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Congressional Primer on Responding to Major Disasters and Emergencies
This report provides information to aid policymakers as they navigate the many levels of responsibility, and numerous policy pressure points; it describes the laws and administrative policies governing the disaster response and recovery process. The report also reviews the legislative framework that exists for providing federal financial assistance following disasters, as well as the policies the executive branch employs to provide supplemental help to state, tribal, and local governments during time of disasters.
Disaster Debris Management: Requirements, Challenges, and Federal Agency Roles
This report focuses on the requirements applicable to disaster debris management and the challenges that communities face when attempting to manage it both quickly and safely. This report also provides an overview of the types of support provided by FEMA, the Corps, and EPA with respect to disaster debris removal. A discussion of the programs or statutory authorities under which that support may be provided is beyond the scope of this report. There are a number of conditions under which federal agencies may support communities with disaster debris removal. With respect to FEMA's involvement in debris removal assistance, this report focuses on support that may be provided after the President declares the incident to involve a "major disaster" under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (Stafford Act, P.L. 93-288, as amended).
Introduction to FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)
This report provides introductory information on key components of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), ranging from floodplain mapping to the standard flood insurance forms.
Stafford Act Assistance and Acts of Terrorism
This report provides an overview of emergency and major disaster declarations and explains how they might be used in the aftermath of a terrorist incident that does not involve a fire or an explosion, such as high casualty mass shootings or chemical gas attacks. This report also provides an overview of Stafford Act assistance provided for past terrorist incidents.
Congressional Primer on Responding to Major Disasters and Emergencies
This report provides information to aid policymakers as they navigate the many levels of responsibility, and numerous policy pressure points that occur after a disaster. It describes the laws and administrative policies governing the disaster response and recovery process. The report also reviews the legislative framework that exists for providing federal financial assistance following disasters, as well as the policies the executive branch employs to provide supplemental help to state, tribal, and local governments during time of disasters.
Federal Disaster Assistance Response and Recovery Programs: Brief Summaries
This report is designed to assist Members of Congress and their staff as they address the needs of their states, communities, and constituents after a disaster. It includes a summary of federal programs that provide federal disaster assistance to individual survivors, states, territories, local governments, and nongovernmental entities following a natural or man-made disaster.
Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA)
This report describes the Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) benefits are available only to those individuals who have become unemployed as a direct result of a declared major disaster and information on how to ascertain if an individual is eligible for DUA benefits.
FEMA Disaster Housing: The Individuals and Households Program-Implementation and Potential Issues for Congress
This report explains the traditional approach for temporary housing through the IHP program following a disaster, how it is implemented, and considers if the current policy choices are equitable for disaster victims. This report will review those expenditures and provide information on the relative costs, and applications of, several categories of assistance. As a part of this examination, the report looks at other forms of housing repair assistance such as the Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Loan Program for homeowners as well as assistance that is provided, in some instances, through the Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) Community Development Block Grant (CDBG-DR) program.
Major Disaster Declarations for Snow Assistance and Severe Winter Storms: An Overview
This report describes snow assistance and assistance for severe winter storms, including the declaration process, the criteria used to make eligibility determinations, and the types of assistance that are provided after the President has issued a major disaster declaration for the incident. This report also provides historical data on winter incidents since 2009 including obligations for the incidents from FEMA's Disaster Relief Fund (DRF). The DRF is the main account used to fund a wide variety of programs, grants, and other forms of emergency and disaster assistance to states, local governments, certain nonprofit entities, and families and individuals affected by disasters.
Private Flood Insurance in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)
This report briefly discusses federal law regarding flood insurance. By law or regulation, federal agencies, federally-regulated lending institutions, and government-sponsored enterprises must require certain property owners to purchase flood insurance as a condition of any mortgage that these entities make, guarantee, or purchase.
Forest Fire/Wildfire Protection
This report provides historical background on wildfires, and describes concerns about the wildland-urban interface and about forest and rangeland health. It discusses fuel management, fire control, and fire effects and also examines federal, state, and landowner roles and responsibilities in protecting lands and resources from wildfires. The report concludes by discussing current issues for federal wildfire management.
Emergency Relief for Disaster-Damaged Roads and Transit Systems: In Brief
This report describes Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) assistance for the repair and reconstruction of highways and bridges damaged by disasters (such as Hurricane Sandy in 2012) or catastrophic failures (such as the collapse of the Skagit River Bridge in Washington State in 2013). It begins with a brief discussion of the legislative origins of federal assistance, and then addresses eligibility issues and program operation.
Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA)
This report contains information on how to ascertain if an individual is eligible for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) benefits, which are available only to those individuals who have become unemployed as a direct result of a declared major disaster. DUA is funded through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and is administered by the Department of Labor (DOL) through each state's UC agency.
Stafford Act Assistance and Acts of Terrorism
This report provides a brief overview of Stafford Act declarations under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act and the types of assistance they could authorize in response to terrorist incidents. This report also provides examples of Stafford Act declarations that have been issued for previous terrorist attacks.
Green Infrastructure and Issues in Managing Urban Stormwater
This report discusses the issue of stormwater, or runoff, which is considered largely a problem of excess rainwater or snowmelt impacting communities. Prevailing engineering practices were to move stormwater away from cities as rapidly as possible to avoid potential damages from flooding. More recently, these practices have evolved and come to recognize stormwater as a resource that, managed properly within communities, has multiple benefits.
Earthquake Risk and U.S. Highway Infrastructure: Frequently Asked Questions
This report addresses a number of frequently asked questions about earthquake risk and highway system components, especially bridges. Earthquakes and related events, such as soil liquefaction, landslides, tsunamis, flooding, and fires, pose risks to highway infrastructure. Concerns about the U.S. highway system's seismic vulnerability stem from interest in protecting public safety, facilitating response and recovery efforts, and minimizing economic loss and social disruption.
Private Flood Insurance in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)
This report briefly discusses federal law regarding flood insurance. By law or regulation, federal agencies, federally-regulated lending institutions, and government-sponsored enterprises must require certain property owners to purchase flood insurance as a condition of any mortgage that these entities make, guarantee, or purchase.
Federal Flood Risk Management Standard (FFRMS)
This report briefly discusses the Federal Flood Risk Management Standard (FFRMS), which is the principal mechanism for accomplishing the flood risk management policies established by President Obama in Executive Order (E.O.) 13690. The FFRMS is a flood resilience standard that is required for "federally funded projects."
The National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP): Issues in Brief
This report discusses the responsibility of four federal agencies for long-term earthquake risk reduction under the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP). Congress has not introduced legislation in the 114th Congress that addresses the NEHRP program directly.
Pandemic Flu and Medical Biodefense Countermeasure Liability Limitation
This report analyzes Division C of the Department of Defense Emergency Supplemental Appropriations, P.L. 109-148, which was signed into law on December 30, 2005, and which limits liability with respect to pandemic flu and other public health countermeasures.
DHS Appropriations FY2016: Protection, Preparedness, Response, and Recovery
This report is part of a suite of reports that discuss appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for FY2016. It specifically discusses appropriations for the components of DHS included in the third title of the homeland security appropriations bill--the National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD), the Office of Health Affairs (OHA), and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
State and Local Homeland Security: Unresolved Issues for the 109th Congress
This report discusses important state and local homeland security policy issues that the 109th Congress might address.
FEMA Flood Map Modernization Funding
This report discusses the implementation of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)'s Flood Map Modernization (Map Mod) Initiative (FMMI) and its ongoing Map Mod program. FEMA introduced the FMMI in September 1997 as a strategic plan to convert paper flood insurance rate maps (FIRMs) to digital electronic format, or DFIRMs.
National Flood Insurance Program: Treasury Borrowing in the Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina
This report discusses the the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which has been financially overwhelmed by claims and expenses related to the massive flooding caused by Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma.
U.S. and International Responses to the Global Spread of Avian Flu: Issues for Congress
This report will provide an account of global H5N1-related human infections and deaths, outline U.S. government and international responses to the global spread of H5N1, discuss situations in various countries affected by H5N1, and present some foreign policy issues for Congress.
Detection of Explosives on Airline Passengers: Recommendation of the 9/11 Commission and Related Issues
This report discusses options for airline passenger explosives trace detection, ongoing federal R&D efforts and pilot equipment deployments, and policy issues related to the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (P.L. 108-458). The legislation directs the Department of Homeland Security to place high priority on developing and deploying equipment for passenger explosives screening; requires TSA to submit a strategic plan for deploying such equipment; and authorizes additional research funding.
An Examination of Federal Disaster Relief Under the Budget Control Act
The first section of this report addresses the pre-BCA (Budget Control Act) funding mechanism for major disaster declarations, including the role of the President's Disaster Relief Fund (DRF). Next, this report provides a basic overview of how that funding mechanism has evolved under the BCA, and how Hurricane Sandy was addressed under that mechanism. Finally, the report explores a number of other issues pertinent to disaster relief funding in the BCA-regulated environment.
Assistance to Firefighters Program: Distribution of Fire Grant Funding
This report discusses the federal funding of firefighters, though most funding for firefighters is provided by state and local governments. During the 1990s, shortfalls in state and local budgets, coupled with increased responsibilities of local fire departments, led many in the fire community to call for additional financial support from the federal government.
Postal Service for Katrina Survivors
This report discusses the affected areas served by the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Community Development Block Grant Funds in Disaster Relief and Recovery
This report discusses the CDBG program, which administered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is the federal government’s largest and most widely available source of financial assistance to support state and local government-directed neighborhood revitalization, housing rehabilitation, and economic development activities.
Drought Policy, Response, and Preparedness
This report examines the various ways Congress and other federal, state, and local policymakers are considering to prepare for and respond to drought; how to coordinate actions and assign responsibilities; and who bears the costs of impacts, disaster response, and long-term adjustment to drought.
Flood Damage Related to Army Corps of Engineers Projects: Selected Legal Issues
This report examines federal liability for flood damage and analyzes legal defenses available to the federal government. Specifically, it provides an overview of the discretionary function exemption under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) and immunity under the Flood Control Act of 1928 (FCA) as applied to Corps projects. The report also considers the Corps’ potential liability for damages caused by levee failure during Hurricane Katrina and the activation of floodways during the 2011 Mississippi flooding.
Assistance After Hurricanes and Other Disasters: FY2004 and FY2005 Supplemental Appropriations
This report presents summary information on the requests and congressional action for supplemental disaster relief funding for FY2004.
FEMA DRF Major Disaster Assistance: New Jersey
This report discusses the Disaster Relief Fund (DRF) that is managed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and is the primary source of funding used to provide assistance following a major disaster declaration.
FEMA DRF Major Disaster Assistance: Kansas
This report describes the Disaster Relief Fund (DRF), which is managed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and is the primary source of funding used to provide assistance following a major disaster declaration.
Green Infrastructure and Issues in Managing Urban Stormwater
Managing stormwater is one of the biggest and most expensive problems facing cities across the United States. This report discusses legislation that has been introduced to support research and implementation of green/innovative stormwater infrastructure. Overall, many in Congress remain concerned about how municipalities will pay for needed investments in water infrastructure projects generally—not limited to green infrastructure—and what role the federal government can and should play in those efforts.
Hurricane Katrina: Medicaid Issues
This report discusses the following: Medicaid’s rules on eligibility, benefits, and financing in the context of current questions and issues raised by Hurricane Katrina. Recent state actions in response to Medicaid issues raised by the hurricane. Federal Medicaid waiver authority, including information on current activity in this area and the New York Disaster Relief Medicaid waiver granted in response to the September 11 terrorist attacks. Current federal legislation related to Medicaid and Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.
Disaster Debris Removal After Hurricane Katrina: Status and Associated Issues
This report discusses issues associated with debris removal operations after a disaster on the scale of Katrina. In particular, it discusses why debris removal was an ongoing concern months after the hurricane, as well as factors that make debris removal such a costly, complex operation.
Detection of Explosives on Airline Passengers: Recommendation of the 9/11 Commission and Related Issues
The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (P.L. 108-458) directs the Department of Homeland Security to place high priority on developing and deploying equipment for passenger explosives screening; requires TSA to submit a strategic plan for deploying such equipment; and authorizes additional research funding. It also requires that passengers who are selected for additional screening be screened for explosives, as an interim measure until all passengers can be screened for explosives. Congressional interest in this topic continues in the 109th Congress. This report discusses the current state of passenger explosives trace detection, ongoing federal R&D efforts and pilot equipment deployments, and related policy issues.
Tsunamis: Monitoring, Detection, and Early Warning Systems
This report discusses proposals for international tsunami early warning systems and examines U.S. policy regarding tsunamis.
Tsunamis: Monitoring, Detection, and Early Warning Systems
This report discusses proposals for international tsunami early warning systems and examines U.S. policy regarding tsunamis.
Tsunamis: Monitoring, Detection, and Early Warning Systems
This report discusses proposals for international tsunami early warning systems and examines U.S. policy regarding tsunamis.
Tsunamis: Monitoring, Detection, and Early Warning Systems
This report discusses proposals for international tsunami early warning systems and examines U.S. policy regarding tsunamis.
Tsunamis: Monitoring, Detection, and Early Warning Systems
This report discusses proposals for international tsunami early warning systems and examines U.S. policy regarding tsunamis.
Tsunamis: Monitoring, Detection, and Early Warning Systems
This report discusses proposals for international tsunami early warning systems and examines U.S. policy regarding tsunamis.
FY2006 Supplemental Appropriations: Iraq and Other International Activities; Additional Hurricane Katrina Relief
This report discusses the two separate FY2006 supplemental appropriations requests submitted on February 16, 2006. The first, totaling $72.4 billion, would fund ongoing military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan ($67.9 billion), non-DOD intelligence operations ($0.3 billion), State Department operations in Iraq and various foreign aid programs, including additional assistance for Iraq ($4.2 billion), and other counter-terrorism funding for other agencies ($12 million). The other supplemental would provide $19.8 billion for recovery and reconstruction activities in hurricane affected Gulf Coast areas. Thus, Congress is to consider during the early months of 2006 a combined spending proposal of $92.2 billion.
Emergency Communications Legislation, 2002-2006: Implications for the 110th Congress
Since September 11, 2001, several bills introduced in the U.S. Congress have included provisions to assist emergency communications. Key provisions from a number of these bills have become law. This report summarizes progress in developing legislation, especially in the 109th Congress, in three areas of emergency communications: communications among first responders and other emergency personnel; emergency warnings and alerts; and 911 call centers and systems. Each area could be the subject of further consideration in the 110th Congress, through oversight, additional legislation, or funding.
Emergency Communications Legislation, 2002-2006: Implications for the 110th Congress
Since September 11, 2001, several bills introduced in the U.S. Congress have included provisions to assist emergency communications. Key provisions from a number of these bills have become law. This report summarizes progress in developing legislation, especially in the 109th Congress, in three areas of emergency communications: communications among first responders and other emergency personnel; emergency warnings and alerts; and 911 call centers and systems. Each area could be the subject of further consideration in the 110th Congress, through oversight, additional legislation, or funding.
Emergency Communications Legislation: Implications for the 110th Congress
Since September 11, 2001, several bills introduced in the U.S. Congress have included provisions to assist emergency communications. Key provisions from a number of these bills have become law. This report discusses legislation addressing communications among first responders.
Emergency Communications Legislation: Implications for the 110th Congress
Since September 11, 2001, several bills introduced in the U.S. Congress have included provisions to assist emergency communications. Key provisions from a number of these bills have become law. This report summarizes progress in developing legislation, especially in the 109th Congress, in three areas of emergency communications: communications among first responders and other emergency personnel; emergency warnings and alerts; and 911 call centers and systems.