How It Works, What It Provides

What Is the Federal Emergency Administration Company (FEMA)?

The Federal Emergency Administration Company (FEMA) is the federal company whose mission is to organize for, reply to, and assist residents get better from the impression of each pure and man-made disasters, incidents, and terrorist occasions within the U.S. and its territories.

FEMA has established 9 guiding ideas designed to direct how the company interacts with the general public, approaches its work, and gives providers to the neighborhood. These ideas—Accessibility, Accountability, Empowerment, Engagement, Flexibility, Getting Outcomes, Preparation, Stewardship, and Teamwork—are additional guided by FEMA’s strategic plan, most just lately up to date for 2022-2026.

Key Takeaways

  • The Federal Emergency Administration Company is the federal government company tasked with getting ready for, responding to, and recovering from pure and man-made disasters within the U.S. and its territories.
  • FEMA’s 9 guiding ideas—together with its present strategic plan—kind the idea for FEMA actions and mission course.
  • The catastrophe declaration course of, codified by the Stafford Act, spells out FEMA’s position in coordinating the federal response to a presidentially declared catastrophe.
  • Catastrophe help is accessible from FEMA to people, companies, communities, and states following a presidential catastrophe declaration.
  • A particular sort of tax-deductible catastrophe loss is accessible to people and companies in federally declared catastrophe areas.

How the Federal Emergency Administration Company(FEMA) Works

FEMA exists to handle disasters in 3 ways:

  • Elevating consciousness of the chance of a catastrophe, offering risk-reduction training, and initiating preventive motion earlier than a catastrophe occurs
  • Alerting the general public and coordinating the federal response throughout a catastrophe
  • Coordinating federal restoration efforts, together with offering sources and making an attempt to stop future disasters after an incident or occasion.

The disaster-declaration course of, for which FEMA is best-known, begins with a request from a state or territorial governor following an occasion. This course of is required by laws often called the Robert T. Stafford Catastrophe Reduction and Emergency Help Act of 1988. Underneath the Stafford Act, FEMA coordinates the response to any presidentially declared catastrophe.

The governor’s request is made by means of the regional FEMA workplace. State and federal officers conduct a preliminary harm evaluation (PDA) to estimate the impression of the catastrophe on people and public services. This data is used to indicate that an acceptable response to this catastrophe is past the capabilities of the state and native governments.

As a part of the request, the governor should direct the execution of the state’s emergency plan, together with details about the quantity of native and state sources that may be dedicated to assuaging the impression of the catastrophe. Based mostly on the governor’s request, the president might declare {that a} main catastrophe exists. This, in flip, opens up a lot of federal applications to help within the response and restoration effort.

Obtainable Help

Not all federal applications can be found for each FEMA catastrophe. That dedication is made through the PDA and based mostly on extra data uncovered following the catastrophe. Help falls into three classes:

A particular sort of tax-deductible loss, often called a catastrophe loss, is accessible to anybody who resides in an space that has been designated as a federal catastrophe space. This may embrace disasters that come up from floods, fires, and earthquakes.

Particular person Help

The People and Households Program (IHP) is a mixed FEMA and state-run program. When a significant catastrophe happens, this program gives cash and providers to folks within the declared space whose property has been broken or destroyed and whose losses are usually not lined by insurance coverage.

The IHP ensures that folks whose properties have been broken by catastrophe have a protected place to stay. One other program, Different Wants Help (ONA), gives monetary help to people and households with different disaster-related bills that don’t qualify for a low-interest mortgage from the Small Enterprise Administration (SBA).

These applications can be found solely to owners and renters who’re United States residents, non-citizen nationals, or certified aliens affected by the catastrophe.

Public Help

Public Help, which targets public entities, funds the restore, restoration, reconstruction, or alternative of a public facility broken or destroyed by a catastrophe. Eligible entities embrace state and native governments and different political entities, corresponding to Native American tribes and Alaska Native Villages.

Sure non-public nonprofit (PNP) organizations may obtain help, together with academic, utility, irrigation, emergency, medical, rehabilitation, and short-term or everlasting custodial care services. PNPs that present “essential providers” (energy, water, wastewater therapy, communications, and emergency medical care) might apply on to FEMA for a catastrophe grant. All different PNPs should first apply to the Small Enterprise Administration (SBA) for a catastrophe mortgage. If the SBA mortgage software is declined, the applicant might reapply for FEMA help.

Hazard-Mitigation Help

 Hazard Mitigation refers to measures taken to get rid of or cut back long-term dangers to folks and property from pure hazards and their results. These mitigation measures cut back private loss, save lives, and cut back the price of recovering from present and future disasters. Hazard-mitigation funds can come from both part 404 or 406 of the Stafford Act. In each instances, the Federal authorities will present as much as 75% of the price of the mitigation, topic to sure restrictions.

The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP), licensed by part 404 of the Stafford Act, lets communities apply for mitigation funds by means of their state. The state, as grantee, is answerable for notifying potential candidates of the supply of funding, defining a project-selection course of, rating and prioritizing initiatives, and forwarding initiatives to FEMA for funding. The applicant carries out authorized initiatives with the state or native authorities offering a 25% match.

Historical past of the Federal Emergency Administration Company (FEMA)

Shaped in 1979 by a presidential govt order issued by President Jimmy Carter, FEMA mixed a number of federal applications designed to handle emergency administration right into a single company. The company’s mission has grown through the years to incorporate a job as a part of the U.S. Division of Homeland Safety. The company’s authorities had been additional outlined and expanded by a further sequence of legislative actions.

The Robert T. Stafford Catastrophe Reduction and Emergency Help Act (Stafford Act) of 1988 amended and renamed the Catastrophe Reduction Act of 1974. This motion established the framework for catastrophe response and restoration by means of presidentially declared disasters.

Following the 9/11 terrorist assaults in 2001, President George W. Bush signed the Homeland Safety Act, which made FEMA part of the U.S. Division of Homeland Safety (DHS). Over the subsequent 20 years, Congress handed extra laws that additional formed FEMA. The laws included the Submit-Katrina Emergency Administration Reform Act (2006), the Sandy Reform Act (2012), and the Catastrophe Restoration Reform Act (2018).

How Does an Particular person Apply for FEMA Catastrophe Help?

There are a number of methods to use for catastrophe help following a federally declared catastrophe:

  • You’ll be able to apply on-line at
  • You should utilize the FEMA cell app.
  • You’ll be able to name FEMA at 800-621-3362—24 hours a day, seven days every week.
  • You’ll be able to go to a short lived FEMA catastrophe restoration heart, which has opened in a catastrophe space following a catastrophe occasion and presidential declaration

You will have to have sure data obtainable together with:

  • Your Social Safety quantity
  • Insurance coverage data
  • An outline of injury you could have suffered
  • Monetary data, together with annual revenue
  • Contact data together with identify, cellphone quantity, and tackle the place the harm occurred
  • Direct deposit data, if that’s the way you want to obtain any catastrophe reduction

What Constitutes a Catastrophe Eligible for FEMA Help?

A catastrophe is a disruption to the perform of an space that exceeds the world’s potential to manage utilizing its personal sources. To be eligible for FEMA help, the catastrophe have to be presidentially declared. For this to occur the governor of the affected state or territory should request a catastrophe declaration from the president of the US and the president should declare the world a catastrophe.

How Do I Take a Catastrophe-Loss Tax Deduction?

You might deduct your loss as a result of a federally declared catastrophe within the yr the loss happens or the earlier yr, whichever is extra useful to you, relying on the kind of catastrophe. IRS Pub. 547: Casualties, Disasters, and Thefts gives steering and details about what kinds to make use of and learn how to fill them out.

Usually, pure disasters—corresponding to floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, and earthquakes—are the occasions that qualify somebody to take a disaster-loss tax deduction. You’ll be able to deduct losses associated to your house, home goods, and cars to the extent they aren’t lined by insurance coverage.

The Backside Line

For an company that solely got here into existence in 1979, FEMA has turn out to be a significant a part of the disaster-response panorama in America. In partnership with different companies, together with the Small Enterprise Administration, the company has helped cut back catastrophe threat whereas concurrently responding to these already in progress.

FEMA’s three-pronged directive to boost consciousness earlier than a catastrophe, reply appropriately throughout one, and supply preventative measures after an occasion are a part of the rationale FEMA has performed a significant position in serving to mitigate the impression of pure disasters within the U.S.

See also  Indian Employment Credit (IEC)