Ahead of hurricane season, Wicker & Hyde-Smith seek to ensure FEMA prepared for workforce shortage

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Roger Wicker and Cindy Hyde-Smith are among a group of Senators from coastal states seeking to ensure the FEMA workforce is ready for the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season.

The Mississippi Senators signed a letter to FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell requesting information on the FEMA workforce and capabilities ahead of hurricane season in light of ongoing agency obligations to disaster response, COVID-19 assistance, and the border crisis.

Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) led the letter, which was also signed by Senators Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), and Tim Scott (R-S.C.).

“While FEMA performed admirably under the difficult circumstances the past year presented, we are concerned by the strain that has been placed on FEMA and the potential impact on preparation and readiness for the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season, which begins on June 1,” said the letter.

The Senators requested a response to the following questions:

  • What is the state of FEMA’s current workforce posture?  How many employees does the agency have on hand for emergencies?
  • How does FEMA intend to handle a workforce shortage that could arise in the event of hurricanes and natural disasters?
  • What steps has FEMA taken to ensure state and local governments are as prepared as possible for the upcoming hurricane season?
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