Galveston Emergency Management Official Discusses Hurricane Sandy Recovery

The hearing before the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure will look at how hurricane recovery could be streamlined under the FEMA Reauthorization Act

That bill recently won House approval. 

Backers say the measure will cut red tape and speed up recovery after natural disasters.

Galveston County Emergency Management Coordinator David Popoff says he hopes to share lessons learned after Hurricane Ike in 2008.  Much like Sandy, Ike tore apart coastal communities. It stranded thousands of residents, and did billions of dollars in damage.

"Obviously, the priority for those folks in the northeast was life safety. We looked at life safety, which lead to instant stabilization. And I think those were the important pieces. As I sat here in Galveston and watched them, it helped me to relieve some of the things we did."

And similar to what happened in the northeast, many Galveston residents expressed frustration when they couldn't get back to their homes right away to check on damage.

"It's a cat-and-mouse game as to when it's safe to come back in. Is public infrastructure still there? Are communications up and running? Is it safe and is it a healthy community?"

Along with Popoff's testimony, the committee will also hear from emergency management officials from Louisiana and Mississippi. 

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