"The Robert T. Stafford Emergency Relief and Disaster Assistance Act (P.L. 93-288, as amended) authorizes the President to issue declarations for incidents ranging from destructive, large-scale disasters to more routine, less damaging events. Declarations trigger federal assistance in the forms of various response and recovery programs under the Stafford Act to state, local, and tribal governments. The Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA's) Disaster Relief Fund (DRF) is the primary funding source for disaster response and recovery. […] This report describes the declaration process and the types of declarations that can be issued under the Stafford Act: (1) emergency and major disaster declarations, and (2) Fire Management Assistance Grants. The report also examines how the DRF is financed. This discussion is followed by an analysis concerning the issues related to the DRF including the debate over supplemental appropriations, how the DRF is budgeted, and the influence the Budget Control Act has had on the DRF."
CRS Report for Congress, R43537