​​In response to FEMA’s Request for Information on how it can best comply with Executive Order 13985, (Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government), NRECA filed comments pointing out that America’s electric cooperatives serve 92% of the nation’s Persistent Poverty Counties. We made several recommendations to FEMA on how it could better serve our underserved communities, including streamlining payment of Public Assistance funds to meritorious applications, paying interest on loans to the extent electric co-ops need to borrow to bridge the gap between the disaster and FEMA payment, direct access to the BRIC program, and complying with the Disaster Recovery Reform Act’s requirement that FEMA, in assessing whether a federal declaration is appropriate, give weight to severe local impact or recent multiple disasters.​