Federal Stafford Act Disaster Assistance: Presidential Declarations, Eligible Activities, and Funding [Updated January 28, 2008]   [open pdf - 355KB]

This report discusses the Stafford Act, 2006 amendments to the Act, types of assistance and eligibility, funding caps and cost shares, hazard mitigation assistance, the Disaster Relief Fund and issues for the 110th Congress. Tables included in the report show cost-share adjustments, hazard mitigation grant program obligations, pre-disaster mitigation funding and obligations by state and activity. From the report: "The Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (the Stafford Act) authorizes the President to issue major disaster or emergency declarations in response to catastrophes that overwhelm state and local governments. Such declarations result in the distribution of a wide range of federal aid to individuals and families, certain nonprofit organizations, and public agencies. Congress appropriates money to the Disaster Relief Fund (DRF) for disaster assistance authorized by the Stafford Act, which is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Appropriations to the DRF remain available until expended At the conclusion of the 109th Congress the Senate inserted Stafford Act amendments into the FY2007 DHS appropriations legislation (H.R. 5441, enacted as P.L. 109-295). These amendments, Subtitle E of Title VI (120 Stat. 1444 - 1457), expand FEMA's authority to expedite emergency assistance to stricken areas, impose new planning and preparedness requirements on federal administrators, and increase federal assistance to victims and communities. The amendments, most of which took effect on the date of enactment (October 4, 2006), are summarized in CRS Report RL33729, Federal Emergency Management Policy Changes After Hurricane Katrina: A Summary of Statutory Provisions."

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CRS Report for Congress, RL33053
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