TRENTON, N.J. -- In the weeks after a large-scale disaster or catastrophic event, a range of work begins to help impacted communities focus not only on a path out of destruction but on enhancing their resilience to future hazards.
The Federal Disaster Recovery Coordinator (FDRC) plays a significant role in that strategy, primarily serving to focus federal resources on the most pertinent recovery needs. Peter Martinasco was named to the role of FDRC in New Jersey for Superstorm Sandy recovery.
The FDRC is activated under the National Disaster Recovery Framework, which provides a structure for seamless coordination between federal, state, tribal and local governments, the private sector, and voluntary, faith-based and community organizations.
“The Federal Disaster Recovery Coordinators do long-term planning with municipalities that have been devastated,” said Bill Vogel, FEMA’s Deputy Federal Coordinating Officer for Sandy recovery in New Jersey. “These communities need help determining what their priorities are and how they want to look after they recover.”
In major disasters or catastrophic events the FDRC is empowered to recommend activation of six key areas of assistance, or Recovery Support Functions. The RSFs are led by designated federal coordinating agencies: Housing (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development); Infrastructure Systems (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers); Economic (U.S. Department of Commerce); Health and Social Services (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services); Natural and Cultural Resources (U.S. Department of Interior); and Community Planning and Capacity Building (FEMA).
Working in partnership with a State Disaster Recovery Coordinator and a Hazard Mitigation Adviser, the FDRC oversees an assessment of impacted communities and a recovery support strategy. That strategy helps ease access to federal funding, decrease gaps in assistance, and establish recovery goals in terms of outcomes, milestones and budget.
For communities that seek assistance, the FDRC also provides a team of recovery specialists with a broad array of skills. Among them: civil engineering, architecture, land-use planning, economic development, environmental science and disabilities integration.
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.