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EDA Supporting Economic Recovery Following Hurricane Ida

EDA's Impact: Total Manufacturing Investments for Fiscal Year 18 to Fiscal Year 2021 - $932.8, 713 projects

The State of Louisiana has suffered from 10 federally-declared disasters since 2019, including most recently, Hurricane Ida. Photo Courtesy: Louisiana National Guard.

The Economic Development Administration has been called in to help in the recovery from Hurricane Ida in Louisiana. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) asked EDA to join an Interagency Recovery Coordination group (IRC) to assist following the natural disaster.

EDA has a long history in supporting natural disaster recovery. It serves as the Coordinating Agency for FEMA’s Economic Recovery Support Function (ERSF) (PDF). This interagency group allows multiple federal agencies to come together to coordinate and support the impacted communities through long-term economic recovery training, grants, loans, and other forms of assistance.

EDA is able to be a strong support in disaster recovery through partnerships with its Economic Development Districts (EDDs), University Centers, and other stakeholders in the impacted areas.

Just this past spring, EDA completed a mission assignment with FEMA to help with recovery from Hurricanes Laura and Delta, which were exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The State of Louisiana in particular has suffered substantially in recent years with 10 federally declared natural disasters since 2019.

“We worked to identify the most significant recovery needs facing the affected communities in southwest Louisiana, and then identified federal resources to address those needs,” EDA Economic Development Integrator Apu Naik said.

Naik expects to do the same for the communities impacted by Hurricane Ida, which made landfall on August 29, 2021. Naik says the team will work with stakeholders to determine the action that will be most beneficial to the impacted community.

“During the last hurricane season, we were able to deliver a statewide Federal Interagency Resource Exchange (FIRE) event based on what the affected communities told us were their most critical needs towards recovery, and then also deliver a more focused Regional Economic Development Summit (REDS) to the most affected community, Imperial Calcasieu Parish,” Naik said. “In both cases, as well as in this current recovery effort, we cater the economic recovery efforts to what the affected communities tell us they need the most.”

Typically, a disaster recovery assignment happens on-site, but due to COVID, the deployment for Hurricanes Delta and Laura was virtual. The assignment for Hurricane Ida will also be virtual, with some travel to the affected areas.

For more information on how EDA assists in disaster recovery, go to https://eda.gov/disaster-recovery.

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