Spotlight: Restoring Communities That Face Disaster: EDA Leadership, Tools and Resources
Members of FEMA's Urban Search and Rescue Nebraska Task Force One (NE TF1) perform one of many water rescues in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the people and families so deeply impacted by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
EDA Regional Offices that serve the impacted areas are working closely with Economic Development Districts (EDDs), federal, state and local officials and other partners to accelerate economic recovery from the disaster.
At EDA, we have a long history of successfully supporting disaster recovery and resiliency efforts. Our role is to help facilitate the timely and effective delivery of federal economic development assistance to support long-term community economic recovery planning and project implementation, redevelopment and resiliency.
EDA is positioned to coordinate regional disaster recovery efforts in partnership with its extensive network of Economic Development Districts (EDDs), University Centers, institutions of higher education and other partners in impacted areas.
EDA spearheads these efforts as the lead Federal agency of the Economic Recovery Support Function (ERSF) under the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) National Disaster Recovery Framework (NDRF).
FEMA established the NDRF to facilitate coordinated interagency capacities across all disaster-related mission areas: prevention, protection, mitigation, response, and recovery.
The NDRF consists of six Recovery Support Functions (RSF) to facilitate interagency and intergovernmental “problem solving, improve access to resources, and foster coordination among State and Federal agencies, nongovernmental partners and stakeholders.”
Each RSF is led by a Coordinating Agency, with direct assistance from primary and support agencies to execute the RSF mission. The 6 RSFs include:
- Community Planning and Capacity Building (PDF)
- Economic (PDF)
- Health and Social Services (PDF)
- Housing (PDF)
- Infrastructure Systems (PDF)
- Natural and Cultural Resources (PDF)
As the coordinating agency for the Economic RSF, EDA is responsible for coordinating a diverse group of partner agencies supporting economic recovery in disaster-impacted communities.
This coordinated effort facilitates information sharing across agencies, local entities, and impacted communities, providing a clearer and more comprehensive picture of economic recovery issues.
ERSF interagency coordination also makes it easier for communities and businesses to access federal resources such as grants, loans, training and more to support disaster recovery efforts.
Information about types of disaster recovery assistance across the Federal Government is available at USA.gov, including:
- How to Apply for Disaster Assistance
- Help Survivors of a Natural Disaster
- How to Replace Lost or Destroyed Vital Documents
- Health and Safety
- Travel and Transportation
- Citizenship and Immigration
- Money and Taxes
EDA Disaster Recovery Tools and Resources
The economic recovery process can be exceptionally challenging. EDA offers the following resources that may be useful for disaster recovery managers:
Revolving Loan Funds
The EDA Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) Program provides regions with a flexible and continuing source of capital for their businesses to help them rebuild and contribute to long-term economic stability and growth. EDA makes grants to eligible entities (referred to as RLF Recipients) to operate their lending program by offering loans with flexible repayment terms, primarily to small businesses in distressed communities that are unable to obtain traditional bank financing. Currently, approximately $2 million in RLF funds are available for lending in the areas directly impacted by Hurricane Harvey and approximately $2 million in RLF funds are available for lending in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Florida, which were directly impacted by Hurricane Irma.
Disaster Recovery Tools
EDA has also partnered with the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) to produce a suite of economic recovery informational tools that can help communities build back in a stronger and more resilient way after a disaster. These tools include:
- Leadership in Times of Crisis toolkit for resources and information, as well as links to recovery information.
- A webinar recording on prioritizing economic recovery after a major disaster features efforts after the Joplin tornado and Jefferson Parish’s recovery from Katrina.
- A webinar recording on securing capital for recovery and redevelopment is available for listening on RestoreYourEconomy.org.
- A webinar recording on building organizational capacity in rural areas features economic recovery efforts in communities impacted by Hurricane Katrina, the BP oil spill, and an EF-3 tornado.
For more on EDA’s role in disaster recovery – including disaster recovery reports, industry-specific considerations, and more tools and resources, please visit our Disaster Recovery webpage.