President Trump signed a long-sought reauthorization for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) into law on October 5, which included a major set of reforms to address the rising costs of natural disasters in the U.S. and help communities improve their pre-disaster mitigation and recovery practices. The FAA reauthorization also contained supplemental appropriations for victims of Hurricane Florence and provisions of the Geospatial Data Act.
The Senate Committee on Commerce, Transportation, and Science held a hearing to examine the status of local and federal agencies’ recovery from the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, and ongoing preparation for the 2018 season. The hearing focused on the importance of disaster relief funds for local communities, as well as the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) investigation of the 2015 sinking of the US-flagged El Faro cargo ship.
The devastating 2017 hurricane season has prompted Congress to take action in recent months, with a number of committee hearings held in both chambers and new legislation introduced relating to natural disaster preparedness and response.
The American Society of Civil Engineers shared a dispatch from one of their members and her reflections on Puerto Rico's infrastructure from an engineer's perspective following Hurricane Maria. She shares how collapsed roads are affecting communities, and trips to buy gas can take all day. Read her account here.