Congressional Research Service Reports - 113 Matching Results

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Agricultural Disaster Assistance

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 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.
Date: August 29, 2005
Creator: Chite, Ralph M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Amber Alert Program Technology

Description: This report discusses provisions in the National Intelligence Reform Act of 2004 to test Amber Alert network technology for use in expanding the Emergency Alert System (EAS). The Amber Alert network utilizes a combination of technologies, such as highway messages boards, the Internet, and text messaging, to ensure the swift recovery of abducted children.
Date: May 18, 2005
Creator: Moore, Linda K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Americans with Disabilities Act and Emergency Preparedness and Response

Description: This report briefly discusses the nondiscrimination provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which are applicable to emergency preparedness and responses to disasters. The ADA does not include provisions specifically for disasters, such as Hurricane Katrina, for example.
Date: September 13, 2005
Creator: Jones, Nancy Lee
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Bankruptcy Relief and Natural Disaster Victims

Description: In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, many have questioned whether implementing the new procedures of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA), P.L. 109-8, scheduled to go into effect on October 17, 2005, should be delayed. This report considers whether bankruptcy law in general, and the BAPCPA in particular, may present unique challenges to financial recovery for those whose life, livelihood, and/or home have been damaged or destroyed.
Date: September 14, 2005
Creator: Jeweler, Robin
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Community Development Block Grant Funds in Disaster Relief and Recovery

Description: In the aftermath of previous, presidentially-declared disasters, Congress has used the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program to help states and local governments finance recovery efforts, whether from natural or man-made disasters. This report will provide a general overview of the CDBG program and its use in disaster relief.
Date: October 19, 2005
Creator: Boyd, Eugene
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Detection of Explosives on Airline Passengers: Recommendation of the 9/11 Commission and Related Issues

Description: 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.
Date: February 7, 2005
Creator: Shea, Dana A. & Morgan, Daniel
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Detection of Explosives on Airline Passengers: Recommendation of the 9/11 Commission and Related Issues

Description: 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.
Date: February 7, 2005
Creator: Shea, Dana A. & Morgan, Daniel
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Disaster Evacuation and Displacement Policy: Issues for Congress

Description: The devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina reaches beyond the borders of the states directly affected by the wind, rain, and floods. Before the storm reached the coast, thousands of residents of Louisiana and Mississippi evacuated to other states, including Texas and Oklahoma. Many people, for a variety of reasons, chose to disregard the mandatory evacuation orders issued by state and local officials. In general, evacuation policy is set and enforced by state and local officials. Federal policy provides for various aspects of civilian evacuation. As Members of Congress explore the challenges and losses in the states affected directly or indirectly by Hurricane Katrina, they may be called upon to consider federal policy options to more fully integrate federal and state authorities.
Date: September 2, 2005
Creator: Bea, Keith
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Disaster Response and the Appointment of a Recovery Czar: The Executive Branch's Response to the Flood of 1927

Description: This report describes the flood of 1927, and assesses the federal government’s response thereto. In short, the federal response was an executive branch response. President Calvin Coolidge created a quasi-governmental commission that included members of his Cabinet and the American National Red Cross. This commission encouraged the public to donate funds to the relief effort. It also gave Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover near-absolute authority to organize and oversee its response. Hoover used this authority to weave together federal resources, American National Red Cross volunteers, and the private sector to carry out the relief and recovery program.
Date: October 25, 2005
Creator: Kosar, Kevin R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Earthquake in South Asia: Humanitarian Assistance and Relief Operations

Description: The powerful earthquake struck northern Pakistan and India damaged the homes of as many as three million people, forcing many of them to search for alternative means of shelter. The full extent of the destruction remains unknown because government authorities and relief organizations continue to have difficulty accessing some remote locations. As of the date of this report, the United States government (USG) has pledged $410 million toward the relief effort, almost all of it to assisting Pakistan, which remains a key U.S. ally in the war against terror. So far, about 35% of this pledge has been committed. Some aid agencies are saying that the country needs a great deal more aid than it is getting, and warn that the economic impact of the disaster will surpass $5.2 billion. This burden may contribute toward long-term instability in an area perceived to be of critical importance to the United States in the war on terror.
Date: December 12, 2005
Creator: Kronenfeld, Daniel & Margesson, Rhoda
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

An Emergency Communications Safety Net: Integrating 911 and Other Services

Description: The 9/11 Commission Report recommended that 911 call centers — also called Public Safety Answering Points, or PSAPs — be included in planning for emergency responses.1 Congress, which has since 1999 passed two bills to further the deployment of 911, is reviewing ways to expand 911 capabilities and make it more accessible and effective. Congress is also evaluating ways to improve emergency alerts2 and interoperable communications for public safety.3 Operational convergence of emergency communications seems to many to be inevitable, a question of “when,” not “if.” This report deals primarily with 911 and its recent history. It also summarizes some of the proposals that would improve 911 through new approaches and integration with other services.
Date: September 1, 2005
Creator: Moore, Linda K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

Description: The Emergency Alert System (EAS) is one of several federally managed warning systems. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) jointly administers EAS with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), in cooperation with the National Weather Service (NWS), an organization within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The NOAA/NWS weather radio system has been upgraded to an all-hazard warning capability. This report summarizes the technology and administration of EAS and the NOAA/NWS all-hazard network, and some of the key proposals for change
Date: September 2, 2005
Creator: Moore, Linda K. & Reese, Shawn
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Emergency Contracting Authorities

Description: Hurricane Katrina has given rise to many emergency contracting situations. This report will attempt to identify and summarize the primary emergency contracting authorities which might be available to facilitate response to these situations. Generally, these authorities may be divided into two categories, general emergency authority, and emergency (or national interest) exceptions to general procurement statutes or regulations.
Date: September 20, 2005
Creator: Luckey, John R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC): An Overview

Description: The Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) is an agreement among member states to provide assistance after disasters overwhelm a state’s capacity to manage the consequences. The compact, initiated by the states and coordinated by the National Emergency Management Association, provides a structure for requesting emergency assistance from party states. EMAC also resolves some, but not all, potential legal and administrative obstacles that may hinder such assistance. EMAC also enhances state preparedness for terrorist attacks by ensuring the availability of resources for fast response and facilitating multi-state cooperation in training activities and preparedness exercises. Congress approved EMAC as an interstate compact in 1996 (P.L. 104-321).
Date: January 10, 2005
Creator: Bea, Keith
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Emergency Waiver of EPA Regulations: Authorities and Legislative Proposals in the Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina

Description: This report reviews some of the environmental laws that could affect response and recovery actions, discusses existing waiver authority, and identifies issues raised by proposals to grant new waiver authority. The focus of the report is on regulatory programs administered by EPA, including the Clean Water Act, Superfund, and the Clean Air Act. In the short term, in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, environmental regulations do not appear to have posed an obstacle to local, state, federal, or private response efforts, in part because existing waiver or flexibility provisions were used in certain cases.
Date: September 29, 2005
Creator: McCarthy, James E. & Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department