Under the plan, public entities and non-profits would not be eligible for federal assistance for damaged property that was damaged in a previous disaster. Those entities rely on FEMA to cover their property insurance deductibles and other uninsured costs after a natural disaster, such as a hurricane, flood and earthquake.
Additionally, uninsured entities have been aided by FEMA for losses sustained in a natural disaster, brokers and a FEMA official said.
Brokers say the same buildings often are damaged in one disaster after another, so the financial impact of FEMA’s plan would have been significant.
The plan was outlined on FEMA’s website on June 4th. However, public entities and non-profit organizations nationwide, as well as their insurance brokers, were largely unaware of the plan until last week. It would have have been a costly surprise had a natural catastrophe caused extensive damage this summer.
A FEMA official even acknowledged that the agency didn’t effectively communicate is plan. “It wasn’t very well messaged at all,” said Gil H. Jamieson, a FEMA associate deputy administrator for the Gulf Coast recovery. And, because of the confusion the bulletin created, “it has been rescinded,” Mr. Jamieson said Friday.