Wednesday, January 3, 2018 - 10:45

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) supported 59 major disaster declarations and 16 emergency declarations in 2017, a year during which unprecedented disasters affected more than 25 million Americans, almost eight percent of the U.S. population.

In its year-end review, FEMA notes it was a record busy year for FEMA employees and for state and local emergency responders across the country, as well for the federal flood insurance program, which FEMA manages. Thousands of emergency workers remain engaged in recovery efforts including in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

It was a year when the federal government authorized more than $7 billion in disaster funds.

The 2017 hurricane season produced 17 named storms, 10 of which became hurricanes (six of them major hurricanes) — including Harvey and Irma, the first two major hurricanes to hit the continental U.S. in 12 years.

In response to the hurricanes, 48 states and the District of Columbia assisted with response and recovery operations in Texas, Florida and the U.S. territories in the Caribbean, through emergency management assistance compacts, according to FEMA.

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