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Stafford Act Declarations 1953-1022: Trends and Analyses, and Implications for Congress
Bruce R. Lindsay (au); Francis X. McCarthy (au)
The Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act authorizes the President to issue declarations that provide states and localities with a range of federal assistance in response to natural and man-made incidents. Since 1953 the number of declarations issued each year has steadily increased. For ex., the average number of major disaster declarations issued from 1960 to 1969 was roughly 18 per year. In contrast, the average number of major disaster declarations issued from 2000 to 2009 was 56 per year. The highest number was declared in 2011, with 99 major disaster declarations. This report describes the declaration process and the types of declarations that can be declared under the Stafford Act: (1) Fire Management Assistance Grants, (2) emergencies, and (3) major disasters. It then analyzes each type of declaration that has been issued, and denied from 1953 to 2011. The report concludes that such changes could reduce federal spending on disaster assistance and shift a portion of the funding back to the states. On the other hand, limiting federal disaster assistance could hamper the ability of states and localities to adequately recover from an incident and create long-term consequences.Figures. This is a print on demand report.
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