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Spotlight: EDA Investments Advance Economic Recovery in American Communities Impacted by Natural Disasters

EDA has a long history of supporting locally-led disaster recovery and resiliency efforts.

On behalf of the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA leads the Economic Recovery Support Function (PDF) under the Federal Government’s National Disaster Recovery Framework. In this role, EDA facilitates the effective delivery of federal economic development assistance to support long-term economic recovery planning and project implementation in communities across the nation.

EDA is uniquely positioned to coordinate regional disaster recovery efforts in partnership with its extensive network of Economic Development Districts, University Centers, and other state and local partners in disaster-impacted areas.

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Flooding after hurricane in North Carolina

On February 9, 2018, President Trump signed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (PL 115-123) into law allowing Congress to appropriate $600 million to EDA to assist communities impacted by natural disasters.

Of the $600 million, EDA made $587 million in supplemental appropriations available for grants to assist communities experiencing economic distress or harm resulting from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, wildfires and other calendar year 2017 natural disasters under the Stafford Act.

As of the end of Fiscal Year 2020, EDA has obligated the majority of funding to the communities most impacted by the aforementioned 2017 disasters.

In June 2019, Congress passed the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act, 2019 providing EDA with $600 million in additional Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) Program funds to aid communities with flood mitigation, disaster relief, long-term recovery, and restoration of infrastructure in areas impacted by Hurricanes Florence, Michael, Lane, and of wildfires, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and other natural disasters occurring in calendar year 2018, and tornadoes and floods that occurred in calendar year 2019.

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California wildfires

EDA continues to work diligently to disburse these funds into the hands of impacted communities to help them recover and strengthen their economic resiliency.

EDA investments in disaster recovery and resiliency planning, infrastructure, disaster recovery coordinators, and technical assistance are all critical to advancing locally-driven economic development strategies designed to accelerate economic recovery.

For more on EDA’s disaster recovery and resiliency role, please visit our EDA and Disaster Recovery web page.

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