An expert in natural disaster planning explains why the shutdown will affect workers long after federal employees return to work – Alternet.org
On Dec. 26, however, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which contracts private contractors for a large share of their work, ordered its contractors to cease working on several projects. Even for programs with funding, progress is made difficult by a shortage of several thousand staff members.
When President Trump signaled to the Senate that he would not sign into law the appropriations bills that had passed the House, leading to the shutdown, funding with bipartisan support for disaster recovery died too. This impedes disaster relief efforts in the states that experienced disaster in the past two years. Among others, it leaves victims of the forest fires in California and victims of Hurricane Florence in the Carolinas waiting for crucial help needed to recover.
The shutdown also weakens the government’s ability to foresee, prevent and respond to upcoming natural disasters. For example, hurricane modelers with NOAA, the agency chiefly responsible for storm forecasts, are furloughed.