Recovery Management: Federal Government Involvement in Transportation Recovery
Whether you are a local, tribal, or State official, or a transportation industry stakeholder engaged in transportation recovery, if your community has received a Presidential disaster declaration and Federal support has arrived, various Federal agencies have transportation recovery resources that may be helpful to you.
As described earlier, Federal support is generally sought only after your local and State resources are overwhelmed. Most Federal assistance will be provided through the NRF structure. However, there are Federal responsibilities, such as port security, terrorism investigations, and airspace management that are always under direct Federal control.
Also, some other general Federal responsibilities include, as necessary:
• Providing regulatory relief in support of emergency response and recovery;
• Offering Federal funding and grants;
• Resuming and restoring trade and commerce across jurisdictional boundaries;
• Coordinating with international allies;
• Setting priorities for national security and defense; and
• Offering planning and technical advice.
One of the most difficult challenges in the recovery phase is the lack of funding for the array of expensive projects that need to be initiated in a short period of time. Due to a loss of tax or business revenue that often accompanies any major disaster, as a transportation industry stakeholder company or local, tribal, or State government agency, you may not have all the resources you need to properly recover your transportation service, asset, infrastructure, or network. If the damage in your community meets certain eligibility requirements, the Federal government offers a set of funding mechanisms that can provide financial assistance to your community. Because of the quantity of programs and the different technical requirements and mechanisms, communities often benefit from expert assistance provided by a consultant or accounting firm with experience in the recovery process.
Also, before your company/government agency applies for Federal funding to repair and restore the local transportation infrastructure and facilities after a disaster, you need to understand that the majority of Federal funding for such projects can only be used to restore the network to pre-disaster conditions. You may, however, apply for and use other funds to supplement Federal resources to improve the impacted transportation network and mitigate damage from future disasters.