Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Legislation for Disaster Assistance: Summary Data [Updated August 14, 2008] [open pdf - 137KB]
"This report provides summary information on emergency supplemental appropriations enacted after major disasters since 19891. During the 20-year span from FY1989 through the present, Congress appropriated almost $250 billion in constant 2008 dollars. Most of the appropriations were preceded by a presidential request for supplemental funding. The most recent and costly disasters occurred in the summer of 2005 when Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma made landfall in Gulf Coast states. Since Hurricane Katrina struck in August of 2005, more than $130 billion has been appropriated for supplemental disaster funding, most of it needed for the recovery from the 2005 hurricanes. Portions of the appropriations were offset by rescinding more than $34 billion in previously appropriated funds, explained in the section titled 'Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma.' Prior to FY2005 and the hurricanes, only the terrorist attacks of 2001 led to supplemental appropriations legislation that exceeded $20 billion. Congress appropriated a total of more than $26 billion for disaster assistance in response to the attacks. […] On other occasions, however, disaster funding has been part of larger pieces of legislation that appropriated funds for purposes other than disaster assistance. The most recent supplemental disaster assistance appropriation occurred on June 30, 2008 when the President signed into law H.R. 2642, the Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2008. The statute, P.L.110-252, provides $7 billion in disaster related funding, most of which has been appropriated for disaster relief associated with the 2005 hurricane season."
CRS Report for Congress, RL33226