The Stafford Disaster Relief And Emergency Assistance Act Stephen Kraly ,Carmen Lozano, Diana Manning Dr. Stuart Malawer
Disaster Relief Act of 1974 • In April 1974, a series of devastating tornadoes hit six Midwestern States. • Need to add individual and family assistance to the disaster relief program. • S. 3062 (Burdick) • bi-partisan legislation • Passed Senate 91-0 (original). • Passed House 392-0 (Conference report). • 5/22/1974 - Signed into Public Law (No: 93-288)
Disaster Relief Act of 1974 • Authorized the President to establish a program of disaster preparedness that utilizes services of all appropriate agencies. • Federal Assistance is contingent upon a Presidential Declaration. • Authorizes the President to direct any Federal agency, with or without reimbursement, to utilize its available personnel, equipment, supplies, facilities, and other resources in support of State and local disaster assistance efforts. • Federal and State disaster relief operations are conducted on a partnership basis, and a State Coordinating Officer (SCO) works jointly with an FCO. • Federal assistance supports local, Tribal, and State activities and resources.
Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (Stafford Act) • H.R.2707 (Ridge) / S. 1453 (Heinz) • Amended the Disaster Relief Act of 1974. • Concern about the use of disaster authority for responding to non-natural disasters or emergencies (Cuban refugee influx / Three Mile Island incident). • Bi-partisan legislation. • Passed the House 368 – 13. • Passed the Senate by Voice Vote. • 11/23/1988 - Signed into Public Law (No: 100-707)
Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (Stafford Act) • Provides a framework for continued disaster relief and provided the authority for FEMA’s role in managing Federal disaster assistance. • Put in a minimum 75-percent Federal/25-percent State and local cost sharing for the PA Program. • Refocused assistance for non-natural disasters, unless caused by fire, flood, or explosion, to a more limited scope. • Placed importance on individual assistance and added an emphasis on mitigation of future losses. • State, Tribal, and local governments have the primary responsibility to respond to a disaster. • Federal assistance is designed to supplement the efforts and available resources of State, Tribal, and local governments, and voluntary relief organizations in alleviating the damage, loss, hardship, or suffering resulting from a disaster. • FEMA may task any Federal agency, with or without reimbursement, to provide assistance to State, Tribal, and local disaster efforts in a declared disaster.
Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (Stafford Act) Disaster assistance programs included in the Stafford Act: • Individual Assistance, in the form of individual and household grants and temporary housing. • Grants for emergency work, repair and restoration, and debris removal. • Mitigation grants, to reduce long-term risk to life and property from natural or technological disasters
Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 • H.R.3858 (Fowler) / S. 1691 (Inhofe) • bi-partisan legislation • Passed in the House overwhelmingly 415 - 2 . • Passed in the Senate by Unanimous Consent. • 10/30/2000 – Signed into Public Law (106-390).
Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 • Funding for pre-disaster mitigation activities. • Developing experimental multi-hazard maps to better understand risk • Establishing state and local government infrastructure mitigation planning requirements. • Defining how states can assume more responsibility in managing the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP). • Adjusting ways in which management costs for projects are funded.
The Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act (PETS) • H.R.3858 (Lantos) / S. 2548 (Stevens) • Bi-partisan legislation: Passed in the House overwhelmingly 349 – 24 • Passed in the Senate by Unanimous Consent. • Largely a response to the abandonment of many pets and other animals during Hurricane Katrina. • 10/6/2006 – Signed into Public Law (No: 109-308). • Requires that the Director of FEMA ensure that state and local emergency preparedness operational plans address the needs of individuals with household pets and service animals prior to, during, and following a major disaster or emergency
Disaster Assistance • The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), is the primary federal agency responsible for responding to disasters within the United States carrying out the Stafford Act. • FEMA provides supplemental aid to States, communities, and certain nonprofit organizations (PNPs) to help them recover from disasters as quickly as possible. • Events that cause disasters includes natural events, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, storms, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides private, snowstorms, and droughts; and regardless of cause, fires, floods, and explosions. • The intent of the Stafford Act is that Federal assistance be supplemental to local, State, and private relief organizations.
Stafford Act Disaster Assistance Funded by DRF • Individual/household Assistance • Public Assistance • Disaster Unemployment Assistance • Hazard Mitigation • Crisis Counseling
Declaration Process • Preliminary Damage Assessment (PDA) • Declaration of the President • FEMA designates which areas will get assistance • President appoints a Federal Coordinating Officer (FCO), who appoints a Disaster Recovery Manager (DRM) • State Coordinating Officer (SCO), may be appointed by the Governor • FEMA dispatches its disaster response teams and assets to provide support or to issue a Mission Assignment (MA) to the National Response Plan (NRP) signatory Departments and Agencies for support.
Criteria Used By FEMA • Amount and type of damage • Impact on the infrastructure of affected areas or critical facilities; • Imminent threats to public health and safety; • Impacts to essential government services and functions; • Unique capability of Federal government; • Dispersion or concentration of damage; • Level of insurance coverage in place for homeowners and public facilities; • Assistance available from other sources (Federal, State, local, voluntary organizations); • State and local resource commitments from previous, undeclared events; and • Frequency of disaster events over recent time period.
FEMA Operation Centers • The National Response Coordination Center (NRCC) in FEMA Headquarters; • The Regional Response Coordination Centers (RRCC) located in each of the ten FEMA Regions; • The FEMA Operations Center (FOC) located at the Mt. Weather Emergency Assistance Center; • The six Mobile Emergency Response Support (MERS) Operations Centers (MOC) located in the States of Massachusetts, Maryland, Georgia, Texas, Colorado, and Washington; and the Logistics Response Center at Headquarters.
Region 1- Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont Region 2- New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands Region 3- Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia Region 4- Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee Region 5- Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin Region 6-Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas Region 7- Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska Region 8- Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming Region 9- American Samoa, Arizona, California, Guam, Hawaii, Nevada, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Region 10- Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington Regions
DISASTER RESPONSE TEAMS • Emergency Response Teams-National (ERT-N) • Emergency Response Teams-Advanced (ERT-A) • Federal Incident Response Support Teams (FIRST), • Hurricane Liaison Team (HLT) • Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) Task Forces • Mobile Emergency Response Support (MERS)
FEMAEnhancement Area • New Incident Management Assistance Teams (IMAT) • Hurricane Gap Analysis Initiative • Modeling to Improve FEMA's Disaster Response Readiness • Development of Pre-Scripted Mission Assignments • Coordination with Department of Defense, National Guard, and U.S. Coast Guard • Disaster Workforce
Disaster Relief Fund Allocation FY 1974-1998 Millions of Dollars, 2005 Constant $ Source CRS Chart D. Manning
Disaster Relief Fund Allocation FY 1999-05 Millions of Dollars, 2005 Constant Source CRS: Chart D. Manning
Interrim Summary: Identifying Conflicts • Executive to Executive Process: • Governor to President • Designed for swift response to variety of events • Bureaucracies at both jurisdictions are absorbing funds meant for response • Competing Goals: • Place support in the field as fast as possible, to right places • Prevent fraud, waste and need for repetitive mitigations in same location • General Recognition of Need for Refocus • Need to move away from disaster response to preparedness • Recognition of difference between disasters and catastrophes • Erosion of Intent of Stafford Act; maintain private party responsibility • Need to curtail widespread fraud at all levels
Addressing Weaknesses: Creating Effectiveness • Issue One: Who is in charge? • Should the nature of the States roles be changed? • Should FEMA be part of Department of Homeland Security? • Who is conducting meaningful oversight? • Issue Two: Does Stafford Act address today’s needs? What functional changes still need to be made? • Issue Three: Is there a difference between disaster and catastrophe? Where does preparedness fit? Does federal preparedness legislation create unfunded mandates?
Issue One: Increase State Oversight • General Call to Push More Decision Making to States • Pros: States and Regional Governments are in best position to make funding/rebuilding decisions. “Closer to the Ground”= Closer ties to local business, neighborhoods=understanding needs. • Regional gov’ts oversee land use planning process • States Regulate Insurance providers • Staging: Higher Federal involvement at beginning of crises reverting to State control after crisis passes and State has capacity to respond. • Think of Emergency Room Trauma Teams • Cons: Is it fair for disadvantaged states? • Inconsistent administrative and financial capabilities between states creates tiered response • Example Louisiana & Mississippi • Another group of unfunded mandates
Issue One: FEMA- New Cabinet Position? • Administration of Stafford Act provisions seen as degraded since FEMA folded into “all hazards” approach at DHS • Recommendation: Remove from DHS and create Cabinet Level position. Alternatively: Shift into cabinet only when in “Active Mode” • Pros: creates immediacy, urgency, visibility and clear lines of ownership • May ease transition away from event-based leadership to preparedness role • Clarify budget issues & increase Congressional oversight • Cons: Coordination with related agencies within DHS • Difficult to legislate management style
Issue Two: Processes to Fix • Getting the right workers in place fast by using the ones already there for resumption of services • Utility workers • Protect infrastructure, utilities, communications • Hospitals • Allow privately owned facilities to receive federal recognition. Many areas do not have public medical services • Paperwork • Immediate reduction/simplification in layers of paperwork for individuals, businesses and state & local governments • Fraud greater at individual level or corporate? • Are insurance companies using Stafford to shirk obligations?
Issue Three: Disaster vs Catastrophe • Recommendation: Allow for scaled response with different rules for each. Calls to develop different procedures based on magnitude of disaster. • Pros: Allows for single response to multi-state or large scale event • Gives immediate management to federal responders to prevent overwhelmed/nonfunctional state from failing to do its part • Allows for development of metrics that create clear process requirements-in keeping with fed mandate for process reform • Cons: Potentially adds layers of administration within FEMA unless concurrent with reform
Conclusion: Stafford Act is Broken • Profuse number of amendments to Act since 2000 are making it difficult to administer • FEMA functioned better during California October 2007 fires but needs elevation in Administration, perhaps Cabinet level • Point-to-point State counterparts with FEMA need to be better developed with consistent sets of rules • Nature of disaster response must be redefined • Large scale vs. “small” scale • Response-based programs vs. pre-event mitigation • Funding for preparedness and pre-disaster mitigation needs to be increased. Oversight of funding must be institutionalized
Bibliography Bender, Catherine. National Low Income Housing Coalition. “Summary of the Preliminary Injunction Order in the Case of Ridgely v. FEMA. June 15, 2007. http://www.nlihc.org/detail/article.cfm?article_id=4262 Bea, Keith. “Federal Stafford Act Disaster Assistance: Presidential Declarations, Eligible Activities, and Funding.” August 29, 2005. Congressional Research Service. http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/homesec/RL33053.pdf, “Emergency Management Preparedness Standards.” August 30, 2006. “Federal Emergency Management Policy Changes After Hurricane Katrina: A Summary of Statutory Provisions December 15, 2006. Cooper, Christopher. “In Katrina’s Wake: Where Is the Money?” Wall Street Journal. January. 29, 2007 http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07029/757969-84.stm Moss, Mitchell L. and Charles Shelhamer. “The Stafford Act: Priorities for Reform.” New York University; The center for Catastrophe Preparedness and Reform.” March 2007 Thomas.loc.gov. Various Federal Public Laws. Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 (Public Law 106390), Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act (Public Law 109-308) United States, Federal Emergency Management Agency. “About FEMA” & FEMA’s Organizational Structure”. http://www.fema.gov/about/structure.shtm
Bibliography, Cont. • United States, FEMA, “Building Stronger and Safer: FEMA’s Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) Grant Program” http://www.fema.gov/government/grant/pdm/index • United States, FEMA. Declaration Process Fact Sheet . http://www.fema.gov/media/fact_sheets/declaration_process.sht • United States, FEMA “ Public Assistance Guide” FEMA Publication 322 / June 2007. http://www.fema.gov/government/grant/pa/pag07_1.shtm • United States, FEMA, FEMA Disaster Response Assets And Enhancements. http://www.fema.gov/media/archives/2007/061207.shtm • United States. United States Senate Budget Bulletin. “Informed Budgeteer” October 4, 2005 • United States, “White House DRF Appropriations FY 2007, ‘08 & ‘09” http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/expectmore/detail/10002416.2004.html • Washington Post, File Photo, “Michael Brown, Director of FEMA, Testifies before House of Representatives”