Friday, February 5, 2016 The CSAC Bulletin
Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources
For more information, contact Karen Keene at 916.650.8181, or Cara Martinson at 916.650.8113.
FEMA Releases Disaster Deductible Proposal “Concept”

On January 20, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) issued an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM), that they are considering a “disaster deductible” concept that would require recipients of federal disaster assistance funds to meet a certain level of spending before receiving federal funds following a disaster.

According to information from NACo, this proposed concept would require recipients of FEMA Public Assistance (typically states; counties are sub-recipients) to meet a predetermined level of financial or other commitment before receiving federal disaster funds. At this point in time, FEMA is not formally proposing the implementation of a deductible, but the agency is soliciting comments on the deductible concept. These comments are due by March 21. The notice and request for comment can be found here.

NACo staff has noted these initial concerns with the concept:
  • If a deductible were implemented, counties would likely see delays in the receipt of funds originating from the federal government following a disaster, as states would likely have to document and present their spending and mitigation activities to FEMA before receiving and distributing federal funds.
  • The potential for states to ultimately pass the cost of the deductible down to the local level .
  • If counties’ mitigation activities would count towards meeting a state’s deductible, then counties would likely also face the burden of the documentation and presentation of mitigation activities following a disaster.
CSAC is working with its members to collect information regarding the potential impact of a “disaster deductible” on California counties. We plan to submit comments to FEMA. The State Office of Emergency Services is also planning to submit comments.