FEMA disaster fund projected to go broke this summer

By Thomas Frank | 03/13/2024 06:47 AM EDT

The Federal Emergency Management Agency dealt with a similar situation last year, which led to a slowdown in rebuilding projects.

A boat sits amid hurricane debris in Mexico Beach, Florida.

A boat sits amid debris in Mexico Beach, Florida, after Hurricane Michael swept through the region in October 2018. Gerald Herbert/AP

A government auditor warned lawmakers Tuesday that the federal government likely will run out of money to cover disasters at the peak of hurricane season this year — imperiling its ability to pay for emergency shelters, home repairs and long-term rebuilding.

The warning at a congressional hearing came the day after President Joe Biden proposed a moderate increase in disaster spending next year. Even if the request is approved, however, it likely will be too little too late to prevent the disaster fund from going insolvent.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, which runs the disaster fund, faced an identical situation last summer and had to restrict spending for five weeks, and halt funding for 2,400 rebuilding projects.


“They’re in the same position as they were before,” Chris Currie, the Government Accountability Office’s director of homeland security and justice, told a House Transportation and Infrastructure subcommittee.