When a catastrophe is declared, the federal government, led by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), acts at the request of and in support of the affected states, tribes, territories, and other local governments. The National Response Framework organizes response efforts. This framework establishes clear roles and responsibilities for federal agencies involved in emergency responses.
The federal government's role is to support state and local authorities during emergencies. This support includes providing emergency funds to state and local governments for recovery efforts. It also includes helping with long-term rebuilding by offering guidance on how to use federal assistance programs. Finally, the federal government monitors disaster responses and makes improvements where needed.
When a disaster strikes, it can be difficult for individuals or organizations to know who to contact for help. To address this need, FEMA has developed an online directory of all federal agencies involved in emergency management. This directory is called "FEMA's Online Directory of Federal Programs."
Individuals or groups that have questions about federal assistance available for disasters can visit FEMA's website or call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362).
Disasters can happen anywhere in the world, but some are more likely than others. Climate change is expected to increase the frequency of severe weather events like hurricanes and earthquakes.
It is home to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which is the primary supplier of disaster relief and support. Programs and services:
The federal government contributes to disaster relief operations through numerous agencies and departments, with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) playing a leading role and providing financial aid to local relief efforts through its Disaster Relief Fund (DRF).
FEMA is part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which also includes the Coast Guard and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. DHS is charged with protecting the nation from terrorist attacks within its borders as well as natural disasters outside them.
One of FEMA's main roles is to prepare for, respond to, and recover from all types of disasters affecting the United States. This includes acts of terrorism as well as accidents such as floods, earthquakes, and wildfires. To do this, they rely on the assistance of both state and local governments as well as private industry.
When a disaster strikes, individuals or organizations can apply for funds from FEMA's DRF. The agency will review the request and may grant up to $1 million per incident. If you receive a check from FEMA, put it in a safe place because it may be needed to cover future expenses related to the same incident.
FEMA staff members are trained to identify risk factors in areas likely to experience natural disasters and make recommendations regarding hazard mitigation measures.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) manages the national emergency management system and provides federal assistance to those affected by disasters. The agency was created in 1979 by Congress as a result of the Presidential Disaster Declaration. Before then, states and local governments were responsible for responding to disasters.
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders after disasters strike by ensuring effective risk communication, rapid recovery, and mitigation through science-based planning.
In addition to managing federal responses to disasters, FEMA also publishes guidance for state and local officials on how to best prepare for and respond to disasters. This includes guidelines on everything from how to build an emergency plan for your business to what actions to take if there's a water supply interruption during a hurricane or other natural disaster.
FEMA's regional offices are located across the country and provide resources and expertise that help communities prepare themselves for disasters. These offices work with state and local officials to ensure that they have the tools they need to protect their people and property after major incidents.
Each year, nearly 100,000 Americans lose their lives due to disasters.
Requesting state and/or federal help from the State Emergency Management Agency When a local jurisdiction lacks the resources to respond to a crisis, it seeks aid from the state government. Local governments do not have direct access to federal programs. They can apply for assistance through their state emergency management agency (SEMA).
In addition to aiding communities in recovery efforts, state and federal agencies may provide funding for long-term hazard mitigation measures such as flood control projects. States also have the authority to distribute federal disaster relief funds to eligible local governments.
Federal law requires states to establish a SEMA. Each state agency responsible for emergency management issues must be represented on the SEMA board. The SEMA works with national organizations such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to develop policies and procedures that guide federal response activities in their states.
Local governments should work with state and federal officials to identify needs and request resources during all phases of a disaster. This includes planning for and responding to natural hazards such as floods, droughts, and earthquakes.
Communities need to know how to locate resources within their government structure. For example, cities may be able to obtain grants for hazard mitigation projects that benefit multiple jurisdictions. Counties can use surplus property sales to fund mitigation projects that benefit entire counties.
The federal government also assists state and municipal governments in their efforts to evacuate areas endangered by wildfires. A presidential proclamation calls for federal assistance to safeguard property, public health, and safety while striving to maintain state authority and accountability. Federal law requires that when a fire threatens structures or land under the control of a federal agency, the agency must determine whether it is responsible for fighting the fire. If so, the agency can be paid for its work.
In California, local governments have the primary responsibility for fire protection, but the state has the lead role in fire management. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CalFire) is responsible for preventing and reducing wildfire hazards and controlling fires when they start. They do this by conducting research on forest conditions, developing prevention programs, and distributing educational materials. As part of its role in fire management, CalFire provides funding to local governments to support fire protection activities. In 2018, about 7% of California's land area was covered with forest or grassland habitats protected by permanent management plans that include fire as a natural process.
When wildfires do occur, they can have an impact on community development. It depends on the size of the fire and where it occurs. If the fire is small or out of place, such as someone dropping a cigarette, there may be little effect on development.