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A bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce


Economic Recovery after Disasters

Helping Communities Affected by Disaster

One of EDAs key roles following a major disaster is to help facilitate and coordinate economic recovery with communities impacted by natural disasters. When Hurricane Sandy hit the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern states in November, EDA joined with several other federal agencies to deploy staff to help hard-hit communities throughout the region. EDA team members have been working with officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Small Business Administration (SBA), U.S. Department of Agriculture, economic development partners, and the affected communities to identify long-term strategies that will help the communities restore their local economies, expedite recovery, and minimize economic losses.

This response by EDA and other federal agencies marked the first time that the National Disaster Recovery Framework (NDRF) was implemented for a disaster of Sandys significance since it was unveiled by the Obama administration in September 2011. The NDRF is a multiagency effort designed to better coordinate federal response to work more efficiently and effectively with states and communities impacted by major disasters. It seeks to achieve this by establishing structures, defining leadership roles and responsibilities, and guiding coordination and recovery planning at all levels of government.

EDA has also continued to work with communities throughout the Midwest that have been affected by the worst drought the United States has experienced in many years. In October and November, the U.S. Department of Agriculture partnered with the Department of Commerce, SBA, and FEMA to conduct a series of four regional workshops that outlined resources that are available to assist drought-stricken communities with their recovery efforts. EDA was a partner on the these important workshops, which were held in Omaha, Nebraska; Pueblo, Colorado; Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and Archbold, Ohio.

The workshops provided state and local officials with information about how they can use existing programs to speed recovery efforts and develop long-term strategies for rebuilding their economies. These include such things as help with building economic recovery planning capacity, connecting with alternative sources of capital access for small-business recovery, and retaining highly skilled workers in affected regions.