Sunday, May 21, 2023

IMPORTANCE FOR ALL. A coordinated effort is needed across all agencies for recovery. Legislation Would Create Universal Application for Disaster Survivors. May 20, 2023

BEMA International members U.S.

Contact you LOCAL, State, and Federal representative for their support for the Disaster Assistance Simplification Act as a supplement to the Stafford Act.

Changing the process & procedures are a key to recovery and equity.

Charles D. Sharp


Peters Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Simplify Application Process for Federal Disaster Assistance

Legislation Would Create Universal Application for Disaster Survivors

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, introduced bipartisan legislation to simplify the application process for federal disaster recovery assistance. The legislation would require the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to establish a universal application across federal agencies for disaster survivors who are seeking federal assistance to recover from hurricanes, floods, wildfires, and more.

Currently, individuals that seek federal aid to recover from a disaster must fill out separate and detailed applications depending on what agency they need help from – a process that can take weeks or even months. Peters’ legislation would significantly streamline this process to reduce the burden on disaster survivors. 

“Michiganders and people across the country should not have to go a through burdensome, complicated process to obtain federal assistance when disaster strikes,” said Chairman Peters. “This commonsense, bipartisan legislation will establish a simple, universal application for people who are seeking federal help to rebuild their lives after natural disasters and emergencies.”

After a disaster, there are various types of federal disaster assistance that may become available to disaster survivors.

For example,

  • FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program can provide financial or direct assistance for housing and other needs and
  • SBA’s Real Property Disaster Loans and Personal Property Loans are available to eligible homeowners and renters who have incurred uninsured or underinsured damage to their home or personal property located in a declared disaster area.

However, a recent analysis found that more than 50 percent of the questions on the application forms for both of these programs are duplicative. These burdensome applications can overwhelm some survivors, causing many to simply give up trying to access desperately needed assistance and pushing survivors beyond their breaking point.

The Disaster Assistance Simplification Act amends the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act to require FEMA to establish a universal disaster application across federal agencies for disaster survivors who are seeking federal recovery aid. The bill would allow FEMA to share information on disaster survivors with other federal agencies to simplify recovery efforts and reduce the burden on survivors after a disaster. The legislation would make FEMA the lead agency in implementing the universal disaster assistance application for disaster victims. Finally, the bill requires all information sharing practices to meet federal data security standards.

As Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Peters has led several efforts to strengthen our federal disaster preparedness and response. Peters secured $500 million in funding as part of the bipartisan infrastructure bill for a program he created to help states establish revolving loan programs for local governments to carry out mitigation projects that reduce the risk of shoreline erosion, extreme flooding, and other natural disasters. Peters’ bipartisan legislation to protect FEMA Reservists from losing their full-time employment when they are called up to assist communities with disaster response was also signed into law.


Black Emergency Managers Association International


    Cornell University Climate Fellow

Washington, D.C.  20020
bEMA International
Cooperation, Collaboration, Communication, Coordination, Community engagement, and  Partnering (C5&P)


A 501 (c) 3 organization


Change without sacrifice is an illusion.



No comments:

Post a Comment


Search This Blog

ARCHIVE List 2011 - Present