Major Disaster Declarations for Snow Assistance and Severe Winter Storms: An Overview [December 1, 2014] [open pdf - 279KB]
From the Document: "The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides two types of assistance for winter incidents: (1) 'snow assistance,' and (2) assistance for 'severe winter storms.' Both types of assistance are triggered by a presidential disaster declaration. The criteria used by FEMA to determine whether to recommend a declaration depend on the type of winter incident. Snow assistance determinations are based on snow accumulations. Determinations for severe winter storms are based on the severity and magnitude of the event and the capabilities of the state and affected local governments to respond to the incident. Requests for snow assistance and assistance for severe winter storms must also include the estimated cost of federal and nonfederal public assistance associated with the incident. FEMA divides the estimated cost of federal and nonfederal public assistance by the statewide population to give some measure of the per capita impact the incident has had on the state. This report describes snow assistance and assistance for severe winter storms, the declaration process, the criteria used to make eligibility determinations, and the types of assistance that are provided after the President has issued a major disaster declaration for the incident. This report also provides historical data on winter incidents since 2009 including obligations for the incidents from FEMA's Disaster Relief Fund (DRF). The DRF is the main account used to fund a wide variety of programs, grants, and other forms of emergency and disaster assistance to states, local governments, certain nonprofit entities, and families and individuals affected by disasters."
CRS Report for Congress, R43802