Disaster Response

• Ordered a review of hurricane and natural disaster preparedness (2009)

• FEMA once again reports directly to the president (2009) * Note: Bush removed FEMA (prior to the Hurricane Katrina disaster) from this status

• Demonstrated an immediate and efficient response to the floods in North Dakota and other natural disasters (2009)

• Ordered that funds be released and red tape be streamlined for the ongoing Hurricane Katrina recovery effort in the Gulf Coast (2009)

• Timely and massive relief effort in response to the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti and ensuing humanitarian crisis; signed emergency Aid to American Survivors of the Haiti Earthquake Act (Jan 27, 2010)

Components of the response:

-           The FBI’s National Center for Disaster Fraud was tasked to look into possible fraud with organizations soliciting funds for relief

-           Announced the Clinton-Bush Haiti Fund

-           Established an emergency Haiti Task Force in the State Department

-           Established a website with information, resources, and a posting of a “person finder” online to help families and friends to locate loved ones

-           Joint aid and relief planning with the U.K.

-           Sponsored a resolution in the UN Security Council for additional security and police forces in Haiti

-           Dispatched the US Navy floating hospital (USNS Comfort) and, within 5 days, 9 naval and relief ships, 5 Coast Guard cutters, 8 Coast Guard aircraft, and 12,000 US military personnel

-          Initial dispatch of several ships and cargo planes full of humanitarian aid and supplies, 6 search/rescue teams (500 personnel), and 265 Department of Health & Human Services personnel for emergency medical and aid support

-           Established a mobile US air traffic control center at the destroyed airport in Port-au-Prince

-          Signed Tax Breaks for Haiti Donations Act (Jan 22, 2010)

 

• Signed Haiti Debt Relief and Earthquake Recovery Act (April 15, 2010)

• Signed Haiti Economic Lift Program Act (May 24, 2010)

• Signed Help Haiti Act (Dec 8, 2010)

• After the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, a freeze was placed on new deep water projects (2010); established a national commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon spill to examine facts and report a plan of action; new efforts to prevent offshore spills (2010)

• Executive Order to establish new security measures to minimize accidental release of bio and chemical agents; new strategies for public health and bioterrorism response (2010)

• After a slow start in responding to the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the White House is promoting a long-term plan to reconstruct the damaged Gulf and negotiated with BP the establishment of a multi-billion dollar trust fund for victims of the spill (2010-2011)

• Signed Disaster Relief and Summer Jobs Act (June 3, 2010)

• Extended national flood insurance program for those in need during current economic crisis (2010); signed National Flood Insurance Program Extension (July 2, 2010)