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 Decade: 2000-2009
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Side-by-Side Comparison of Flood Insurance Reform Legislation in the 110th Congress
This report provides background information regarding the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), and discusses the key points for flood insurance reform and the changes that should be made in the broader context of program re-authorization. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96803/
Earthquakes: Risk, Monitoring, Notification, and Research
This report describes estimates of earthquake hazards and risk in the United States; the current federal programs that support earthquake monitoring and that provide notification after a seismic event; and the programs that support mitigation and research aimed at reducing U.S. vulnerability to earthquakes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96763/
Flood Risk Management and Levees: A Federal Primer
This report provides a primer on responsibilities for flood management, describes the role of federal agencies, and discusses flood issues before the 110th Congress. The report also discusses the legislative response to Hurricane Katrina. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94013/
Commercial Fishery Disaster Assistance
This report discusses disaster relief for commercial fishery, which be provided by the federal government to assist the fishing industry when it is affected by a commercial fishery failure. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94118/
FEMA Disaster Housing and Hurricane Katrina: Overview, Analysis, and Congressional Issues
This report discusses the issues with the housing policies of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), particularly as they relate to the Post-Katrina Act of 2006 (P.L. 109-295) and the Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Plan (P.L. 93-288). It includes an overview of the Stafford Act sections 403 and 408 as well as a breakdown of issues for Congress and possible Congressional approaches to address the policies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94108/
The Public Health and Medical Response to Disasters: Federal Authority and Funding
This report examines (1) the authorities and coordinating mechanisms of the President and the Secretary of HHS in providing routine assistance, and assistance pursuant to emergency or major disaster declarations and/or public health emergency determinations; (2) mechanisms to assure a coordinated federal response to public health and medical emergencies, and overlaps or gaps in agency responsibilities; and (3) existing mechanisms, potential gaps, and proposals for financing the costs of a response to public health and medical emergencies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94068/
Earthquakes: Risk, Monitoring, Notification, and Research
This report describes estimates of earthquake hazards and risk in the United States, the current federal programs that support earthquake monitoring and that provide notification after a seismic event, and the programs that support mitigation and research aimed at reducing U.S. vulnerability to earthquakes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94095/
Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Legislation for Disaster Assistance: Summary Data
This report provides summary information on emergency supplemental appropriations enacted after major disasters since 1989. The report discusses the most recent and costly disasters occurred in the summer of 2005 when Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma made landfall in Gulf Coast states. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94020/
United States Fire Administration: An Overview
The report discusses the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), which is an entity within the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94169/
Side-by-Side Comparison of Flood Insurance Reform Legislation in the 110th Congress
This report discusses the key policy objectives of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) that were threefold: (1) reduce the nation's flood risk through floodplain management; (2) improve flood hazard data and risk assessment by mapping the nation's floodplains; and (3) make affordable flood insurance widely available in communities that adopt and enforce measures to make future construction safer from flooding. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94135/
Army Corps of Engineers Water Resources Projects: Authorization and Appropriations
This report explains how the congressional authorization and appropriations process overlays the Corps' project development process. Special attention is given to initiating a water resources study, the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) process, civil works appropriations, and emergency response activities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93975/
The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and All-Hazard Warnings
This report gives an overview of issues and legislation relating to the Emergency Alert System (EAS). It includes a discussion of the EAS administration, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather radios, all-hazard warning technology, proposals and programs, the executive order regarding the public alert and warning system and legislation from the 109th and 110th Congresses. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93989/
The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA): A Summary
This report summarizes the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to- Know Act (EPCRA) and the major regulatory programs that mandate reporting by industrial facilities of releases of hazardous chemicals to the environment, as well as local planning to respond in the event of significant, accidental releases. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93996/
Federal Disaster Recovery Programs: Brief Summaries
This report summarizes principal federal disaster assistance programs for possible use by Members of Congress and their staff in helping address the needs of constituents. A number of federal agencies provide assistance to individual victims; state, territorial, and local governments; and non-governmental entities, following a disaster. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87261/
Wildfire Fuels and Fuel Reduction
This report examines wildfire biomass fuels. It begins with a discussion of fuel characteristics and their relation to wildfire intensity and spread. This is followed with a description of actions proposed to reduce biomass fuel levels, their effectiveness for protecting property and resources from wildfires, and their impacts on other resource values. It concludes with an examination of the federal authorities for fuel reduction activities on federal and non-federal lands, together with data on the funding provided under each of these authorities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87146/
Federal Tort Claims Act
The Federal Tort Claims Act is the statute by which the United States authorizes tort suits to be brought against itself. With exceptions, it makes the United States liable for injuries caused by the negligent or wrongful act or omission of any federal employee acting within the scope of his employment, in accordance with the law of the state where the act or omission occurred. This report discusses, among other things, the application of the Feres doctrine to suits for injuries caused by medical malpractice in the military, the prohibition of suits by victims of atomic testing, Supreme Court cases interpreting the discretionary function exception, the extent to which federal employees may be held liable for torts they commit in the scope of their employment, and the government contractor defense to products liability design defect suits. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29494/
Agricultural Disaster Assistance
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers several permanently authorized programs to help farmers recover financially from a natural disaster, including federal crop insurance, the noninsured assistance program (NAP), and emergency disaster loans. The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (otherwise known as the 2008 farm bill) includes authorization and funding for crop disaster programs, livestock assistance programs, and a tree assistance program. The new programs are designed to address the ad hoc nature of disaster assistance provided to producers during the last two decades. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26312/
The 2009 Influenza Pandemic: An Overview
This report first provides a synopsis of key events, actions taken, and authorities invoked by WHO, the U.S. federal government, and state and local governments. It then discusses the WHO process to determine the phase of a flu pandemic, and selected actions taken by the Departments of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services, and by state and local authorities. Next, it lists congressional hearings held to date, and provides information about appropriations and funding for pandemic flu activities. Finally, it summarizes U.S. government pandemic flu planning documents and lists sources for additional information about the situation as it unfolds. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26151/
The 2009 Influenza Pandemic: Selected Legal Issues
In late April 2009, human cases of infection with a novel influenza A(H1N1) virus, commonly known as "swine flu," were identified. Since then, the virus has become widespread. It is timely to examine the legal issues surrounding this public health threat. This report provides a brief overview of selected legal issues including emergency measures, civil rights, liability issues, and employment issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26152/
The 2009 Influenza Pandemic: U.S. Responses to Global Human Cases
This report discusses the April 2009 outbreak of the influenza strain known as H1N1, or commonly, swine influenza. This report describes the distribution of the virus and the statistics of affected areas, as well as international and U.S. efforts to treat infected persons, respond to outbreaks in various countries (such as Mexico and other Latin American nations), and prepare for a possible influenza pandemic. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26157/
Assistance to Firefighters Program: Distribution of Fire Grant Funding
The Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program, also known as fire grants or the FIRE Act grant program, was established by the FY2001 National Defense Authorization Act. The fire grant program is now in its ninth year. Over $4.8 billion has been appropriated to the fire grant program since FY2001. This report discusses the inception of this program, as well as current supplemental legislation and proposed funding, which is already projected to provoke negative criticism from the fire community for being inadequate. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26215/
United States Fire Administration: An Overview
The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) - which includes the National Fire Academy (NFA) - is currently an entity within the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The objective of the USFA is to significantly reduce the nation's loss of life from fire, while also achieving a reduction in property loss and non-fatal injury due to fire. In the 111th Congress, debate over the USFA budget focuses on whether the USFA is receiving sufficient funding to accomplish its mission, given that appropriations for USFA have consistently been well below the agency's authorized level. An ongoing issue is the viability and status of the USFA and National Fire Academy within the Department of Homeland Security. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26305/
Peacekeeping/Stabilization and Conflict Transitions: Background and Congressional Action on the Civilian Response/Reserve Corps and other Civilian Stabilization and Reconstruction Capabilities
This report provides background information relating to the Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization (S/CRS) in the Office of the Secretary of State. This office was created in mid-2004 as part of the Bush Administration's efforts to develop adequate civilian organizational structures, procedures, and personnel to respond effectively to post-conflict, "stabilization and reconstruction" situations, most especially in Afghanistan and Iran. This report also discusses proposals and tracks related legislative action. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26227/
The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and All-Hazard Warnings
The Emergency Alert System (EAS) is built on a structure conceived in the 1950's when over-the-air broadcasting was the best-available technology for widely disseminating emergency alerts. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), working with the Association of Public Television Stations, is implementing a program that will disseminate national alert messages over digital broadcast airwaves, using satellite and public TV broadcast towers. This program is referred to as the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS). Legislation was passed at the end of the 109th Congress to assure funding to public television stations to install digital equipment to handle national alerts. The 111th Congress may pursue additional oversight to related programs that would continue to improve the nation's capability to provide alerts and information before, during, and after an emergency. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26220/
Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response: The SAFER Grant Program
The Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Act (the "SAFER Act") was enacted by the 108th Congress as part of the FY2004 National Defense Authorization Act. This report describes the SAFER Act in brief and discusses possible budgetary modifications to the SAFER Act that are being considered due to the recent economic downturn. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26234/
The National Response Framework: Overview and Possible Issues for Congress
In response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Congress and the President consolidated numerous federal emergency plans into the National Response Plan (NRP). This report discusses how national response planning documents have evolved over time and describes the authorities that shape the National Response Framework (NRF). Several issue areas that might be examined for potential lawmaking and oversight concerning the NRF are also highlighted. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26295/
Emergency Communications: The Future of 911
Today's 911 system is built on an infrastructure of analog technology that does not support many of the features that most Americans expect are part of an emergency response. Recognizing the importance of providing effective 911 service, Congress has passed three major bills supporting improvements in the handling of 911 emergency calls. This report includes a detailed overview of the 911 system, as well as related legislation and policies currently in consideration by Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26292/
Department of Homeland Security Assistance to States and Localities: A Summary and Issues for the 111th Congress
This report summarizes several emergency management and homeland security programs, and identifies and analyzes potential issues for the 111th Congress. These issues include (1) the purpose and number of assistance programs; (2) the evaluation of the use of grant funding; (3) the determination of eligible grant recipients; (4) the programs' funding amounts; and (5) the programs; funding distribution methodologies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26137/
FY2009 Spring Supplemental Appropriations for Overseas Contingency Operations
This report discusses the White House's request for supplemental appropriations that include funding for defense, foreign affairs, and domestic fire fighting. The report details the different programs and areas that the appropriations would fund, including operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, preparedness and emergency management measures relating to the swine flu outbreak, border security between the United States and Mexico, benchmark assessment in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and other general defense operations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26148/
FY2009 Spring Supplemental Appropriations for Overseas Contingency Operations
This report discusses the White House's request for supplemental appropriations that include funding for defense, foreign affairs, and domestic fire fighting. The report details the different programs and areas that the appropriations would fund, including operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, preparedness and emergency management measures relating to the swine flu outbreak, border security between the United States and Mexico, benchmark assessment in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and other general defense operations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26149/
Disaster Relief Funding and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations
This report describes the various components of the Disaster Relief Fund (DRF) within the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), including (1) what authorities have shaped it over the years; (2) how FEMA determines the amount of the appropriation requested to Congress (pertaining to the DRF); and (3) how emergency supplemental appropriations are requested. In addition to the DRF, information is provided on funds appropriated in supplemental appropriations legislation to agencies other than the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Aspects of debate concerning how disaster relief is budgeted are also highlighted and examined, and alternative budgetary options are summarized. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26190/
National Flood Insurance Program: Background, Challenges, and Financial Status
This report provides an analysis of the NFIP and its financial status, summarizes the major challenges facing the program, including issues affecting its long-term financial solvency, presents some alternative approaches for managing and financing the flood losses and describes pending legislation on this issue. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26167/
Financing Catastrophic Risk: Summary of the Homeowners' Defense Act of 2009 (S. 505 and H.R. 2555)
This report discusses the drastic increase in demand for homeowners' insurance in Atlantic and Gulf Coast states following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. This report also discusses various measures and efforts underway to enhance insurer capacity, pursue alternative forms of risk transfer, and create a national catastrophe financing facility, the last of which is an issue under considerable debate. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26174/
Immigration Policies and Issues on Health-Related Grounds for Exclusion
This report discusses the criteria that foreign nationals must meet before admission to the United States, including the reasons why a foreign national might be denied admission, most particularly on health-related grounds. This report discusses such issues in relation to the recent outbreak of the 2009 H1N1 ("swine flu") virus, and how the outbreak has affected various government agencies, such as the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). This report also discusses efforts to confront and address such issues on a legislative front. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26155/
Emergency Communications: The Future of 911
Today's 911 system is built on an infrastructure of analog technology that does not support many of the features that most Americans expect are part of an emergency response. Efforts to splice newer, digital technologies onto this aging infrastructure have created points of failure where a call can be dropped or misdirected, sometimes with tragic consequences. This report discusses efforts to modernize and update 911 emergency response technology, the funding for such efforts, and related pieces of legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26293/
Project BioShield: Purposes and Authorities
Many potential chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) terrorism agents lack available countermeasures. In 2003, President Bush proposed Project BioShield to address this need. The Project BioShield Act became law in July 2004. This report discusses the three main provisions of Project BioShield, funding for Project BioShield, and additional measures that Congress has considered since Project BioShield's implementation to further encourage CBRN countermeasure development. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26313/
FEMA's Pre-Disaster Mitigation Program: Overview and Issues
Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM), as federal law and a program activity, began in 1997. Congress established a pilot program, which FEMA named "Project Impact," to test the concept of investing prior to disasters to reduce the vulnerability of communities to future disasters. From its beginnings as "Project Impact" to its current state, the PDM program has grown in its level of appropriated resources and the scope of participation nationwide. Along with that growth have come issues for Congressional consideration, including the approach for awarding grant funds, the eligibility of certain applicants, the eligibility of certain projects, the degree of commitment by state and local governments, and related questions. This report discusses PDM, "Project Impact," and related legislative issues that Congress currently faces. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26279/
Federal Evacuation Policy: Issues for Congress
This report discusses federal evacuation policy and analyzes potential lessons learned from the evacuation of individuals from Hurricane Katrina. Several issue areas that might arise concerning potential lawmaking and oversight on evacuation policy are also highlighted. This report will be updated as significant legislative or administrative changes occur. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26287/
Financing Recovery from Large-Scale Natural Disasters
Two important issues before Congress are (1) securing the nation's capacity to prepare for, respond to, and recover/rebuild from natural catastrophe events, and (2) determining whether and how the federal government should intervene in catastrophe insurance markets. This report focuses on this issue at length, taking into consideration the Gulf Coast hurricanes of 2004 and 2005; a sequence of tornadoes, wildfire, earthquakes, Hurricanes Ike and Gustav, and the 2008 Midwestern floods; and the financial market turmoil in 2008. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26288/
Haiti: Post-Hurricane Conditions and Assistance
In August and September 2008, four major storms directly hit or passed close to Haiti, causing widespread devastation. As of early October, 2008, the U.S. government has either provided or pledged just over $30 million in humanitarian assistance to affected Haitian populations in response to the hurricanes in Haiti. Congress provided not less than $100 million for hurricane relief and reconstruction assistance for Haiti and other Caribbean countries in the FY2009 continuing appropriations resolution signed into law September 30, 2008. The Haitian government says it needs $400 million over the next 18 months for hurricane recovery and reconstruction, and that so far the international community has committed $145 million. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10811/
Flood Insurance Requirements for Stafford Act Assistance
The Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (the Stafford Act) imposes flood insurance requirements upon eligibility for disaster assistance in two general cases: (1) if the entity seeking disaster assistance has received disaster assistance in the past, or (2) if the entity seeking disaster assistance is a state or local government or private nonprofit located in a federally designated special flood hazard area (SFHA) as determined under the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968. The requirements imposed by the Stafford Act operate independently of each other, and a potential applicant for disaster assistance may fall into both categories. This report will discuss the specific requirements imposed in each situation after briefly discussing the history of flood insurance and the relevant types of disaster assistance. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10788/
Disaster Tax Relief for the Midwest
The Midwestern Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2008 is intended to assist with the recovery from the severe weather that affected the Midwest during the summer of 2008. The Jobs, Energy, Families, and Disaster Relief Act of 2008 includes some similar provisions, but these are not limited to the Midwest disaster. The disaster relief in the three bills is similar to that provided to assist with the recovery from the 2005 hurricanes and the 2007 Kansas tornadoes. This report broadly discusses the disaster relief provisions in other relevant legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10785/
Public Health and Medical Preparedness and Response: Issues in the 110th Congress
The 2001 terrorist attacks, Hurricane Katrina, and concerns about an influenza ("flu") pandemic have sharpened congressional interest in the nation's systems to track and respond to public health threats. The 109th Congress passed laws that reauthorized public health and medical preparedness and response programs in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and reorganized parts of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), including the establishment of an Office of Health Affairs (OHA). This report discusses key issues in public health and medical preparedness and response, citing additional CRS reports and other resources. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10695/
Public Health and Medical Preparedness and Response: Issues in the 110th Congress
The 2001 terrorist attacks, Hurricane Katrina, and concerns about an influenza ("flu") pandemic have sharpened congressional interest in the nation's systems to track and respond to public health threats. The 109th Congress passed laws that reauthorized public health and medical preparedness and response programs in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and reorganized parts of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), including the establishment of an Office of Health Affairs (OHA). This report discusses key issues in public health and medical preparedness and response, citing additional CRS reports and other resources. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10696/
Avian Flu Pandemic: Potential Impact of Trade Disruptions
Concerns about potential disruptions in U.S. trade flows due to a global health or security crisis are not new. The possibility of an avian flu pandemic with consequences for global trade is a concern that has received attention recently, although some experts believe there is little cause for alarm. This report considers possible trade disruptions, including possible impacts on trade between the United States and countries and regions that have reported avian influenza infections. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10673/
National Flood Insurance Program: Treasury Borrowing in the Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina
In 2008, Hurricanes Ike, Gustav, and Dolly made landfall in the United States, causing widespread flood damage. Exactly three years earlier, claims and expenses related to the massive flooding caused by Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma had financially overwhelmed the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) estimates that the NFIP will need about $3 billion in additional borrowing authority to cover the claims currently outstanding and a yet to be determined amount for the 2008 Hurricanes. Congress is currently working to reform the NFIP while retaining its original intent to keep rates affordable for people to buy the insurance. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10662/
Federal Employees: Human Resources Management Flexibilities in Emergency Situations
Federal executive branch departments and agencies have available to them various human resources management flexibilities which can be utilized in emergency situations, such as those which resulted from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and which could occur during a pandemic influenza outbreak. The Office of Personnel Management has issued guidance on these flexibilities, which supplements the basic policies governing staffing, compensation, leave sharing, and telework in Title 5 of the United States Code. Legislation (S. 1000, H.R. 4106, and proposed amendments to S. 3268) to enhance telework in the federal government is pending in the 110th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10650/
Agricultural Disaster Assistance
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers several permanently authorized programs to help farmers recover financially from a natural disaster, including federal crop insurance, the noninsured assistance program (NAP), and emergency disaster loans. This report outlines the various agricultural disaster assistance appropriations included in the FY2007 Iraq war supplemental appropriations act; the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008; the 2008 farm bill; and the FY2008 Supplemental Appropriations Act. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10575/
United States Fire Administration: An Overview
The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) - which includes the National Fire Academy (NFA) - is currently an entity within the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The objective of the USFA is to significantly reduce the nation's loss of life from fire, while also achieving a reduction in property loss and non-fatal injury due to fire. This report describes and analyzes the Administration's FY2009 budget proposal, as well as related information and legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10549/
United States Fire Administration: An Overview
The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) - which includes the National Fire Academy (NFA) - is currently an entity within the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The objective of the USFA is to significantly reduce the nation's loss of life from fire, while also achieving a reduction in property loss and non-fatal injury due to fire. This report describes and analyzes the Administration's FY2009 budget proposal, as well as related information and legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10547/
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