‘Disasters’ strain FEMA’s resources –

The federal government is turning hundreds of relatively low-cost storms into federal disasters — draining billions of dollars in scarce FEMA aid and tying up millions more for years. Those factors have helped to deplete the federal disaster-relief fund six times since 2003, stopping thousands of reconstruction projects for months until Congress allocated more money. In addition, former FEMA leaders and government reports say, the soaring number of declared disasters has diverted FEMA from preparing for a Katrina-like catastrophe and has made states overly reliant on the federal government.