FEMA won’t run out of money in the disaster relief fund

Wildfires in the west, tropical storms coming in from the east and other natural disasters are eating through FEMA's disaster relief fund. Some are worried the money will run out by tomorrow (Friday).

FEMA's former director, Michael Brown, said take a deep breath, Congress will appropriate money for the treasury to borrow.

"Every disaster begins and ends at the local level. And to the extent we become more dependent on the federal government, the weaker the state and local governments become," said Brown.

Brown, said they have plenty of operational money and will never run out of it. The disaster relief fund has anywhere between five to 10-billion-dollars in it. Congress appropriates money for the treasury to borrow, which "refills" the disaster relief fund following a natural disaster. Most people don’t realize that money has to be paid back.

Brown said the federal government is borrowing so much money, that at some point in time they might not be able to help state and local governments, as much as they have in the past.

"People believe that when the floods hit, when Harvey just sat there and just dumped and inordinate amount of rain, people thought that's the worst part. And, I've always believed that's not the worst part. The worst part is the recovery because that's when people start to get frustrated," Brown said.

Brown concludes FEMA is not going to step in to pay for everything and make you whole. The disaster relief fund is meant as a stop gap measure to help you get through the recovery.

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