The agency usually grants individuals and businesses aid only if more than 100 homes or buildings were destroyed in an event. While the storm left more than 500,000 customers without power for days, most people suffered minimal property damage.
Rahall and others have argued there were other factors that should have come into play in the post-derecho decision.
"The storm's unforecasted and unforgiving winds left homes and businesses damaged and without power for weeks," Rahall said.
"Families saw food and medications spoil, businesses were forced to close, and breadwinners lost pay," he said. "But because these losses did not neatly fit into the scenarios envisioned by the Stafford Act, FEMA's response to West Virginia's request for disaster assistance was needlessly delayed and narrowed in scope."
Rahall's amendment requires the agency to re-evaluate its aid criteria over the next year. It encourages greater flexibility and more objective criteria to assess disaster assistance requests, including losses that result from extended power outages.
The amended bill passed the House by a voice vote Wednesday. It now moves to the U.S. Senate for further consideration.
Contact writer Jared Hunt at jared.h...@dailymail.com or 304-348-5148.