Washington, DC -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is asking Congress for Fiscal Year 2001 budget authority of $971 million and an additional $2.6 billion in emergency contingency funds for disasters.
"We remain committed to reducing the economic and social costs of disasters by encouraging more communities to undertake Project Impact prevention measures," FEMA Director James Lee Witt said in outlining key provisions of the budget request for the fiscal year, which runs from October 1, 2000 through September 30, 2001.
"With the support of Congress, we've been able to establish active Project Impact communities in every state over the past two years," Witt added. "Our request for $30 million for the next fiscal year will allow us to continue to expand this initiative for building a nation of disaster-resistant communities."
In addition, Witt said up to $70 million is requested to remove or elevate buildings that suffer repetitive flood losses and a supplemental appropriation of $77.4 million for home buyouts and relocation assistance for Hurricane Floyd flood victims. The agency also is proposing to fund the cost of modernizing flood-mapping technology by generating $104 million from a flood-map license fee and up to $30 million from the President's Disaster Relief Fund.
According to Witt, disaster costs over the past five years have averaged over $2.9 billion per year for FEMA alone, excluding the Northridge earthquake of 1994. Based on this, FEMA is asking for a total of $2.9 billion for the President's Disaster Relief Fund, including $2.6 billion in emergency contingency funds.
Other highlights of the budget request include:
- $34.5 million to support the Administration's effort to combat terrorism, including equipment and specialized training for six FEMA Urban Search & Rescue task forces.
- 137.4 million for Emergency Management Performance Grants, which consolidate funding for FEMA's preparedness, mitigation and other non-disaster programs for state emergency management activities.
- $69.7 million for the U.S. Fire Administration for enhancing the nation's fire prevention and arson control capabilities, including competitive grants to provide fire departments serving rural and low-income communities with health, safety and other specialized equipment.
- $140 million for the Emergency Food and Shelter Program for individuals and families in designated areas of high need, an increase of $30 million over the current level.
The 2001 budget also includes a one-time cost for moving FEMA headquarters to a location that will support a state-of-the-art operations center for conducting national interagency all-hazards response and recovery activities.
The budget proposal calls for 2,531 full-time equivalent, non-disaster FEMA employees, compared with 2,446 for the current year, for a net increase of 85.