Studying the aftermath of 2005's megastorms
On a related note, the Government Accountability Office issued a review on Aug. 31 of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's implementation of alternative housing pilot programs in the parts of Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas slammed hardest by hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and/or Wilma in 2005. The report concludes:
• "Allowing applicants more time could increase the quantity and quality of [grant] proposals. Perceiving some urgency to quickly implement the program, FEMA gave applicants 35 days to prepare and submit their applications for AHPP grants, even though the program was new and intended to elicit innovation."
• "Establishing minimum and/or maximum grant award amounts could help ensure comparability among proposals and ultimately lead to funding a greater number of innovative proposals."
• "Determining the relative weight of each rating criterion, and explicitly stating these weights in program guidance, would also help promote comparability among proposals. ... FEMA's failure to do so, according to the DHS inspector general, created the possibility that panel members' reviews of grant applications could have been unbalanced." For the full report, see www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-07-1143R.