Presidential Disaster Declarations Final Paper

The textbook describes Presidential Disaster Declarations and states that to some degree, they constitute a chronological record of the pain and suffering caused by the major focusing events that have occurred in the United States history. Consider the Presidential Disaster Declarations. Which two declarations seems to be the most important in a disaster situation? Explain your reasoning.


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The President of the United States (POTUS) has two declaration options under Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5121-5207 (the Stafford Act), Emergency Declarations and Major Disaster Declarations. The Stafford Act requires that All requests for a declaration by the President that a major disaster exists shall be made by the Governor of the affected State” (“The Disaster Declaration Process”, n.d.).

When the local resources need immediate assistance, the governor can request that the POTUS make an Emergency Declaration. This can provide limited Individual assistance (IA) and public assistance (PA). PA is limited to debris removal (Category A) and emergency protective measures (Category B) (“The Disaster Declaration Process”, n.d.). This provides the local responders the financial support they need to address the immediate needs to address the needs of the community. My community is currently in the preliminary damage assessment (PDA) phase to determine eligibility for PA for damages caused by flash flooding. Many of the smaller communities have very limited budgets and the damages. Without the Emergency Declaration and the PA funds, they would not have the ability to recover from their damages.

The Major Disaster Declaration is vital to the long-term recovery of the community. PA included in the Major Disaster Declaration covers support for the critical infrastructure such as water treatment facilities, roads and bridges, and even parks and recreation facilities. IA funding provides support to the community members to heal, including unemployment support, case management, and crisis counseling.

In the initial response as a community is wondering how they will survive responding to the immediate needs, the Emergency Declaration provides the much-needed support. As the disaster become more defined with damages identified, the needs of the community shift to those addressed by the Major Declaration. Both have vital roles in supporting the local disasters.


The Disaster Declaration Process. (n.d.). Retrieved August 24, 2018, from

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