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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
United States Fire Administration: An Overview

United States Fire Administration: An Overview

Date: June 23, 2009
Creator: Kruger, Lennard G.
Description: 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.
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The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and All-Hazard Warnings

The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and All-Hazard Warnings

Date: June 26, 2009
Creator: Moore, Linda K.
Description: 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.
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Agricultural Disaster Assistance

Agricultural Disaster Assistance

Date: June 29, 2009
Creator: Chite, Ralph M. & Shields, Dennis A.
Description: 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.
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Financing Catastrophic Risk: Summary of the Homeowners' Defense Act of 2009 (S. 505 and H.R. 2555)

Financing Catastrophic Risk: Summary of the Homeowners' Defense Act of 2009 (S. 505 and H.R. 2555)

Date: July 1, 2009
Creator: King, Rawle O.
Description: 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.
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Project BioShield: Purposes and Authorities

Project BioShield: Purposes and Authorities

Date: July 6, 2009
Creator: Gottron, Frank
Description: 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.
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FEMA's Pre-Disaster Mitigation Program: Overview and Issues

FEMA's Pre-Disaster Mitigation Program: Overview and Issues

Date: July 10, 2009
Creator: McCarthy, Francis X. & Keegan, Natalie
Description: 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.
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FEMA's Pre-Disaster Mitigation Program: Overview and Issues

FEMA's Pre-Disaster Mitigation Program: Overview and Issues

Date: July 10, 2009
Creator: McCarthy, Francis X. & Keegan, Natalie
Description: This report discusses Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM), "Project Impact," and related legislative issues that Congress currently faces. 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Disaster Relief Funding and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations

Disaster Relief Funding and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations

Date: July 15, 2009
Creator: Lindsay, Bruce A. & Murray, Justin
Description: 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.
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Disaster Relief Funding and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations

Disaster Relief Funding and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations

Date: July 15, 2009
Creator: Lindsay, Bruce A. & Murray, Justin
Description: This report describes the various components of the Disaster Relief Fund, including what authorities have shaped it over the years; how FEMA determines the amount of the appropriation requested to Congress (pertaining to the DRF); and 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).
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FY2009 Spring Supplemental Appropriations for Overseas Contingency Operations

FY2009 Spring Supplemental Appropriations for Overseas Contingency Operations

Date: July 15, 2009
Creator: Daggett, Stephen; Epstein, Susan B.; Tarnoff, Curt; Margesson, Rhoda; Nakamura, Kennon H.; Kronstadt, K. Alan et al.
Description: 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.
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