GAO Issues New Natural Disasters Framework to Improve Federal Preparations and Response
WASHINGTON, DC (October 23, 2019) — The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) today issued a new guide to help bolster resilience when it comes to natural disasters. The new framework is intended to help managers across government explore opportunities to promote disaster resilience and reduce the mounting costs associated with the federal response to climate and weather disasters.
“This important new tool is designed to help federal agencies and others refine their response to the growing threat posed by natural disasters,” said Gene L. Dodaro, Comptroller General of the United States and head of the GAO. “Investments in disaster resilience are a promising way to reduce the overall impact of future disasters and minimize the federal government’s fiscal exposure.”
Since 2005, federal funding for disaster assistance is approaching half a trillion dollars, most recently for catastrophic hurricanes, flooding, wildfires, and other losses in 2017 and 2018. The need to better manage the federal government’s fiscal exposure to climate change has been on GAO’s High Risk List since 2013. Issued with the start of each new Congress, the High Risk List brings attention to federal programs and activities vulnerable to fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement or needing transformation.
GAO’s disaster resilience framework is organized around three approaches or principles that managers who oversee disaster response efforts may find useful in strengthening national disaster resilience. They are: (1) accessing information that is authoritative and understandable to help decision makers identify current and future risk and the impact of risk reduction strategies; (2) integrating analysis and planning to help decision makers take coherent and coordinated resilience actions; and (3) providing incentives to help make long-term, forward-looking risk-reduction investments more viable and attractive among competing priorities.
The 2019 disaster resilience framework, entitled “Disaster Resilience Framework: Principles for Analyzing Federal Efforts to Facilitate and Promote Resilience to Natural Disasters” is available on GAO’s website at www.gao.gov/products/GAO-20-100SP. For more information, contact Chuck Young, Managing Director of Public Affairs, at 202-512-4800.
The Government Accountability Office, known as the investigative arm of Congress, is an independent, nonpartisan agency that exists to support Congress in meeting its constitutional responsibilities. GAO also works to improve the performance of the federal government and ensure its accountability to the American people. The agency examines the use of public funds; evaluates federal programs and policies; and provides analyses, recommendations, and other assistance to help Congress make informed oversight, policy, and funding decisions. GAO provides Congress with timely information that is objective, fact-based, nonideological, fair, and balanced. GAO’s commitment to good government is reflected in its core values of accountability, integrity, and reliability.