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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Earthquakes: Risk, Detection, Warning, and Research
This report discusses: earthquake hazards and risk in the United States, federal programs that support earthquake monitoring, the U.S. capability to detect earthquakes and issue notifications and warnings, and federally-supported research to improve the fundamental scientific understanding of earthquakes with a goal of reducing U.S. vulnerability. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501491/
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, discusses possible budgetary modifications to the SAFER Act that are being considered due to the recent economic downturn, and explores related issues for the 112th Congress as they consider reauthorization. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33054/
FEMA's Community Disaster Loan Program: History, Analysis, and Issues for Congress
This report compares and analyzes three different categories of loans issued in different time periods in the program's history: "traditional" loans issued between 1974 and 2005, in 2007, and between 2009 and 2011 (TCDLs); "special" (SCDLs) loans issued in 2005-2006 following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita; and loans issued under unique provisions in 2008 (2008 CDLs). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc85428/
FEMA's Community Disaster Loan Program
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9157/
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, discusses possible budgetary modifications to the SAFER Act that are being considered due to the recent economic downturn, and explores related issues for the 112th Congress as they consider reauthorization. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84053/
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/
FEMA's Disaster Relief Fund: Overview and Selected Issues
This report describes the declaration process and the types of declarations that can be issued under the Stafford Act: (1) emergency and major disaster declarations, and (2) Fire Management Assistance Grants. The report also examines how the Disaster Relief Fund (DRF) is financed and analyzes the issues related to the DRF, including the debate over supplemental appropriations, how the DRF is budgeted, and the influence the Budget Control Act has had on the DRF. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc306504/
Funding Emergency Communications: Technology and Policy Considerations
This report identifies areas where changes in existing policies and practices may facilitate achievement of the important goals for emergency communications that Congress and others have identified. Why these goals have become important, and recent planning efforts to achieve these goals, is discussed first. Next, possible barriers to achieving these goals are identified and described. The conclusion revisits key options presently under consideration by Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83967/
Funding Emergency Communications: Technology and Policy Considerations
This report identifies areas where changes in existing policies and practices may facilitate achievement of the important goals for emergency communications that Congress and others have identified. Why these goals have become important, and recent planning efforts to achieve these goals, is discussed first. Next, possible barriers to achieving these goals are identified and described. The conclusion revisits key options presently under consideration by Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93875/
Funding Emergency Communications: Technology and Policy Considerations
This report covers U.S. efforts to find a solution that assures seamless communications among first responders and emergency personnel at the scene of a major disaster. Legislation in the 112th Congress includes the Public Safety Spectrum and Wireless Innovation Act, the Broadband for Public Safety Act of 2011, the Broadband for First Responders Act, and the Strengthening Public-safety and Enhancing Communications Through Reform, Utilization, and Modernization (SPECTRUM) Act. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93874/
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, discusses possible budgetary modifications to the SAFER Act that are being considered due to the recent economic downturn, and explores related issues for the 112th Congress as they consider reauthorization. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94027/
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, discusses possible budgetary modifications to the SAFER Act that are being considered due to the recent economic downturn, and explores related issues for the 112th Congress as they consider reauthorization. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94028/
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, discusses possible budgetary modifications to the SAFER Act that are being considered due to the recent economic downturn, and explores related issues for the 112th Congress as they consider reauthorization. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94029/
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/
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/
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/
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/
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/
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, discusses possible budgetary modifications to the SAFER Act that are being considered due to the recent economic downturn, and explores related issues for the 112th Congress as they consider reauthorization. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40203/
FEMA's Disaster Declaration Process: A Primer
The Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (referred to as the Stafford Act - 42 U.S.C. 5721 et seq.) 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 catastrophes occur, 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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40228/
Funding Emergency Communications: Technology and Policy Considerations
The 112th Congress is under renewed pressure to come to a decision about the assignment of a block of radio frequency spectrum licenses referred to as the D Block, and to provide a plan for federal support of broadband networks for emergency communications. The cost of constructing new networks (wireless and wireline) is estimated by experts to be in the tens of billions of dollars over the long term, with similarly large sums needed for maintenance and operation. Identifying money for federal support in the current climate of budget constraints provides a challenge to policy makers. The greater challenge, however, may be to assure that funds are spent effectively toward the national goals that Congress sets. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40278/
The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and All-Hazard Warnings
This report discusses the mainstays of the U.S. capacity to issue warnings: the Emergency Alert System (EAS), which relies primarily on broadcasting media, the NOAA Weather Radio All-Hazards Network. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc490957/
FEMA's Disaster Declaration Process: A Primer
This report discusses the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (referred to as the Stafford Act - 42 U.S.C. 5721 et seq.), 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 catastrophes occur, 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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491541/
United States Fire Administration: An Overview
This report describes and analyzes the United States Fire Administration's (USFA's) FY2013 budget proposal, as well as related information and legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276898/
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/metadc29657/
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/
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 112th 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/metadc33077/
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/metadc29720/
The Americans with Disabilities Act and Emergency Preparedness and Response
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are 54.4 million individuals with disabilities in the United States. The challenges faced by these individuals, and their civil rights to inclusion in disaster preparedness and response, have received increased attention after September 11, Hurricane Katrina, and other disasters. This report briefly discusses this issue, including the Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act of 2006. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31453/
Assistance to Firefighters Program: Distribution of Fire Grant Funding
This report discusses the firefighting activities that are traditionally the responsibility of states and local communities. The report also talks about the funding for firefighters, which is provided mostly by state and local governments. However, during the 106th Congress, many in the fire community asserted that local fire departments require and deserve greater support from the federal government. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87281/
An Examination of Federal Disaster Relief Under the Budget Control Act
This report addresses traditional funding for major disaster declarations, workings of the President's Disaster Relief Fund, a basic overview of how disaster assistance is appropriated, what factors affect how much the federal government spends on disasters, how disaster relief is impacted by the Budget Control Act (BCA) of 2011, and what the policy implications are for disaster assistance under the constraints of the BCA, and the increasing number of disaster declarations and both the possible causes and likely cost implications of a greater number of declarations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87213/
Assistance to Firefighters Program: Distribution of Fire Grant Funding
This report discusses the firefighting activities that are traditionally the responsibility of states and local communities. The report also talks about the funding for firefighters, which is provided mostly by state and local governments. However, during the 106th Congress, many in the fire community asserted that local fire departments require and deserve greater support from the federal government. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87280/
Wildfire Protection in the Wildland-Urban Interface
Congress continues to face questions about forestry practices, funding levels, and the federal role in wildfire protection. Recent fire seasons have been, by most standards, among the worst in the past half century. This report looks at factors contributing to wildfires as well as active and preventative treatments for wildfires. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87375/
Assistance to Firefighters Program: Distribution of Fire Grant Funding
This report discusses the firefighting activities that are traditionally the responsibility of states and local communities. The report also talks about the funding for firefighters, which is provided mostly by state and local governments. However, during the 106th Congress, many in the fire community asserted that local fire departments require and deserve greater support from the federal government. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87279/
United States Fire Administration: An Overview
The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA)—which includes the National Fire Academy (NFA)—is currently housed 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. The United States Fire Administration Reauthorization Act of 2008 was signed into law on October 8, 2008. As is the case with many federal programs, concerns in the 112th Congress over the federal budget deficit could impact budget levels for the USFA. Debate over the USFA budget has focused on whether the USFA is receiving an appropriate level of 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/metadc87358/
United States Fire Administration: An Overview
The United States Fire Administration (USFA)—which includes the National Fire Academy (NFA)—is currently housed 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. As is the case with many federal programs, concerns in the 112th Congress over the federal budget deficit could impact budget levels for the USFA. Debate over the USFA budget has focused on whether the USFA is receiving an appropriate level of 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/metadc87359/
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 potentially 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/metadc85452/
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 non-insured assistance program and emergency disaster loans. In recent years, Congress frequently has made supplemental financial assistance available to farmers and ranchers on an ad-hoc basis, most notably in the form of direct crop disaster payments and emergency livestock assistance. Congress provided an estimated $3.1 billion of such assistance in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2003 (P.L. 108-7) for 2001 and 2002 crop and livestock losses. Some farm groups would like to see similar assistance provided for 2003 losses, particularly in regions of the Midwest and West that have experienced prolonged drought conditions. To date, no ad-hoc assistance has been made available for 2003 losses. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10134/
Small Business Disaster Assistance: Responding to the Terrorist Attacks
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1450/
Wildfire Protection in the Wildland-Urban Interface
Report that describes the growth of the wildland-urban interface, wildfire suppression efforts, post-fire responses, and especially the programs and options for protecting the interface before the next wildfire strikes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc228125/
Offsets, Supplemental Appropriations, and the Disaster Relief Fund: FY1990-FY2013
Report that discusses the recent history of offsetting rescissions in paying for supplemental appropriations to the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Disaster Relief Fund (DRF). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227752/
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/
Federal Counter-Terrorism Training: Issues for Congressional Oversight
This report is an overview of the major training activities and facilities of the federal departments and agencies that provide counter-terrorism training. It identifies some of the issues associated with the training, including the following: (1) possible duplication of federal counter-terrorism training programs; (2) determination of Department of Homeland Security (DHS) counter-terrorism training priorities; and (3) possible redundancy and coordination of DHS counter-terrorism training programs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10377/
2005 Gulf Coast Hurricanes: The Public Health and Medical Response
In response to a series of disasters (namely, the 2005 Hurricanes Katrina and Rita) and terrorist attacks (namely, the 2001 terror attacks) over the past decade, Congress, the Administration, state and local governments, and the private sector have made investments to improve disaster preparedness and response. New federal authorities and programs to strengthen the nation's public health system were introduced in comprehensive legislation in 2002. Congress also created the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in 2002, and a new National Response Plan (NRP) was launched by DHS in December 2004. This report discusses the NRP and its components for public health and medical response, provides information on key response activities carried out by agencies in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and DHS, and discusses certain issues in public health and medical preparedness that have been raised by the response to the 2005 Gulf Coast hurricanes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10363/
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/metacrs10547/
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/
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/
Bioterrorism: Summary of a CRS/National Health Policy Forum Seminar on Federal, State, and Local Public Health Preparedness
The September 11th attack and subsequent intentional release of anthrax spores via the U.S. postal system have focused policymakers’ attention on the preparedness and response capability of the nation’s public health system. The anthrax attacks put a tremendous strain on the U. S. public health infrastructure, an infrastructure that many experts argue has been weakened by years of neglect and under-funding. To better understand the preparedness gaps that exist, as well as the disparate functions and agencies that define public health in this country, the Congressional Research Service (CRS), in conjunction with George Washington University’s National Health Policy Forum (NHPF), convened a seminar on October 26, 2001, entitled, The U.S. Health Care System: Are State and Local Officials Prepared for Bioterrorism? How Should the Federal Government Assist? digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1592/
U.S. and International Responses to the Global Spread of Avian Flu: Issues for Congress
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8675/