Restore census $ for disaster planning

In an Op-Ed today, Andrew Reamer of the Brookings Institution calls for the Senate Appropriations Committee to restore $58 million cut from the Census Bureau budget by the House of Representatives.

On June 16, the Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) issued the Nationwide Plan Review (pdf, 3.8MB, 174p.), a comprehensive national assessment of state and urban emergency plans. Reamer notes the report's finding of "inadequate planning for special needs populations" and its recommendation that the federal government help states and localities incorporate "disability-related demographic analysis into emergency planning." And what federal agency can provide this kind of population data? The Census Bureau. Which just had its budget cut.

Also, in the aftermath of Katrina, budget cuts can threaten the accuracy of data. Reamer writes:
Disaster recovery requires knowing where people fled to. If fully funded, the new American Community Survey will generate detailed annual data on place-to-place migration, allowing recovery authorities to determine the number, characteristics, and location of displaced persons.


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