"This report summarizes principal federal disaster assistance programs for possible use by Members of Congress and staff in helping address the needs of constituents. A number of federal agencies provide assistance to victims; to state, territorial, and local governments; and to nongovernmental entities following a disaster. Among other forms of assistance, federal programs can provide grants, loans, loan guarantees, temporary housing, and counseling. The programs summarized in this catalog fall into two broad categories. First are programs specifically for disaster situations; most of these programs are administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Small Business Administration (SBA). The Homeland Security Act of 2002 (P.L. 107-296) transferred FEMA to the new Department of Homeland Security. Second are general assistance programs that may be used in disaster situations, as well as to meet regular service needs. Many federal agencies, including the Departments of Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, and Justice, administer programs that may be brought to bear under certain circumstances. The programs may also be classified by recipients: primarily individuals, state and local governments, or businesses. They address such short-term needs as food and shelter, and such long-term needs as repair of public utilities. This report will be updated as significant legislative or administrative changes occur."
CRS Report for Congress, RL31734