A group of elected leaders gathered to hear what people in Southwest Florida had to say about the federal response to Hurricane Ian.
The Congressional Oversight Committee Hearing took place on Thursday. Congressman Byron Donalds hosted the meeting.
Members of Congress listened to testimonies from federal response agencies like FEMA, detailing their response to Hurricane Ian. The objective was to make it better the next time around.
“Where is the housing mission? With respect to FEMA, we’re now in August. The housing mission in your words is about to be finished, but the storm was 10 months ago, sir,” Donalds said.
Some of the questions asked included, Why did it take so long to get trailers for people in need? Why did it take so long to change the flood zone regulations?
“The regulatory requirements that we have now, I think, are effective to keep people safe,” the FEMA representative said.
Donalds said, “How are they more safe living in their house that is damaged by the storm, while FEMA is going through a process to establish whether a travel trailer can sit in their driveway, on Fort Myers Beach?”
Donalds told WINK News he didn’t get all the answers he wanted. But the congressman has faith they can work together, and if there needs to be a new FEMA, he’ll work to design a new FEMA.