Disaster Assistance:

Supplemental Information on Hurricane Hugo in South Carolina

RCED-91-150: Published: May 21, 1991. Publicly Released: Jun 21, 1991.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed: (1) the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) efforts to provide temporary housing assistance to South Carolina victims of the September 1989 Hurricane Hugo; (2) South Carolina counties' emergency management officials' responses to a disaster assistance survey; and (3) cost-sharing arrangements between FEMA and state and local governments to fund public assistance projects in South Carolina.

GAO found that: (1) FEMA provided temporary housing assistance to about 30,000 hurricane victims in South Carolina, which included providing grants to homeowners and renters or mobile homes; (2) FEMA met many of the victims' temporary housing assistance requests within 1 week after accepting applications; (3) families began occupying FEMA-provided mobile homes about 1 month after South Carolina declared their areas as a disaster; (4) FEMA continued to move families into mobile homes until April 1990; (5) most county officials believed that FEMA met their counties' needs, but one official indicated that the state's slow response hindered his county's ability to respond; (6) five county officials believed that delayed or unfilled requests somewhat hindered their abilities to respond to the disaster; and (7) none of the county management officials indicated that their public assistance requests were delayed or deferred because they could not pay their share of project costs.