How do we know if FEMA can help us?
The Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, as Amended (Stafford Act) Title 42 of the United State Code (U.S.C.) 5121 et seq., authorizes the president to provide Federal Assistance when the magnitude of an incident or threatened incident exceeds the affected State, Territorial, Indian Tribal and local government capabilities to respond or recover.
The Governor of the affected State must request a Declaration from the President through FEMA within 30 days of the incident and the President must make a formal Disaster Declaration. Each Declaration is specific to each disaster and establishes the: Federal Cost Share, Type of Incident, and the Incident Period.
Local governments (eligible applicants) include: counties, municipalities, cities towns, townships, local public authorities, school districts, special districts established under State law, interstate districts, councils of governments (regardless of whether the council of governments is incorporated as a nonprofit corporation under State law), regional or interstate government entities, agencies or instrumens of local government; State-recognized Tribes; and rural communities, unincorporated towns or villages, or other public entities for which an application for assistance is made by a state or political subdivision of a State.
The significant funding sources available for communities that have endured a Declared Disaster area serve a range of purposes.
Resources are available through the following Federal Agencies:
Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA)
Small Business Administration (SBA)
US Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
United States Economic Development Administration (EDA)
For most disasters, private assistance is also available. Local foundations and not-not-for profit entities are often willing to help. The most successful communities begin their outreach and advocacy efforts immediately in order to obtain the maximum assistance possible for their recovery.