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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  April 22, 2015 11:00pm-1:01am EDT

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to save, or do you have any benchmarks with what you feel you should achieve? >> the challenge i run into with disasters is there's such a range, and i can't show you and staff what it costs us to run a virtual joint field office versus what it would have been to set up a facility because we have to go in and lease a facility, everything associated with that, and we may only need it for a month to do what we need to do and i can give you -- better to show you those disasters, what it would have cost if we didn't do this, versus what we traditionally spent, and as we build better analytics, trying to get to the number of how much is it part of the disaster response versus overhead to maintain the capability response and looking at that on a case by case basis. are we showing savings? some disasters like sandy have a higher admin costs, higher facilities, expensive area to put people up in hotel rooms.
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other disasters would be less expensive and others we're looking at, are we driving trends down? are we seeing overall we contain overtime costs are we not, you know, doing things just because people always did it that way to really drive down the costs of every dollar we administer. i can give you things we work towards, case studies of disasters where we have done reductions versus what we would have spent before and show you trend. >> you'll show us metrics on outcomes? >> yes, sir. >> okay. >> thank you, i look forward to hearing those. back to the conversation with senator baldwin. you talked about grant programs, preparedness, and local first responders and local agencies, and i certainly agree with that as governor after september 11th i can tell you directly what a difference the department of homeland security grants have made to our preparedness, and that's why i was concerned when
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i saw in the budget that you were proposing an 18% cut to preparedness grants, cut to training, and 1 preponderate 5% cut to firefighter grants and the recent fema preparedness report found eight areas where communities are still in need of improvement, and i know that one of the proposals is to consolidate many of these grant programs, and while i appreciate that there are places where there can be efficiencies, i can tell you that those grants as i said made a huge difference in new hampshire, and we leverage a little bit money to make it go a long way, and the firefighter grants, the other preparedness grants have really been critical so can you explain why the proposed reductions and i
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know my understanding is that the authorizing committee is not going to take up the consolidation issue, and so that's probably not going to be an option in this budget, and as i said i probably wouldn't support it if it were, and so i wonder if you could talk a little bit about that. >> well, two pieces is very straightforward. obviously, i would like to provide the maximum amount of funding that we could provide in the grants programs, but as the administration, you make hard choices, we fit within our budgets, submit based on priorities to the administration, and this is a continuation of the presidential request, so although congress has been able to find more money and funded grants at higher levels we have been pretty consistent in what we asked for. as far as consolidation of the grants, this actually went back to -- and governor my experience in florida was since the ability to leverage dollars
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across the state some states do a better job than others, but it came back to governor, you have the emergency powers, institutions establish the authorities, the grant is upon the governor, the state in a position to help direct where resources were across the state. you know your states better. more accountability to make the decisions. we understand stake holders do not have the same trust there. that there's concerns about not all states may be as equal in delivering funds. we have the power, the creating of the subdivisions that are unique to each state, and by consolidating level at the governor governors have the flexibility to determine priorities. i will faithfully execute the budget congress provides us with the direction you give us and that will be not up for debate.
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>> thank you. i appreciate that. you know one of the draft national preparedness goal out for review says fire management and repression was added as a core capability. >> yes ma'am. >> which makes total sense to me. yet, again the request for grants for fire departments was a reduction. can you talk about what a reduction in those grants, the fire departments would have in distribution of funds to rural communities and volunteer departments, and how we can, on the one hand, talk about the goal of fire management, and on the other hand, talk about reducing the grants to those fire departments and folks who are going to need to make sure
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that we are prepared for those fires. >> well, the structural fire fighter goes back to the original emergency support functions of the frame work based upon while in fire fighting, and because on a national level, fires were the ones who required federal response the most often, but i came out of the fire service; and i'm bias as a structural firefighter. we do a lot of fire fighting, but in disasters, we do the bulk of the search and rescue and emergency capabilities at the local level. we felt it important that the fire service be recognize the in the frame works as part of an emergency support function that almost exclusionvely was for wildfires. that was that. as far as the grants again the reduction means fewer smoke detectors, fewer pieces of equipment bought fewer breathing apparatus bought. it's a reality when we are forced into the budget everything and all priorities these were the numbers we were
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able to get to make and represent to you what we think is the administration we can fund. it does not mean that there's not more demand out there, not more need out there, but this is based on all the priorities the administration has and all budgets to look at funding everything from health and human services to ebola response to unaccompanied children and other things i find myself dealing with. this is where we came out. we're able to make the representation. we understand this is where we start the discussion. >> well and i'm glad to hear you acknowledge that it will have an impact if we don't have that additional funding. going back to the discussion about the -- how you put together your budget and one of the things that or several things you include as new and -- i shouldn't say they are new initiatives, but efforts to upgrade your management
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structure focus on i.t. on business management, on grant management, and i wonder -- cybersecurity, can you talk about why it's important to do those now and how those initiatives rose to the top of what you were looking at in order to be more efficient? >> we found ourselves with grant modernization rolled up into department wide initiative when i got here that later did not occur. we have systems that are ancient. we pay so much into supporting and maintaining old systems that we think we can do a better job by modernizing the system and reducing our costs. in many cases we think we can have substantial reductions by upgrading to newer systems than to pay legacy costs. this becomes a cyber security concern as well. when you have systems running on old, old systems including the
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fact that microsoft is no longer supporting serving 2003, but your systems are built on that, if you're not upgrading them you're going to increase your signer vulnerabilities. we've done a lot of work on that end. we were not a poster child at all for that. we cleaned up the systems documenting the systems, eliminating systems no longer needed, but we have reached a point where if we do not start upgrading the systems, not only are they more expensive to maintain, they do not achieve the purpose of being transparent and sharing information with the stake holders, and we'll spend more time responding to the request by creating a spread sheet in excel to take all the data the systems cannot put in a format needed to make your decisions. >> so do you have estimates on how much you're going to save or how much the spending will balance out in the long term because of the efficiencies
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you'll be able to achieve? >> yes, senator. we've taken -- we have -- we're backing away from the one big major system to fix everything. we said, take small incremental steps, build on common operating systems, use government systems, and move forward in the grant consolidation and modernization. we can show you both the timeline, and if we appropriate funds for this, what our milestones are, what the projected savings are and more importantly, what it's costing you right now to maintain the current systems and how we see those costs go away as the new systems come on and replace them. >> that's great. if that's something you have not yet shared with the committee, will you do that, please? >> yes. >> we would very much like to see that. thank you. >> administrateor as a result of sandy, you received both authority to provide upfront fundings for public assistance projects so that end tytities got the money up front and build up
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the project, both to expedite to process and give them more flexibility to get it done. and then also, you were given authority to examine ways in which you could reduce disaster costs nationally. both of those seem like really good ideas, and so i'd like you to respond in both areas. why aren't more of the -- why isn't more of the funding up front, why is that not utilized more frequently? secondly, talk about, you know your strategy as far as implementing the national strategy to reduce cost. >> yes senator. as with anything new, there was a lot of concern that by doing a cost estimate what happens if they discovered something later on not anticipated, they'd miss out, stuck with the bill. our first success came out of a case that was still pending from
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irene in the state of vermont with the state government complex, and once they understood the flexibility to solve problems we had not been able to resolve they moved forward with it and we had our first success project. we've seen resistance because of the unknowns, but as we work and get success and that spreads, people understand that this is giving them flexibility, giving them the ability to move forward, certainty on the fromgts, and we are increasingly seeing more projects come in that go this route, and the amount we've already approved in dollars going out are in the billions, and so i am still working with the mayor of new orleans to timize some of the projects still outstanding from katrina almost ten years later. i do not foresee that in sandy. where we are in the complex hospitals using this charity. we were five years and went to arbitration before we got an answer. we are already moving forward on
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funding and in the construction and rebuilding and repairing hospitals, and so i think this is still the concern that what if they find things later, we go, well, that's why we want to do the due diligence bring in the engineers get the contractors, put in the effort on the front end. we don't need to rush that. make sure it's a good solid number to identify this stuff. once we have that number, agree to it, do i have to be there every time you change an order or do something different to get a review, and i have to dull out money each quarter and constantly do the inspections? that's where the add minute min straitive costs go up. what's eligible? we should be able to move forward, and as they are more familiar with that see the benefits of it, we'll see increasingly large complex projects communities turning to this to speed up the process.
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>> what's the flexibility mechanism so their concerns are covered in terms if they take the money upfront and find out there's additional costs? what's that flexibility mechanism? >> well, part of that is what we've done is in many cases, we write a small grant to bring in an engineering firm. you've been governor. you bid out a building and if the person bidding on it made a mistake, they own the mistake. we say, basically, take it up there where you got somebody ready to bid on the project, that's what we want so that we've done everything, done the studies, do the engineering, all the due diligence because at that point you should be ready to issue the contract. now, if the person did not do due diligence, that's their responsibility. we tried to make this as seamless as we can to get to the final number with the best understanding of what it is, what the eligibility is and if it takes us a year to get to that, something complex like a hospital, we'll take that year, but once we get to the number,
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we want to be able to pay you, allow you to move forward and allow you to do things that we have historically not such as looking at things from the stand point of other federal dollars, making decisions about increasing the size or capabilities with your own dollars, and whatever you did with our dollars we are constrained and can only do what was damaged and if you have to do things, we have to prove that, we cannot fund it, but we shouldn't be an impediment to you doing things that make sense making a facility bigger or dealing with other issues or utilizing community block dollars to enhance something. our process was always so restrictive that it was difficult. this is much better and we build the mitigation on the front end because as you point out, a lot of times we'll build back based upon the past data. problem is, we've seen too many times we're back to the facility more than once because it was wiped out. we need to move beyond that and build future risk and look at not just building back to what
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we've always looked at in cost benefit analysis, and make investments, and this gives us the ability to move beyond just looking at one set of criteria when you rebuild. >> well, and that goes right to the hazard mitigation piece. it seems to me that your mitigation effort is focused on the actual hazard, and in this budget, you are looking at additional funds for hazard mitigation, but i would certainly want to know that that is based on the actual hazard itself and that you're trying to mitigate both the hazard and the long term cost for the federal government and the locality and that that has to be the criteria for determining issues. >> absolutely. we have examples of predisaster mitigation. states take that, like in oklahoma, to do grants to families to build safe rooms from tornados. again, our goal is to drive outcome based improvements to reduce risk. there's a lot of factors
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driving factors of that, and a changing environment, but what we want to look at are what are those things that as taxpayers that if we spend money on the front end, reduce the future cost, but also the potential disruptions from failure of critical infrastructure to disaster so this is very much in our predisaster mitigation looking at it from the lens of outcomes that are based upon buying down risk, reducing risk, or building more resiliency in the critical infrastructure that's hazard based. again, as i point out, with training and other things there's a lot of things out there driving change. i have to look at the consequences of impact and that's where we focus mitigation dollars. >> and having a way to measure, again, i go back to you got to have a way then, to measure and show the results whether it's providing funding up front and the flexibility whether it's making sure that you're mitigating -- you got to have a system to come back and have
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measurable -- >> what above lives saved? >> lives saved obviously a huge priority there. >> i got to give you a little good news story. our fire administration collects fire information from fire departments, national fire reporting data base. we never had a good program of opening data up. we got data now to provide it. what are you going to do with it? we work with red cross. they decided to focus on smoke detector installs with areas with the highest risk of loss of life. they took our data, matched up the communities, used fire grant dollars, and they got volunteers to install smoke detectors. they have since they did the program in the last couple months, using data to drive installs, 13 documented cases of lives saved people got out of the building. historical data said we would
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have had loss of life. we use big data to leverage limited funds, partnering with organizations like the red cross, and getting outcomes that we can document that. those reports people followed. when i was a firefighter, what are you doing with that? we're making the data available so people use analytics and drive where's the most need where is the greatest risk where can we make the greatest difference with limited resources? i was talking to richard reid at the red cross this morning, and they now have 13 cases where they installed a smoke detector, went off, and the people got out. that was a high risk area. without that detector, we would have had a loss of life. >> very good. >> some of the outcomes the funds you provide us produced. >> very important that wherever you can, you measure that so we can track it and know what it was. thank you. senator schumer. >> thank you. as you pointed out, what you're always looking to do is figure
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out where you can spend money to mitigate potential risk how you can do that, and one of the places where i think there's real potential is working with the private sector. because, as you know government does not respond to disasters alone. it often has the benefit of using the private sector and fema's industry liaison program is one point of entry for vendors who want to do business with fema but i got to tell you that i heard from businesses in new hampshire that have not had a good experience with that program, and one of those in particular which i will not name because i have not gotten cleerps from them to use their name, but they have worked with the marine corp., the american red cross, the navy, in haiti responding in new orleans responding to katrina, and they
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really wanted to try to market their technology to fema. and over the course of beginning in 2009, 2011, 2012, they presented to fema at three industry liaison sessions, appropriate policy and program staff attended two of the three meetings although initially officials appeared enthusiastic, the procurement staff limited the meetings that prevented agency employees from sharing their business cards. they regularly failed to respond to the company's follow-up phone calls and e-mails. when we try to inquire about what was the process and how could we ensure that they were getting a fair hearing, we were told that they have to go through the normal procurement process. well, that's what they tried to do, and so you talk about how
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you can did more to ensure when companies have good technology that can be a benefit to fema that there is an opportunity for them to be heard and for you to take advantage of some of that technology where it exists. >> senator, given the time frames we have change out the leadership of the chief procurement officer. it addresses some of this, but also it comes back to sometimes we are overly concerned about not obtaining potential bid process, and there's certain things we have to be very careful about that we do not predetermine or give favoritism to. our new chief procurement officer found a better way to do this by doing industry days where they bring in industry in an open setting. we did this with i.t. this is what we are looking at. here's where we are going. we're not giving anybody preren
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issue or one-on-one sit downs. it's going out to bid. we did industry days, anybody interested as a potential vendor vendor, and we laid out what we are thinking about doing, and what our outcome and we'll work this. i think sometimes we over correct and not trying to get into procurement issues that may exclude companies from being able to present and find a better way to have a level playing field so we do not mess somebody up. as you know if it's even seen as giving favoritism in a feuded bid, we have a bid protest. we have a new officer who brought sanity to the process, making it transparent, and part of it is when we want to do the meetings, set it up so we don't end up contaminating any future procurement process and we find industry days bring in groups
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around our mission and our challenges and we go here's what we are looking at, this is what we're thinking, and we're going to put bids out but we have all the industry there our our presentations. any questions? they ask. everybody hears. that keeps the system less jaded than what we have. what you're running into is a procurement office that was not where we needed to be, but also to overcompensate and not always provide a level of service and information that we could be providing without jeopardizing future procurement. >> that's very encouraging. we'll tell the businesses in new hampshire that want to work with fema not to give up on the process and there's a new process that's more transparent and opportunity to be heard, so thank you. i look forward to hearing how that works. there's an issue around flood mapping that i wanted to raise
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and that's the final issue to raise, and one of the things that he heard in north dakota there's a lot of uncertainty and not an understanding how the flood maps are done, what community input is available, and how decisions are made, and so can you talk about the new flood insurance advocate, what that office will be doing and how they can help communities better understand the process of the flood mapping? well first of all thank you for the funding in the budget to stand the office up. we approach it in two ways. in services maps, we have to improve capabilities as advocates in the regional
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offices to be closer to meetings, know when maps come out. they do not happen randomly. there's a process the community's involved, and having the advocate in the region not part of the mapping process, but there to go out and meet with groups, get issues and bring them back. we focus the office on dealing with claims issue. we think that claims has to be handled centrally because we pay them centrally, and we stood some of this up prior to getting the time budget just basically to get started, we did not want to wait and now building the office out, we started to take form. we are still dealing with detailed staff but going to job descriptions to post permanent positions to start on a permanent footing. they will be housed as part of the flood insurance program but they do not report to the add administrate administrator. they are in the office, though, so all the connections, logistical support and proximity
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would be there. their reporting chain, other than signing off on time sheets and travel everything else comes to the administrator, so as we move forward and establish that, we looked at specially maps the best place to coordinate that. what we're looking at is workload. do we need to have them full time in each region or know we have significant map revisions coming up. as you know, some map revisions are not contested, small, they are not going to bum a lot of other people having people in each region all the time if the workload is not there. looking at deployble staff, we have a lot of concerns about it we have star there to go in and detail for the duration of the update. >> well, thank you. i think this is -- i mean, this is like anbudsman to deal with the office, and it's a positive development, and i look forward to hearing how it's working and to being helpful if we can.
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so thank you, mr. chairman, and thank you very much administrator. >> a couple more questions as we wrap up. first is talking about preparedness grants return on investment and what you feel the level of preparedness is across the nation, and the preparedness grants are helping improve that preparedness across the country. >> well, part of the preparedness report that we, again, struggled with early on is i can do a better job telling you how much money is spent not really telling you what capabilities had been built. we're now seeing through our threat hazard reduction and other surveys and state preparedness report that over dime we are now seeing things change. i can give specific examples. the state of mississippi identified early in this that they needed more funding for operation direction and control
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communications. type of things they needed to manage disasters. with the grant funding, that's matured, and on the state prepareness report, they show they are more to a maintenance mode, not building the capacity, so now they stretch to other things like cyber, but they still see they need to make improvements in. between the state preparedness report we're seeing trends where people have building capacity, are now shifting to other areas and have maintenance or they are still identifying areas that they got to make investments in, and part of it comes back to looking at the types of threats of disasters, and seeing threats are we seeing capabilities built out there? looking at cyber it's been consistent. it's one of the areas most states are yieridentified they have a lot of work to do, but it's going from we're just starting to we're now starting to see things coming back on what they are doing. so we can show you where the money has started a process of
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built capability, what it looks like, how it's used but also how they are now shifting to other priorities within those areas and looking at how to build capacity there. how do you look at the ongoing analysis analysis, okay, the grants are very effective, and we kind of are moving up the chain and what the impact is nationwide. how do you develop a system to truly track that and have a good understanding where we are, how much progress we make. >> again the national preparedness report, we use analytics as well as data to show here's what the data and trends are doing and specific case studies where people have done that. the question we get a lot of times is how do we know when we're done? answer is we're never done. a reality that is hard to explain to people because we spent money building teams and
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capabilities, you have to continue to refresh that. people age out. retire. people move out. you retrain team members. equipment updated. technology changes. needs replaced. all the laptops bought in the first go-around, that was ten years ago. you had to replace those at least twice, you know, and they were bought in the first go-around, they aged out, and now maybe we don't need the initial game plan, but just have them centrally located. as we saw the funding going from increasing every year to reduction and stable which i also appreciate,÷ú we're seeing communities make decision about what capacities they have to maintain. others make the decision they are no longer feasible or change how we do business and it no longer requires it, but maintain maintaining that capability, and, again, what you're seeing is starting in 2011, i can point
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to specific disasters where previously it was a greater federal response to the state's response because the capability built with the funding and the federal role was to support recovery. for a lot of the disasters that's the best indicator that we are seeing preparedness take place. as i tell people sandy, you look at what state and local governments did and what they were able to manage all the way from, you know the carolinas all the way up in getting ready for the storm, a lot was grant dollars that were built, paid for, and add ministered through the grants that was the capability responding, and the federal was more of a support to that versus a primary agency which had been what we did it previous large scale disasters. >> that's it. done right that can make a huge cost difference. it's the difference between continuing to spend a disaster recovery money repeatedly year after year versus building the
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infrastructure through preparedness grants and so you spend once, and you may spend more in one year but you're not -- you get out of the repetitive spending for recovery. >> part of it senator, too, is we made funding for each jurisdiction hoping it added up, but in reality, it's consolidating resources we as a nation built. we changed the language in the grants to recognize they are building national capabilities that you use at the local level and may use at the local level exclusively until there's a large disaster somewhere else. every state that receives these the state administrative agency certifies that state remains a member of the compact, and we look at these deployable resources as national!#rpno4 assets. that change began to leverage, do we have to have the same equipment in every jurisdiction side by side or identify hey,
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we have a lot of search and rescue teams here. we don't have mortuary services or the support for that or case of trains in another thing, an emerging threat, and do we do every team or certain temperatures to start the process. that, to your point, is really looking at we're building capabilities and capacity that is housed at the local level, used edd day-to-day at the local level, but used in a catastrophic, terrorism, a national event mobilized across state line, and, again, we saw that in sandy where systems from outside the area were those funded with the dollars, building those capabilities but shared governor to governor, state to state in mutual aide. that's why we talk about a national frame work national kparts, national preparedness, not federal, not fema because the grant dollars are building a national system.
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>> and through emac, that's working? you have coordination needed so people feel resources are available when and where they need them? >> again, senator, ability for governors to share resources whether it's national guard, local resources is the foundation of that and where we still work is some states do a better job internally of activating and mobilizing local resources as part of that. others need more work. that's why we look at tieing back grants to that capability of getting capability including the areas, and they recognize that they are a national asset. not just for that community that we're never going to strip away resources from a city or state that needs them, but i've also seen that time and time again some of the fastest most effective responses have come neighbors helping neighbors, governors helping governors making it clear we have to built capability around what governors do best in dealing with disasters. >> all right. i've got one more question and
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then senator has one more, and we'll wrap. can you comment your sense of solvency of the flood insurance program, how we are going right now, how we manage the national flood insurance program and all the other steps you're taking to both mitigate risk hazard mitigation, preparedness all of these steps, where does that put us in terms much creating long term solvency for the flood insurance fund? >> well, the challenge you have is if you have average level of flood events, the flood does fine. the program's fairly well adopted to reoccurring flood risk. what it's not designed to handle well are large flood events, particularly coastal areas, where you deal with such large
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responses like a katrina or a sandy, and there are numerous communities like in my home state of florida, there's significant exposure to tropical systems. the program does not handle that well. if we see a normal level of ravine and localized flooding in events typically experienced outside a coastal storm, the program has done well. it actually is pays back interest in debt but we also want to make sure we look at some of the practices that i think we're finding as we look at what's happened in sandy also concerns me that we are paying a lot of money to run this program. and so i want to start driving down costs like we drive down costs in our other programs not to the expense of the customers we serve or response, but does it make sense to spend this to get this product? are there better ways to do thing to get a better outcome at lower costs? getting into this, this is the third phase of the flood
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insurances. right now, i deal with what happened in sandy and then i got to take the steps of making sure that does not happen again, and then the third step is to go back in and basically fundamentally relook at how we administration the program righting our wrongs direct service policy how we service claim, and go, what are we spending to do that? what makes sense? and how do we ensure that we have a good product that is stable, available and it's written timely, and it's serviced timely pays out what's owed at the least amount of administrative overhead? >> thank you. senator sheen. >> so, based on something you said, i have a couple other questions. one, as you talked to senator hoven about where the risks are and how effective we've been at preparedness across the country, can you map at where those potential high threat areas are? so in new hampshire, for
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example, we can tell you where the hazmat teams are, where areas need more coverage, where the communications are interoperate interoperateable, and we have teams who can address chemical or bilogical threats, so is there a map like that that exists for the entire country? >> we need to get data to do things like that, but we can do some things already. we can take the major fault areas, lay that down, and take the known locations where we have the federal urban rescue teams that you fund as well as teams where states identified with builder grant funds, overlay that, and show what it looks like and so we have been doing that as we look at where threats are we do catastrophic planning. one example is that the cascade
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sub duction zone, that results -- >> where is that? >> british columbia down to northern california. we have to look at a lot of communities in washington state vulnerable to that event and look at where would the resources come from? we do that in the central u.s. so it is not that we don't look at all states, but where are specific hazards we know that are geographic call whether it's storm based or earthquake, vehicle volcano, or tsunami. where are the resources? if you're in the area, you could be in the disaster and not in immediate response capability. where would resources come from? how do you deliver that? we go through the list of what the state and locals have where the gaps are and how to make the gaps up. we work all of this to our ultimate partners in d.o.d. with north com so the local states
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fema, and dod looks at the same resources, but parts is looking at the mutual aid capabilities across the nation, and where it makes sense because what you don't want to do saw happening in irene, we pulled the units to respond to irene, aviation unites in the guard exclusively east of the mississippi. we asked the question what happens if we have another event? >> right. >> now you have to pull resources from the west coast. maybe it makes sense to start distributing some of the resources so we were working back with frank grass, national guard bureau, to do better visibility. where are our capabilities? we know someplaces disaster happens, and others we don't know. terrorist events are not geographic specific. we look at where we have known threats, we plan deliberately for that. we also have the ability to use that if we have an event occur that was not in an area that we planned for or had not been identified. we still have the same tools we've been building as far as
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where resources are and the type of capabilities, and, again, we go through disasters and go what are the consequences? what type of a support are you needing to deal with that? a lot of times we focus less on what caused the event of if you're going to do search and rescue, what are you doing search and rescue against population? you have to treat patients? what kind? how many? if you shelter people, how many? what's the duration? we know that we can then apply resources in that area versus waiting until it happens and then how do we deal with it? we deal with this all over the place, but it's stepping back going collectively as a nation, there's some events so big that if we're not bringing in all of the capabilities as a nation we're going to end up with short falls, and, again, a lot of things happen in katrina, but what i saw in florida was not that the nation lacked the resources to respond. we did not have an effective way of getting resources plugged in.
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>> oh, yeah, clearly. >> you as governors, you got people to send who do we call? so we don't want to have that happen again, and that means you have to take a step back, look, there's disasters bigger than the federal government. they are going to be so big they require that we engage the states and local governments that are not impacted as being part of the response. and that goes back to the grant funding. it's building capacity and capability we have not had before by using tools like the emergency management combat. we have a frame work. i've never known a governor that was not willing to give everything they got include sometimes more than they should send to help another governor out and help the citizens out in a time of need. are we better prepared? yes. do we have a mechanism to administration? yes. do we have work to do? absolutely. we're no longer just sitting there telling you how much money we allocated a year as a measure of preparedness. >> sure. as you point out, the way we're
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most effective is when everybody mobilizes because that provides more coal veervolunteers and resources to the effort. i just want to close with a final issue that you raise. you talked about hearing from states and localities about the threats from -- to the cyber security threat and i wonder if you can talk about what fema is doing with respect to grants to address cyber security threats, what percentage of the funds are awarded for those grants, and do you work with the cyber center at homeland security at the ndk to -- on how grabtnts are distributed or the technology they develop there? explain a little bit how that process works. >> thartsenator, i'd have to go back and ask staff. most of what we see with cyber using our funds are enhancements
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in the fusion centers. i have to go back and ask staff. i know we worked to expand eligibility in what grants can do, but there's in the cyber world, a lot to be determined what's the best practices, what is the it investment and the homeland security grant. i'd have to ask that. in general our role in the grant process is funding states for consequences. in fact, i met with the big city emergency managers weeks ago, and that was the top of their list talking about what do you do in communications? it was ironic. i was there in los angeles, and we went in the fire dispatch and said guys, what happens if communications go out? they said, that's the earthquake plan. we expect communications out in the earthquake. units go out patrol the area. if the com is down, center can't dispatch they get out, patrol, get on radios and go truck to truck and wheel in communications. we get the cyber emergency management, it's less about intrusion, detection, and dealing with that as much as
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what happens if it effects our disrupts critical infrastructure? then you're back to we respond to power outages communication outages, and it's the consequences of that. what cyber does is more unique, is it's more like same thing we faced with illnesses. it's rarely going to be just geographically specific. it may occur in multiple states simultaneously. it may not be available, but it is a reference point for emergency managers to get their head wrapped around it that our primary responsibilities deal with the consequences if the disruptions occur while we work with the hs and others over the threat, the intrusion to detection and part of what we do at fema is make sure we're resill yemt, not vulnerable, and operate in a cyber event, and understand it's degrading communications and other tools we assume are available. what happens if they are not? we do some extreme planning of what if you don't use the
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public's network to communicate? how do we communicate with 50 states? to we pushed the extreme in the cyber event because we're not going to be dealing with the event itself. we're going to deal with the consequences in trying to maintain response and capabilities to deal with that as other people deal with the actual event itself. >> thank you. thank you. mr. chairman. >> this will conclude the hearing today. thank you administrator for being here and we look forward to continuing to work with you. the hearing record will remain for two weeks from today and senators may submit written questions for the record, and we ask that fema respond in a timely matter. with that, this subcommittee stands in recess.
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thursday, the u.s. senate is set to vote on the nomination of loretta lynch to be the next attorney general. she was nominated to replace eric holder in november. live coverage of the u.s. senate thursday 9:30 a.m. eastern on c-span2. on the next "washington journal" we'll talk to tom cole about his call for a debate and vote on authorization for the military mission against isis in iraq and syria. the chair of the democratic caucus on his party's legislative agenda. washington journal is live each
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morning at 7:00 eastern on c-span. health and human services secretary was on capitol hill thursday to testify before a senate appropriations subcommittee on her dpts's 2016 budget request. you can see it live starting at 10:00 a.m. eastern here on c-span3. >> this sat is the 20 15 white house correspondents association annual dinner. watch live coverage on c-span starting at 6:00 p.m. eastern with the guests arrival along the red kparpt and president obama will address the more than 2600 attendees in the ballroom, and this year's entertainment is sesly strong saturday at 6:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. president obama traveled to the florida everglades wednesday
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to call for action on climate change. the president speaking on earth day delivered his remarks in homestead, florida at the everglades national park. this is 15 minutes. ♪ ♪ >> hello, everybody. please, have a seat. good to be back in florida. so i can't think of a better way to spend earth day than in one of our nation's greatest national treasures, the everglades. [ cheers and applause ] and anybody who comes here to visit, and i advise everybody watching who has not been down here to come on down, you can see what makes this unique land scape so magical. what the poet end ma called the savage splendor of the swamp although i was informed, it's
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not technically a swamp. i want to thank our outstanding secretary of the interior, sally jewel, who is here. [ applause ] her entire team at the interior department and national park service director, johnathan jarvis for helping protect places leek this. [ applause ] the park superintendent pedro ramos does outstanding work. [ applause ] i want to thank congressmen who are here doing outstanding work. [ applause ] as well as deb by. they are all in when it comes to protecting the everglades and we're proud of the good work they are doing. we had the science guy, bill nye here. [ applause ]
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there's bill. now they are all here. we're all here because this 1.5 million acres is unlike any place on earth. it's no wonder that over a million people visited last year alone. tall grass prairies and forrests home to an incredible diversity of wildlife bald eagles, herrings hundreds of plant species from pine trees to wild orchids. you can find alligators and crocodiles in the same habitat. i'm told this is a good thing. [ laughter ] in the words of marge douglas, there's no other everglades in the world. part of the reason we're here is because climate change is
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threatening this treasure and the communities that depend on it, which includes almost all of south florida. if we don't act, there may not be an everglades as we know it. 2014 was the planet's warmest year on record. 14 of the 15 hottest years fell in the first 15 years of this century. yes, this winter was cold in parts of our country including washington. some people in washington used a snowball to illustrate that fact, but around the world, in the aggregate it was the warmest winter recorded. this is not a problem with another generation not anymore. this is a problem now. it has serious implications for the way we live right now.
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stronger storms. deeper droughts. longer wildfire subpoenaeasons. the world's top climate scientists are warning that a change in climate already effects the air that our children are breathing. the surgeon general and i recently met with doctors nurse, and parents who see patients and kids grappling with health impacts. the pentagon says that climate change poses an increasing set of risks to our national security. and here in the everglades, you can see the effect of o changing climate. as sea levels rise salty water from ocean flows inward. this harms fresh water wildlife which endangers the fragile ecosystem. the salt water flows into aqua,
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threatens floridians. south florida, you're getting your drinking water from this area. and it depends on this. in terms of economic impact, this poses risks to florida's $82 billion tourism industry on which so many good jobs and livelihoods depend. so climate change can no longer be denied. it can't be edited out. can't be omitted from the conversation. and action can no longer be delayed. that's why i've committed the united states to lead the world in combatting this threat. [ applause ] the steps we've taken have made
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a difference, useing more clean energy than ever before number one in wind power and jen rated 20 times more electricity from sunlight than we did in all of 2008, 20 times. we've committed to doubling the pace at which we cut carbon pollution. china, in part of because of our actions, committed for the first time to limit their emissions. this means that there's new hope that this year the world will finally reach an agreement to prevent the worst impacts of climate change before it's too late. we're wasting less energy with more fuel efficient cars that save people money at the pump and more energy efficient buildings that save us money on our electricity bills so more clean energy improved energy efficiency, and these steps help us avoid some of the worst effects of climate change down the road. but we also have to prepare for the effects of climate change
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that were already too late to avoid. we hit the breaks on a car, but the car's not going to come to a complete halt right away. so some of the changes are already happening and even if we take the right steps we're going to have to make some adaptations. that's why we've been working with cities and states to build more resilient struck and restore national defenses like wetlands. today, i want to announce new actions to protect our national parks and public lands and communities that rely on them. first we're releasing a report showing that every dollar in invested in the national park service generates $10 for the economy. that's a good investment. now, i don't run a private equity fund but if you invest a dollar, get $10 back, that's a good investment. in 2014, almost 300 million visitors to our national parks
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spent almost $16 billion and supported 277,000 jobs. so protecting our parks is a smart thing to do for our economy. that's why i've set aside more public lands and waters than any administration in history. [ applause ] here in the everglades, we have invested $2.2 billion in restorations with the support of outstanding members of congress, proposed another $240 million this year, and we want to restore the natural water flow of the everglades which we know is one of the best defenses against climate change and rising sea levels. i'm calling on congress -- [ applause ] i'm calling on congress to fully fund the land and water conservation fund which supports this work across the country. [ cheers and applause ]
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i'm also announcing 25 million dollars in public and private money for restoration projects at our national parks and as part of the broader effort that we launched to encourage every american to find your park. chances are there's one closer than you think. just last weekend michelle and i took the girls for a hike in a national park 20 minutes outside washington, d.c. as we were walking a trail along the everglades, we saw a group of school kids who couldn't have been more excited about mostly seeing the gators not seeing me -- [ laughter ] but also learning about the science of the planet that they live on. and i want every child to have that opportunity, so starting this fall we'll give every fourth grader in america an every kid in a park pass. that's a pass good for free admission to all public lands
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for you your families, for an entire year. [ applause ] because no matter who you are, no matter where you live. our parks, our monuments, our lands, our waters, these places are your birthright as americans. today, i'm designating america's newest historical national landmark, the dugouglas house in miami so that future jen dagss will know how this amazing woman helped conserve the everglades for all of us. [ applause ] captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2008 captioning performed by vitac
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