42 U.S.C.
United States Code, 2008 Edition
From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov


§5191. Procedure for declaration

(a) Request and declaration

All requests for a declaration by the President that an emergency exists shall be made by the Governor of the affected State. Such a request shall be based on a finding that the situation is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the State and the affected local governments and that Federal assistance is necessary. As a part of such request, and as a prerequisite to emergency assistance under this chapter, the Governor shall take appropriate action under State law and direct execution of the State's emergency plan. The Governor shall furnish information describing the State and local efforts and resources which have been or will be used to alleviate the emergency, and will define the type and extent of Federal aid required. Based upon such Governor's request, the President may declare that an emergency exists.

(b) Certain emergencies involving Federal primary responsibility

The President may exercise any authority vested in him by section 5192 of this title or section 5193 of this title with respect to an emergency when he determines that an emergency exists for which the primary responsibility for response rests with the United States because the emergency involves a subject area for which, under the Constitution or laws of the United States, the United States exercises exclusive or preeminent responsibility and authority. In determining whether or not such an emergency exists, the President shall consult the Governor of any affected State, if practicable. The President's determination may be made without regard to subsection (a) of this section.

(Pub. L. 93–288, title V, §501, as added Pub. L. 100–707, title I, §107(a), Nov. 23, 1988, 102 Stat. 4706.)

References in Text

This chapter, referred to in subsec. (a), 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.

Prior Provisions

A prior section 501 of Pub. L. 93–288 enacted subchapter VIII (§3231 et seq.) of chapter 38 of this title.

§5192. Federal emergency assistance

(a) Specified

In any emergency, the President may—

(1) direct any Federal agency, with or without reimbursement, to utilize its authorities and the resources granted to it under Federal law (including personnel, equipment, supplies, facilities, and managerial, technical and advisory services) in support of State and local emergency assistance efforts to save lives, protect property and public health and safety, and lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe, including precautionary evacuations;

(2) coordinate all disaster relief assistance (including voluntary assistance) provided by Federal agencies, private organizations, and State and local governments;

(3) provide technical and advisory assistance to affected State and local governments for—

(A) the performance of essential community services;

(B) issuance of warnings of risks or hazards;

(C) public health and safety information, including dissemination of such information;

(D) provision of health and safety measures; and

(E) management, control, and reduction of immediate threats to public health and safety;

(4) provide emergency assistance through Federal agencies;

(5) remove debris in accordance with the terms and conditions of section 5173 of this title;

(6) provide assistance in accordance with section 5174 of this title;

(7) assist State and local governments in the distribution of medicine, food, and other consumable supplies, and emergency assistance; and

(8) provide accelerated Federal assistance and Federal support where necessary to save lives, prevent human suffering, or mitigate severe damage, which may be provided in the absence of a specific request and in which case the President—

(A) shall, to the fullest extent practicable, promptly notify and coordinate with a State in which such assistance or support is provided; and

(B) shall not, in notifying and coordinating with a State under subparagraph (A), delay or impede the rapid deployment, use, and distribution of critical resources to victims of an emergency.

(b) General

Whenever the Federal assistance provided under subsection (a) of this section with respect to an emergency is inadequate, the President may also provide assistance with respect to efforts to save lives, protect property and public health and safety, and lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe, including precautionary evacuations.

(c) Guidelines

The President shall promulgate and maintain guidelines to assist Governors in requesting the declaration of an emergency in advance of a natural or man-made disaster (including for the purpose of seeking assistance with special needs and other evacuation efforts) under this section by defining the types of assistance available to affected States and the circumstances under which such requests are likely to be approved.

(Pub. L. 93–288, title V, §502, as added Pub. L. 100–707, title I, §107(a), Nov. 23, 1988, 102 Stat. 4706; amended Pub. L. 106–390, title II, §206(b), Oct. 30, 2000, 114 Stat. 1570; Pub. L. 109–295, title VI, §681(b), Oct. 4, 2006, 120 Stat. 1444.)


2006—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 109–295, §681(b)(1)(A), inserted “, including precautionary evacuations” before semicolon at end.

Subsec. (a)(8). Pub. L. 109–295, §681(b)(1)(B)–(D), added par. (8).

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 109–295, §681(b)(2), inserted “, including precautionary evacuations” before period at end.

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 109–295, §681(b)(3), added subsec. (c).

2000—Subsec. (a)(6). Pub. L. 106–390 struck out “temporary housing” after “provide”.

Effective Date of 2000 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 106–390 effective 18 months after Oct. 30, 2000, see section 206(d) of Pub. L. 106–390, set out as a note under section 5174 of this title.

§5193. Amount of assistance

(a) Federal share

The Federal share for assistance provided under this subchapter shall be equal to not less than 75 percent of the eligible costs.

(b) Limit on amount of assistance

(1) In general

Except as provided in paragraph (2), total assistance provided under this subchapter for a single emergency shall not exceed $5,000,000.

(2) Additional assistance

The limitation described in paragraph (1) may be exceeded when the President determines that—

(A) continued emergency assistance is immediately required;

(B) there is a continuing and immediate risk to lives, property, public health or safety; and

(C) necessary assistance will not otherwise be provided on a timely basis.

(3) Report

Whenever the limitation described in paragraph (1) is exceeded, the President shall report to the Congress on the nature and extent of emergency assistance requirements and shall propose additional legislation if necessary.

(Pub. L. 93–288, title V, §503, as added Pub. L. 100–707, title I, §107(a), Nov. 23, 1988, 102 Stat. 4707.)