Major Disaster Assistance from the Disaster Relief Fund: State Profiles [January 29, 2015] [open pdf - 280KB]
"The costs associated with providing assistance following a major disaster can be considerable. The agency with the primary responsibility for this relief is the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Through the Disaster Relief Fund (DRF), FEMA is able to finance relief for all major disasters that are declared by the President. These declarations have occurred in every state since FY2000, with obligations for each incident ranging from a few hundred thousand dollars to more than $30 billion. DRF obligation data provided by FEMA demonstrates a number of important points. First, there is considerable variation in federal spending for major disasters from one year to the next, regardless of the number of declarations. Second, the majority of DRF obligations are used to finance approved expenses under the Public Assistance (PA) program, which include debris removal operations and the repair and replacement of infrastructure. Third, compared to expenditures for other declarations, major disasters continue to be the largest source of DRF obligations each year. The report below outlines the trend in DRF obligations for both the national and state level for the period FY2000 through FY2013. Linked to this report are individual profiles for each state. This report also includes additional resources and key policy staff that can provide more information on the programs that are discussed."
CRS Report for Congress, R43883