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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Severe Thunderstorms and Tornadoes in the United States

Severe Thunderstorms and Tornadoes in the United States

Date: February 2, 2010
Creator: Folger, Peter
Description: This report discusses the natural basis of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes and the risk associated with them. The report also examines several options Congress could consider to potentially reduce the costs these destructive natural events.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response: The SAFER Grant Program

Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response: The SAFER Grant Program

Date: April 30, 2010
Creator: Kruger, Lennard G.
Description: This report discusses Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Act, which was enacted by the 108th Congress as Section 1057 of the FY2004 National Defense Authorization Act (P.L. 108-136). It includes background of the SAFER Act, appropriations from FY2010-FY2011, reauthorization of the program in the House and Senate, and information about program implementation.
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The Americans with Disabilities Act and Emergency Preparedness and Response

The Americans with Disabilities Act and Emergency Preparedness and Response

Date: June 30, 2010
Creator: Jones, Nancy Lee
Description: This report discusses the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which provides broad nondiscrimination protection for individuals with disabilities in employment, public services, and public accommodations and services operated by private entities. Although the ADA does not include provisions specifically discussing its application to disasters, its nondiscrimination provisions are applicable to emergency preparedness and responses to disasters.
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Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response: The SAFER Grant Program

Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response: The SAFER Grant Program

Date: July 4, 2010
Creator: Kruger, Lennard G.
Description: This report discusses Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Act, which was enacted by the 108th Congress as Section 1057 of the FY2004 National Defense Authorization Act (P.L. 108-136). It includes background of the SAFER Act, appropriations from FY2010-FY2011, reauthorization of the program in the House and Senate, and information about program implementation.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA)

Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA)

Date: July 6, 2010
Creator: Whittaker, Julie M. & Shelton, Alison M.
Description: Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) benefits are available only to those individuals who have become unemployed as a direct result of a declared major disaster. First created in 1970 through P.L. 91-606, DUA benefits are authorized by the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Relief Act (the Stafford Act), which authorizes the President to issue a major disaster declaration after state and local government resources have been overwhelmed by a natural catastrophe or, "regardless of cause, any fire, flood, or explosion in any part of the United States." This report contains information on how to ascertain if an individual is eligible for DUA benefits.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Community Development Block Grant Funds in Disaster Relief and Recovery

Community Development Block Grant Funds in Disaster Relief and Recovery

Date: July 12, 2010
Creator: Boyd, Eugene
Description: This report discusses how Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) programs are funded by Congress and what they have been used for in recent years: recovery efforts following terrorist attacks, riots, and natural disasters. The 111th Congress is considering $100 million in CDBG funds to help states and communities undertake disaster recovery activities in presidentially declared disaster areas affected by severe storms and flooding during the period from March 2010 through May 2010. The act limited distribution of these funds to states where the entire state was declared a disaster area (Rhode Island) and to states where at least 20 counties within the state were declared disaster areas (Tennessee, Kentucky, and Nebraska).
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Assistance to Firefighters Program: Distribution of Fire Grant Funding

Assistance to Firefighters Program: Distribution of Fire Grant Funding

Date: July 13, 2010
Creator: Kruger, Lennard G.
Description: This report discusses the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program, also known as fire grants of the FIRE Act grant program, which was established by Title XVII of the FY2001 National Defense Authorization Act. The program provides federal grants directly to local fire departments and unaffiliated Emergency Medical Services (EMS) organizations to help address a variety of equipment, training, and other firefighter-related and EMS needs. This report also discusses the possible reauthorization of AFG and the related Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Firefighters (SAFER) program. Current debates on the issue revolve around a competition for funding between career/urban/suburban departments and volunteer/rural departments. Complicating the issue is the recent economic downturn, which has left many local communities increasingly hard pressed to allocate funding for their local fire departments.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Tax Issues and the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill: Legal Analysis of Payments and Tax Relief Policy Options

Tax Issues and the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill: Legal Analysis of Payments and Tax Relief Policy Options

Date: July 15, 2010
Creator: Sherlock, Molly F.; Lunder, Erika K.; Liu, Edward C. & Klein, Heather S.
Description: This report provides analysis of various policy options for providing tax relief to oil spill victims, highlighting the circumstantial differences between previous natural disasters and the current oil spill. The report concludes with a brief summary of current legislative efforts.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Potential Stafford Act Declarations for the Gulf Coast Oil Spill: Issues for Congress

Potential Stafford Act Declarations for the Gulf Coast Oil Spill: Issues for Congress

Date: July 23, 2010
Creator: McCarthy, Francis X.
Description: This report discusses the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, which authorizes the President to issue "major disaster" or "emergency" declarations before or after catastrophes occur. Emergency declarations trigger aid that protects property, public health, and safety and lessens or averts the threat of an incident becoming a catastrophic event. A major disaster declaration, issued after a catastrophe occurs, constitutes broader authority for federal agencies to provide supplemental assistance to help state and local governments, families and individuals, and certain nonprofit organizations recover from the incident.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Public Safety Communications and Spectrum Resources: Policy Issues for Congress

Public Safety Communications and Spectrum Resources: Policy Issues for Congress

Date: July 23, 2010
Creator: Moore, Linda K.
Description: This report discusses possible actions for improving emergency communications. Congress has before it an opportunity to bring public safety communications into the 21st century by assuring that a nationwide, interoperable communications network is put in place. The tools at its disposal include homeland security policy, spectrum policy, funding programs, and leadership.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department