42 U.S.C.
United States Code, 2008 Edition
Title 42 - THE PUBLIC HEALTH AND WELFARE
CHAPTER 68 - DISASTER RELIEF
SUBCHAPTER II - DISASTER PREPAREDNESS AND MITIGATION ASSISTANCE
From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov

SUBCHAPTER II—DISASTER PREPAREDNESS AND MITIGATION ASSISTANCE

§5131. Federal and State disaster preparedness programs

(a) Utilization of services of other agencies

The President is authorized to establish a program of disaster preparedness that utilizes services of all appropriate agencies and includes—

(1) preparation of disaster preparedness plans for mitigation, warning, emergency operations, rehabilitation, and recovery;

(2) training and exercises;

(3) postdisaster critiques and evaluations;

(4) annual review of programs;

(5) coordination of Federal, State, and local preparedness programs;

(6) application of science and technology;

(7) research.

(b) Technical assistance for the development of plans and programs

The President shall provide technical assistance to the States in developing comprehensive plans and practicable programs for preparation against disasters, including hazard reduction, avoidance, and mitigation; for assistance to individuals, businesses, and State and local governments following such disasters; and for recovery of damaged or destroyed public and private facilities.

(c) Grants to States for development of plans and programs

Upon application by a State, the President is authorized to make grants, not to exceed in the aggregate to such State $250,000, for the development of plans, programs, and capabilities for disaster preparedness and prevention. Such grants shall be applied for within one year from May 22, 1974. Any State desiring financial assistance under this section shall designate or create an agency to plan and administer such a disaster preparedness program, and shall, through such agency, submit a State plan to the President, which shall—

(1) set forth a comprehensive and detailed State program for preparation against and assistance following, emergencies and major disasters, including provisions for assistance to individuals, businesses, and local governments; and

(2) include provisions for appointment and training of appropriate staffs, formulation of necessary regulations and procedures and conduct of required exercises.

(d) Grants for improvement, maintenance, and updating of State plans

The President is authorized to make grants not to exceed 50 per centum of the cost of improving, maintaining and updating State disaster assistance plans, including evaluations of natural hazards and development of the programs and actions required to mitigate such hazards; except that no such grant shall exceed $50,000 per annum to any State.

(Pub. L. 93–288, title II, §201, May 22, 1974, 88 Stat. 145; Pub. L. 100–707, title I, §104, Nov. 23, 1988, 102 Stat. 4690.)

Amendments

1988—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 100–707, §104(b)(1), struck out “(including the Defense Civil Preparedness Agency)” after “agencies”.

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 100–707, §104(a), (b)(2), inserted “including evaluations of natural hazards and development of the programs and actions required to mitigate such hazards;” after “plans,” and substituted “$50,000” for “$25,000”.

§5132. Disaster warnings

(a) Readiness of Federal agencies to issue warnings to State and local officials

The President shall insure that all appropriate Federal agencies are prepared to issue warnings of disasters to State and local officials.

(b) Technical assistance to State and local governments for effective warnings

The President shall direct appropriate Federal agencies to provide technical assistance to State and local governments to insure that timely and effective disaster warning is provided.

(c) Warnings to governmental authorities and public endangered by disaster

The President is authorized to utilize or to make available to Federal, State, and local agencies the facilities of the civil defense communications system established and maintained pursuant to section 5196(c) of this title or any other Federal communications system for the purpose of providing warning to governmental authorities and the civilian population in areas endangered by disasters.

(d) Agreements with commercial communications systems for use of facilities

The President is authorized to enter into agreements with the officers or agents of any private or commercial communications systems who volunteer the use of their systems on a reimbursable or nonreimbursable basis for the purpose of providing warning to governmental authorities and the civilian population endangered by disasters.

(Pub. L. 93–288, title II, §202, May 22, 1974, 88 Stat. 145; Pub. L. 103–337, div. C, title XXXIV, §3412(b)(1), Oct. 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 3111.)

Amendments

1994—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 103–337 substituted “section 5196(c) of this title” for “section 2281(c) of title 50, Appendix,”.

§5133. Predisaster hazard mitigation

(a) Definition of small impoverished community

In this section, the term “small impoverished community” means a community of 3,000 or fewer individuals that is economically disadvantaged, as determined by the State in which the community is located and based on criteria established by the President.

(b) Establishment of program

The President may establish a program to provide technical and financial assistance to States and local governments to assist in the implementation of predisaster hazard mitigation measures that are cost-effective and are designed to reduce injuries, loss of life, and damage and destruction of property, including damage to critical services and facilities under the jurisdiction of the States or local governments.

(c) Approval by President

If the President determines that a State or local government has identified natural disaster hazards in areas under its jurisdiction and has demonstrated the ability to form effective public-private natural disaster hazard mitigation partnerships, the President, using amounts in the National Predisaster Mitigation Fund established under subsection (i) of this section (referred to in this section as the “Fund”), may provide technical and financial assistance to the State or local government to be used in accordance with subsection (e) of this section.

(d) State recommendations

(1) In general

(A) Recommendations

The Governor of each State may recommend to the President not fewer than five local governments to receive assistance under this section.

(B) Deadline for submission

The recommendations under subparagraph (A) shall be submitted to the President not later than October 1, 2001, and each October 1st thereafter or such later date in the year as the President may establish.

(C) Criteria

In making recommendations under subparagraph (A), a Governor shall consider the criteria specified in subsection (g) of this section.

(2) Use

(A) In general

Except as provided in subparagraph (B), in providing assistance to local governments under this section, the President shall select from local governments recommended by the Governors under this subsection.

(B) Extraordinary circumstances

In providing assistance to local governments under this section, the President may select a local government that has not been recommended by a Governor under this subsection if the President determines that extraordinary circumstances justify the selection and that making the selection will further the purpose of this section.

(3) Effect of failure to nominate

If a Governor of a State fails to submit recommendations under this subsection in a timely manner, the President may select, subject to the criteria specified in subsection (g) of this section, any local governments of the State to receive assistance under this section.

(e) Uses of technical and financial assistance

(1) In general

Technical and financial assistance provided under this section—

(A) shall be used by States and local governments principally to implement predisaster hazard mitigation measures that are cost-effective and are described in proposals approved by the President under this section; and

(B) may be used—

(i) to support effective public-private natural disaster hazard mitigation partnerships;

(ii) to improve the assessment of a community's vulnerability to natural hazards; or

(iii) to establish hazard mitigation priorities, and an appropriate hazard mitigation plan, for a community.

(2) Dissemination

A State or local government may use not more than 10 percent of the financial assistance received by the State or local government under this section for a fiscal year to fund activities to disseminate information regarding cost-effective mitigation technologies.

(f) Allocation of funds

The amount of financial assistance made available to a State (including amounts made available to local governments of the State) under this section for a fiscal year—

(1) shall be not less than the lesser of—

(A) $500,000; or

(B) the amount that is equal to 1.0 percent of the total funds appropriated to carry out this section for the fiscal year;


(2) shall not exceed 15 percent of the total funds described in paragraph (1)(B); and

(3) shall be subject to the criteria specified in subsection (g) of this section.

(g) Criteria for assistance awards

In determining whether to provide technical and financial assistance to a State or local government under this section, the President shall take into account—

(1) the extent and nature of the hazards to be mitigated;

(2) the degree of commitment of the State or local government to reduce damages from future natural disasters;

(3) the degree of commitment by the State or local government to support ongoing non-Federal support for the hazard mitigation measures to be carried out using the technical and financial assistance;

(4) the extent to which the hazard mitigation measures to be carried out using the technical and financial assistance contribute to the mitigation goals and priorities established by the State;

(5) the extent to which the technical and financial assistance is consistent with other assistance provided under this chapter;

(6) the extent to which prioritized, cost-effective mitigation activities that produce meaningful and definable outcomes are clearly identified;

(7) if the State or local government has submitted a mitigation plan under section 5165 of this title, the extent to which the activities identified under paragraph (6) are consistent with the mitigation plan;

(8) the opportunity to fund activities that maximize net benefits to society;

(9) the extent to which assistance will fund mitigation activities in small impoverished communities; and

(10) such other criteria as the President establishes in consultation with State and local governments.

(h) Federal share

(1) In general

Financial assistance provided under this section may contribute up to 75 percent of the total cost of mitigation activities approved by the President.

(2) Small impoverished communities

Notwithstanding paragraph (1), the President may contribute up to 90 percent of the total cost of a mitigation activity carried out in a small impoverished community.

(i) National Predisaster Mitigation Fund

(1) Establishment

The President may establish in the Treasury of the United States a fund to be known as the “National Predisaster Mitigation Fund”, to be used in carrying out this section.

(2) Transfers to Fund

There shall be deposited in the Fund—

(A) amounts appropriated to carry out this section, which shall remain available until expended; and

(B) sums available from gifts, bequests, or donations of services or property received by the President for the purpose of predisaster hazard mitigation.

(3) Expenditures from Fund

Upon request by the President, the Secretary of the Treasury shall transfer from the Fund to the President such amounts as the President determines are necessary to provide technical and financial assistance under this section.

(4) Investment of amounts

(A) In general

The Secretary of the Treasury shall invest such portion of the Fund as is not, in the judgment of the Secretary of the Treasury, required to meet current withdrawals. Investments may be made only in interest-bearing obligations of the United States.

(B) Acquisition of obligations

For the purpose of investments under subparagraph (A), obligations may be acquired—

(i) on original issue at the issue price; or

(ii) by purchase of outstanding obligations at the market price.

(C) Sale of obligations

Any obligation acquired by the Fund may be sold by the Secretary of the Treasury at the market price.

(D) Credits to Fund

The interest on, and the proceeds from the sale or redemption of, any obligations held in the Fund shall be credited to and form a part of the Fund.

(E) Transfers of amounts

(i) In general

The amounts required to be transferred to the Fund under this subsection shall be transferred at least monthly from the general fund of the Treasury to the Fund on the basis of estimates made by the Secretary of the Treasury.

(ii) Adjustments

Proper adjustment shall be made in amounts subsequently transferred to the extent prior estimates were in excess of or less than the amounts required to be transferred.

(j) Limitation on total amount of financial assistance

The President shall not provide financial assistance under this section in an amount greater than the amount available in the Fund.

(k) Multihazard advisory maps

(1) Definition of multihazard advisory map

In this subsection, the term “multihazard advisory map” means a map on which hazard data concerning each type of natural disaster is identified simultaneously for the purpose of showing areas of hazard overlap.

(2) Development of maps

In consultation with States, local governments, and appropriate Federal agencies, the President shall develop multihazard advisory maps for areas, in not fewer than five States, that are subject to commonly recurring natural hazards (including flooding, hurricanes and severe winds, and seismic events).

(3) Use of technology

In developing multihazard advisory maps under this subsection, the President shall use, to the maximum extent practicable, the most cost-effective and efficient technology available.

(4) Use of maps

(A) Advisory nature

The multihazard advisory maps shall be considered to be advisory and shall not require the development of any new policy by, or impose any new policy on, any government or private entity.

(B) Availability of maps

The multihazard advisory maps shall be made available to the appropriate State and local governments for the purposes of—

(i) informing the general public about the risks of natural hazards in the areas described in paragraph (2);

(ii) supporting the activities described in subsection (e) of this section; and

(iii) other public uses.

(l) Report on Federal and State administration

Not later than 18 months after October 30, 2000, the President, in consultation with State and local governments, shall submit to Congress a report evaluating efforts to implement this section and recommending a process for transferring greater authority and responsibility for administering the assistance program established under this section to capable States.

(m) Termination of authority

The authority provided by this section terminates September 30, 2009.

(Pub. L. 93–288, title II, §203, as added Pub. L. 106–390, title I, §102(a), Oct. 30, 2000, 114 Stat. 1553; amended Pub. L. 108–199, div. H, §135, Jan. 23, 2004, 118 Stat. 441; Pub. L. 108–447, div. J, title I, §105, Dec. 8, 2004, 118 Stat. 3343; Pub. L. 109–139, §2, Dec. 22, 2005, 119 Stat. 2649; Pub. L. 110–329, div. D, title V, §553, Sept. 30, 2008, 122 Stat. 3690.)

References in Text

This chapter, referred to in subsec. (g)(5), was in the original “this Act”, meaning Pub. L. 93–288, May 22, 1974, 88 Stat. 143, as amended. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 5121 of this title and Tables.

Amendments

2008—Subsec. (m). Pub. L. 110–329 substituted “September 30, 2009” for “September 30, 2008”.

2005—Subsec. (m). Pub. L. 109–139 substituted “September 30, 2008” for “December 31, 2005”.

2004—Subsec. (m). Pub. L. 108–447 substituted “2005” for “2004”.

Pub. L. 108–199 substituted “2004” for “2003”.

Findings and Purpose

Pub. L. 106–390, title I, §101, Oct. 30, 2000, 114 Stat. 1552, provided that:

“(a) Findings.—Congress finds that—

“(1) natural disasters, including earthquakes, tsunamis, tornadoes, hurricanes, flooding, and wildfires, pose great danger to human life and to property throughout the United States;

“(2) greater emphasis needs to be placed on—

“(A) identifying and assessing the risks to States and local governments (including Indian tribes) from natural disasters;

“(B) implementing adequate measures to reduce losses from natural disasters; and

“(C) ensuring that the critical services and facilities of communities will continue to function after a natural disaster;

“(3) expenditures for postdisaster assistance are increasing without commensurate reductions in the likelihood of future losses from natural disasters;

“(4) in the expenditure of Federal funds under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq.), high priority should be given to mitigation of hazards at the local level; and

“(5) with a unified effort of economic incentives, awareness and education, technical assistance, and demonstrated Federal support, States and local governments (including Indian tribes) will be able to—

“(A) form effective community-based partnerships for hazard mitigation purposes;

“(B) implement effective hazard mitigation measures that reduce the potential damage from natural disasters;

“(C) ensure continued functionality of critical services;

“(D) leverage additional non-Federal resources in meeting natural disaster resistance goals; and

“(E) make commitments to long-term hazard mitigation efforts to be applied to new and existing structures.

“(b) Purpose.—The purpose of this title [enacting this section and sections 5134, 5165 and 5165a of this title, amending section 5170c of this title, and repealing section 5176 of this title] is to establish a national disaster hazard mitigation program—

“(1) to reduce the loss of life and property, human suffering, economic disruption, and disaster assistance costs resulting from natural disasters; and

“(2) to provide a source of predisaster hazard mitigation funding that will assist States and local governments (including Indian tribes) in implementing effective hazard mitigation measures that are designed to ensure the continued functionality of critical services and facilities after a natural disaster.”

§5134. Interagency task force

(a) In general

The President shall establish a Federal interagency task force for the purpose of coordinating the implementation of predisaster hazard mitigation programs administered by the Federal Government.

(b) Chairperson

The Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency shall serve as the chairperson of the task force.

(c) Membership

The membership of the task force shall include representatives of—

(1) relevant Federal agencies;

(2) State and local government organizations (including Indian tribes); and

(3) the American Red Cross.

(Pub. L. 93–288, title II, §204, as added Pub. L. 106–390, title I, §103, Oct. 30, 2000, 114 Stat. 1557; amended Pub. L. 109–295, title VI, §612(c), Oct. 4, 2006, 120 Stat. 1410.)

Change of Name

“Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency” substituted for “Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency” in subsec. (b) on authority of section 612(c) of Pub. L. 109–295, set out as a note under section 313 of Title 6, Domestic Security. Any reference to the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency in title VI of Pub. L. 109–295 or an amendment by title VI to be considered to refer and apply to the Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency until Mar. 31, 2007, see section 612(f)(2) of Pub. L. 109–295, set out as a note under section 313 of Title 6.

Transfer of Functions

For transfer of all functions, personnel, assets, components, authorities, grant programs, and liabilities of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, including the functions of the Under Secretary for Federal Emergency Management relating thereto, to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, see section 315(a)(1) of Title 6, Domestic Security.

For transfer of functions, personnel, assets, and liabilities of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, including the functions of the Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency relating thereto, to the Secretary of Homeland Security, and for treatment of related references, see former section 313(1) and sections 551(d), 552(d), and 557 of Title 6, Domestic Security, and the Department of Homeland Security Reorganization Plan of November 25, 2002, as modified, set out as a note under section 542 of Title 6.