Originally posted by normbenign
I was 11 while riding out Carol and Edna summer of 1954, both made landfall as cat 3 storms. FEMA did not exist, and New England regrouped and rebuilt just fine.
By 1954 there was the Small Business Administration, the Federal Disaster Relief Act of 1950, the Farmers Home Administration, the Federal Crop Insurance Corp., and other agencies. All provided federal relief funds after Carol and Edna.
FEMA was created in the late 70s and essentially put all the various agencies under one roof.
It should be noted that there is a lot more construction along coastlines than there was 60 years ago. Yes, people really shouldn't be building private residences right on the beach, and if they do they should be fully insured; but much of the development is necessary for industry and commerce.
EDIT: your characterization that New England recovered "just fine" is open to debate. Helping a region recover faster using federal resources just makes good sense from the perspective of keeping the local and national economies going and restoring the tax base.