Hurricanes and the Role of the Federal Government Public Deposited

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  • The federal and state governments have many different roles to play in addressing the regional impacts of hurricanes. Ranging from hurricane prediction and preparedness to damage assessment and economic recovery, the role of the federal government is one of ensuring human safety and providing for the protection of private property. Many state and federal agencies in the United States have a role to play in providing these services. For the fishing industry, the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Commerce at the federal level provide services and resources to fund various prediction, preparedness, damage assessment and recovery services. While the Department of Agriculture provides these services for agriculture, forestry, and aquaculture, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) within the Department of Commerce is primarily responsible for marine fisheries. As NMFS has refocused its role over the last two decades to concentrate on fish stock assessment based conservation and regulation of fisheries, marketing and fishery dependent infrastructure assessment have fallen by the wayside. The value of these services has become more apparent with the increased ferocity of the recent hurricanes and the expected increase in hurricane activity over, at least, the next season. NMFS has worked cooperatively with state governments in the Gulf of Mexico region decimated by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita to develop a damage assessment template for use in determining regional impacts of hurricanes and in developing a quick assessment technique for future hurricanes in the region. This template was used to develop estimates for Congress to allocate economic recovery funds to the three hardest hit states during the last hurricane season. These estimates and the underlying methodology that generated them are provided in this presentation. More importantly, the process for state-federal cooperation that led to the generation of these timely results is explored.
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  • Ward, John. 2006. Hurricanes and the Role of the Federal Government. In: Proceedings of the Thirteenth Biennial Conference of the International Institute of Fisheries Economics & Trade, July 11-14, 2006, Portsmouth, UK: Rebuilding Fisheries in an Uncertain Environment. Compiled by Ann L. Shriver. International Institute of Fisheries Economics & Trade, Corvallis, Oregon, USA, 2006. CD ROM. ISBN 0-9763432-3-1
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