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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Flood Insurance Requirements for Stafford Act Assistance

Flood Insurance Requirements for Stafford Act Assistance

Date: September 5, 2008
Creator: Liu, Edward C.
Description: 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.
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Disaster Tax Relief for the Midwest

Disaster Tax Relief for the Midwest

Date: August 20, 2008
Creator: Lunder, Erika
Description: 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.
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Public Health and Medical Preparedness and Response: Issues in the 110th Congress

Public Health and Medical Preparedness and Response: Issues in the 110th Congress

Date: August 1, 2008
Creator: Lister, Sarah A.
Description: 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.
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Public Health and Medical Preparedness and Response: Issues in the 110th Congress

Public Health and Medical Preparedness and Response: Issues in the 110th Congress

Date: June 16, 2008
Creator: Lister, Sarah A.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Avian Flu Pandemic: Potential Impact of Trade Disruptions

Avian Flu Pandemic: Potential Impact of Trade Disruptions

Date: May 8, 2008
Creator: Langton, Danielle
Description: 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.
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National Flood Insurance Program: Treasury Borrowing in the Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina

National Flood Insurance Program: Treasury Borrowing in the Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina

Date: September 19, 2008
Creator: King, Rawle O.
Description: 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.
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Federal Employees: Human Resources Management Flexibilities in Emergency Situations

Federal Employees: Human Resources Management Flexibilities in Emergency Situations

Date: July 31, 2008
Creator: Schwemle, Barbara L.
Description: 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.
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Agricultural Disaster Assistance

Agricultural Disaster Assistance

Date: July 3, 2008
Creator: Chite, Ralph M.
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. 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.
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United States Fire Administration: An Overview

United States Fire Administration: An Overview

Date: October 10, 2008
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. This report describes and analyzes the Administration's FY2009 budget proposal, as well as related information and legislation.
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United States Fire Administration: An Overview

United States Fire Administration: An Overview

Date: June 26, 2008
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. This report describes and analyzes the Administration's FY2009 budget proposal, as well as related information and legislation.
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Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) in Iraq and Afghanistan: Effects and Countermeasures

Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) in Iraq and Afghanistan: Effects and Countermeasures

Date: September 25, 2006
Creator: Wilson, Clay
Description: Since October 2001, Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs, or roadside bombs) have been responsible for many of the more than 2,000 combat deaths in Iraq, and 178 combat deaths in Afghanistan. IEDs are hidden behind signs and guardrails, under roadside debris, or inside animal carcasses, and encounters with these bombs are becoming more numerous and deadly in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Department of Defense (DOD) efforts to counter IEDs have proven only marginally effective, and U.S. forces continue to be exposed to the threat at military checkpoints, or whenever on patrol. IEDs are increasingly being used in Afghanistan, and DOD reportedly is concerned that they might eventually be more widely used by other insurgents and terrorists worldwide.
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Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for Hurricane Katrina Relief

Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for Hurricane Katrina Relief

Date: August 22, 2006
Creator: Bea, Keith
Description: In response to the widespread destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina, the 109th Congress enacted two FY2005 emergency supplemental appropriations bills, which together provided $62.3 billion for emergency response and recovery needs. This CRS report summarizes federal disaster assistance funding legislation in the 109th Congress and presents some information on federal expenditures and obligations for disaster recovery activities.
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Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for Hurricane Katrina Relief

Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for Hurricane Katrina Relief

Date: May 16, 2006
Creator: Bea, Keith
Description: In response to the widespread destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina, the 109th Congress enacted two FY2005 emergency supplemental appropriations bills, which together provide $62.3 billion for emergency response and recovery needs. However, the funding streams of these appropriated funds and amounts for disaster recovery have changed and appear likely to undergo further changes, largely at the request of the Administration. This report summarizes federal disaster assistance funding legislation in the 109th Congress and presents some information on federal expenditures and obligations for disaster recovery activities.
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The Use of Federal Troops for Disaster Assistance: Legal Issues

The Use of Federal Troops for Disaster Assistance: Legal Issues

Date: August 14, 2006
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.
Description: Hurricane Katrina raised questions concerning the President's legal authority to send active duty military forces into a disaster area and the permissible functions the military can perform to protect life and property and maintain order. This report summarizes the possible constitutional and statutory authorities and constraints relevant to the use of armed forces, including National Guard units in federal service, to provide assistance to states when a natural disaster impedes the operation of state and local police. This report also addresses proposed legislation, including H.R. 5122 (S. 2766).
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Homeland Security: Establishment and Implementation of the United States Northern Command

Homeland Security: Establishment and Implementation of the United States Northern Command

Date: August 18, 2006
Creator: Bowman, Steve
Description: The Department of Defense (DOD) established U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM) to fight terrorism at home. Significant organizational and procedural progress has been made in setting up this organization. However, questions remain concerning interagency relationships and information sharing.
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Agricultural Disaster Assistance

Agricultural Disaster Assistance

Date: May 8, 2006
Creator: Chite, Ralph M.
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, and emergency disaster loans. Since 1988, Congress regularly has made supplemental financial assistance available to farmers and ranchers, primarily in the form of crop disaster payments and emergency livestock assistance. The Senate-passed version of a pending FY2006 supplemental appropriations bill (H.R. 4939) contains an adopted committee amendment that would provide an estimated additional $3.9 billion in various forms of farm assistance, including payments for major crop and livestock losses caused by any 2005 disaster, such as the drought in portions of the Midwest and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in the Gulf.
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2005 Gulf Coast Hurricanes: The Public Health and Medical Response

2005 Gulf Coast Hurricanes: The Public Health and Medical Response

Date: January 20, 2006
Creator: Lister, Sarah A.
Description: 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.
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An Emergency Communications Safety Net: Integrating 911 and Other Services

An Emergency Communications Safety Net: Integrating 911 and Other Services

Date: June 12, 2006
Creator: Moore, Linda K.
Description: The present capability and future effectiveness of America's network of emergency telecommunications services are among the issues under review by Congress and other entities. As technologies that can support 911 improve, many are seeing the possibility of integrating 911 into a wider safety net of emergency communications and alerts. One of the intents of Congress in passing the Wireless Communications and Public Safety Act of 1999, and of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in implementing the act, is to make 911 technology universally available throughout the United States. Legislation in the 109th Congress covering 911 or call centers all focus on assuring access to 911 call centers for users of Voice over Internet protocol (VOIP) telephone service and on improving the delivery of 911 services nationwide. This report reviews key points about the implementation of 911.
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State and Local Homeland Security: Unresolved Issues for the 109th Congress

State and Local Homeland Security: Unresolved Issues for the 109th Congress

Date: August 3, 2006
Creator: Reese, Shawn
Description: Arguably, the three most important homeland security public laws enacted following the terrorist attacks on September 2001 are the USA PATRIOT Act, the Homeland Security Act of 2002, and the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004. This report describes each of these pieces of legislation and their respective domestic security enhancements. Many important state and local homeland security policy issues remain, separate from these three laws, which the 109th Congress might address. This report also describes these such issues, which include unmet emergency responder needs, absence of emergency responder equipment standards, and the development of state and local homeland security strategies, among others.
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Federal Counter-Terrorism Training: Issues for Congressional Oversight

Federal Counter-Terrorism Training: Issues for Congressional Oversight

Date: August 31, 2006
Creator: Reese, Shawn
Description: 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.
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Public Safety Communications Policy

Public Safety Communications Policy

Date: July 24, 2006
Creator: Moore, Linda K.
Description: Since September 11, 2001, the effectiveness of America's communications capabilities in support of the information needs of first responders and other public safety workers has been a matter of concern to Congress. Most public safety advocates consider that the communications failures following the onslaught of Hurricane Katrina demonstrate that there is much still to be done to provide the United States with adequate communications capabilities in emergencies. This report explores several pieces of legislation aimed at improving the emergency management the emergency communications infrastructure.
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Emergency Communications: The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and All-Hazard Warnings

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

Date: July 17, 2006
Creator: Moore, Linda K.
Description: The Emergency Alert System (EAS) is built on a structure conceived in the 1950s when over-the-air broadcasting was the best-available technology for widely disseminating emergency alerts. Bills in the 109th Congress that would improve emergency alert systems, domestically and internationally, include S. 50 (Senator Inouye) and H.R. 296 (Representative Menendez); these bills were prompted by the tsunami disaster but include measures that also apply to the need for a better all-hazard warning system in the United States. The report summarizes the technology and administration of EAS and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)/National Weather Service (NWS) all-hazard network, new programs in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and some of the key proposals for change.
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Emergency Communications: The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and All-Hazard Warnings

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

Date: October 4, 2006
Creator: Moore, Linda K.
Description: The Emergency Alert System (EAS) is built on a structure conceived in the 1950s when over-the-air broadcasting was the best-available technology for widely disseminating emergency alerts. Bills in the 109th Congress that would improve emergency alert systems, domestically and internationally, include S. 50 (Senator Inouye) and H.R. 296 (Representative Menendez); these bills were prompted by the tsunami disaster but include measures that also apply to the need for a better all-hazard warning system in the United States. The report summarizes the technology and administration of EAS and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)/National Weather Service (NWS) all-hazard network, new programs in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and some of the key proposals for change.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Oil and Gas Disruption From Hurricanes Katrina and Rita

Oil and Gas Disruption From Hurricanes Katrina and Rita

Date: April 6, 2006
Creator: Kumins, Lawrence C & Bamberger, Robert L
Description: None
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