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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Earthquakes: Risk, Detection, Warning, and Research

Earthquakes: Risk, Detection, Warning, and Research

Date: March 18, 2011
Creator: Folger, Peter
Description: This report discusses the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP), a program under which the federal government supports efforts to assess and monitor earthquake hazards and risk in the United States. This report also 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.
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: March 11, 2011
Creator: Kruger, Lennard G.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
U.S. Tsunami Programs: A Brief Overview

U.S. Tsunami Programs: A Brief Overview

Date: March 18, 2011
Creator: Folger, Peter
Description: This report discusses U.S. warning systems and related disaster management programs in place to prepare for and react to tsunamis. This issue is discussed in relation to the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
United States Fire Administration: An Overview

United States Fire Administration: An Overview

Date: February 22, 2011
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 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.
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: September 7, 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.
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Flooding in Pakistan: Overview and Issues for Congress

Flooding in Pakistan: Overview and Issues for Congress

Date: September 21, 2010
Creator: Kronstadt, K. Alan; Sheikh, Pervaze A. & Vaughn, Bruce
Description: This report discusses the recent widespread flooding in Pakistan, which has affected about 20 million Pakistanis. U.S. interest in the flooding stems from the significant humanitarian and economic implications for Pakistan, and the security implications for U.S. interests in the region.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Flooding in Pakistan: Overview and Issues for Congress

Flooding in Pakistan: Overview and Issues for Congress

Date: November 18, 2010
Creator: Kronstadt, K. Alan; Sheikh, Pervaze A. & Vaughn, Bruce
Description: This report discusses the recent widespread flooding in Pakistan, which has affected about 20 million Pakistanis. U.S. interest in the flooding stems from the significant humanitarian and economic implications for Pakistan, and the security implications for U.S. interests in the region.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Americans with Disabilities Act and Emergency Preparedness and Response

The Americans with Disabilities Act and Emergency Preparedness and Response

Date: December 29, 2010
Creator: Jones, Nancy Lee
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF): Budget and Operations for FY2011

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF): Budget and Operations for FY2011

Date: January 6, 2011
Creator: Krouse, William J.
Description: This report provides an overview of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) budget and operations. This report chronicles congressional action on the FY2011 Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS), and Related Agencies Appropriations bills, as well as any FY2010 supplemental appropriations bills, that provide funding for ATF.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA): A Summary

The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA): A Summary

Date: October 28, 2010
Creator: Schierow, Linda-Jo
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Federal Tort Claims Act

Federal Tort Claims Act

Date: April 27, 2009
Creator: Cohen, Henry & Cohen, Henry
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Flooding in Pakistan: Overview and Issues for Congress

Flooding in Pakistan: Overview and Issues for Congress

Date: October 8, 2010
Creator: Kronstadt, K. Alan; Sheikh, Pervaze A. & Vaughn, Bruce
Description: This report discusses the recent widespread flooding in Pakistan, which has affected about 20 million Pakistanis. U.S. interest in the flooding stems from the significant humanitarian and economic implications for Pakistan, and the security implications for U.S. interests in the region.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Comparison of the Current World Trade Center Medical Monitoring and Treatment Program and the World Trade Center Health Program Proposed by Title I of H.R. 847

Comparison of the Current World Trade Center Medical Monitoring and Treatment Program and the World Trade Center Health Program Proposed by Title I of H.R. 847

Date: October 15, 2010
Creator: Szymendera, Scott & Lister, Sarah A.
Description: This report compares the current federally supported medical screening and treatment program offered to various persons affected by the terrorist attack on New York City on September 11, 2001, with the federal program proposed to be established by Title I of H.R. 847, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010, as amended and passed by the House of Representatives. The World Trade Center (WTC) Medical Monitoring and Treatment Program (MMTP) and the World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP) are the specific programs compared in this report.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Agricultural Disaster Assistance

Agricultural Disaster Assistance

Date: October 25, 2010
Creator: Shields, Dennis A. & Chite, Ralph M.
Description: This report has two sections. The first provides an overview of the current U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) disaster assistance programs: federal crop insurance, NAP payments, emergency disaster loans, the new Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments Program (SURE), and four other smaller disaster programs authorized in the 2008 farm bill. The second section reviews the recent history of emergency supplemental farm disaster assistance.
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: October 14, 2010
Creator: Sherlock, Molly F.; Lunder, Erika K. & Liu, Edward C.
Description: This report will briefly discuss existing disaster-related tax provisions and their application to the recent Depewater Horizon oil rig explosion and subsequent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The report then provides an analysis of the tax treatment of the BP payments to the individuals and businesses impacted by the oil spill as well as 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
United States Fire Administration: An Overview

United States Fire Administration: An Overview

Date: October 8, 2010
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.
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: June 18, 2009
Creator: Kruger, Lennard G.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Emergency Communications: The Future of 911

Emergency Communications: The Future of 911

Date: June 16, 2009
Creator: Moore, Linda K.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Emergency Communications: The Future of 911

Emergency Communications: The Future of 911

Date: November 21, 2008
Creator: Moore, Linda K.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Federal Evacuation Policy: Issues for Congress

Federal Evacuation Policy: Issues for Congress

Date: March 30, 2009
Creator: Lindsay, Bruce R.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
FY2009 Spring Supplemental Appropriations for Overseas Contingency Operations

FY2009 Spring Supplemental Appropriations for Overseas Contingency Operations

Date: June 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
FY2009 Spring Supplemental Appropriations for Overseas Contingency Operations

FY2009 Spring Supplemental Appropriations for Overseas Contingency Operations

Date: May 5, 2009
Creator: Daggett, Stephen; Epstein, Susan B.; Margesson, Rhoda; Nakamura, Kennon H.; Tarnoff, Curt; 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department