to a mental health facility by deputies have drowned when they were trapped in the van as it was engulfed in rising South Carolina floodwaters.More >>
    Officials say two women being transported to a mental health facility by deputies have drowned when they were trapped in the van as it was engulfed in rising South Carolina floodwaters.More >>
  • The longest week: Carolinas worn out by Florence

    The longest week: Carolinas worn out by Florence

    Thursday, September 20 2018 12:29 AM EDT2018-09-20 04:29:52 GMT
    Thursday, September 20 2018 8:01 AM EDT2018-09-20 12:01:36 GMT
    (AP Photo/David Goldman). Part of the Starlite Motel is washed away in the aftermath of flooding from Hurricane Florence in Spring Lake, N.C., Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018.(AP Photo/David Goldman). Part of the Starlite Motel is washed away in the aftermath of flooding from Hurricane Florence in Spring Lake, N.C., Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018.

    Frustration and sheer exhaustion are building as thousands of people wait to go home seven days after the storm, which is blamed for at least 37 deaths, began battering the coast.

    More >>

    Frustration and sheer exhaustion are building as thousands of people wait to go home seven days after the storm, which is blamed for at least 37 deaths, began battering the coast.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly