Disaster Declaration Overview and Info


Disaster Declarations Overview and Disaster Declaration Process

FEMA released a video detailing the Disaster Declaration process.  This short, 5-minute video provides viewers a high-level overview of the declaration process for Federally declared disasters.  Some of the topics covered in this video include Preliminary Damage Assessments, Declaration Types, Available Assistance Types, and Mitigation.  This is a great starter video for anyone that has never been through or does not understand the disaster declaration process.  This video can also be shared with people in your community to help communicate the disaster declaration process as well.

To watch, link to the the video


Disaster Declarations for Kentucky

Link to the Kentucky Division of Emergency Management (KYEM) Recovery Branch website for detailed information.  http://kyem.ky.gov/recovery/Pages/default.aspx.

To gain knowledge and have a better understanding of the declaration process and the county components and data needed to successfully be included within a disaster declaration link to http://kyem.ky.gov/recovery/Pages/New-Declaration-Process-.aspx.


Federal Disaster Assistance: An Overview of Post-Disaster Programs

March 2022

Federal disaster aid plays an important role in the recovery process.  Federal disaster aid programs provide state and local governments, households, businesses, and non-profit organizations with financial assistance for emergency response, rebuilding, and recovery costs of a large disaster.

This primer explains the main federal post-disaster programs managed by the FEMA, the Small Business Administration, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and offers insight on the current system and suggestions for policy reform so that disaster aid better serves those most in need.

Link to the Disaster-Aid-Primer-March-4-2022.


What is it?  An interactive tool to allow you to explore historic federal disaster declarations by state, county, hazard, and year.

FEMA launched a new data visualization tool that enables the public to see when and where disaster declarations have occurred across the country. The Public Data Visualization Tool, accessible at www.fema.gov/data-visualization, allows users to view and interact with FEMA data.

FEMA launched a new interactive tool to allow the public to explore currently-available FEMA grant data.  FEMA added Individual Assistance to the data visualization, which includes financial grants from the Individuals and Households Program. This program provides financial help or direct services to survivors if they are unable to meet their needs through other means through Housing Assistance and Other Needs Assistance (including personal property and other items).


FEMA Adjusts Consumer Price Index for 2023

October 1, 2022

FEMA has provided financial guidance for all disasters declared on or after Oct. 1, 2021.  This guidance reflects the 2022 Consumer Price Index adjustment of certain indicators for the Individual Assistance and Public Assistance programs.

The index adjusted annually for inflation by the U.S. Department of Labor.  The increases remain in effect for the next 12 months.  For more information visit the FEMA website.


FEMA Roadmap to Federal Resources for Disaster Recovery

June 2022

The Recovery Support Function Leadership Group (RSFLG) released the Roadmap, designed to help state, local, tribal, and territorial entities and other interested parties who are facing recovery and resiliency challenges and who may benefit from federal financial program support.  Users of the Roadmap are prompted to think through challenges they may be facing post-disaster, evaluate potential solutions to those challenges, and then identify which of the federal financial resources aligned to those solutions may be applicable to their specific criteria.

The Roadmap serves as a useful informational tool for entities navigating the post-disaster recovery resource landscape.  It is important to note the Roadmap is for informational purposes only and was compiled with publicly available information and should therefore be viewed only as a starting point for individual research.

Link to Roadmap to Federal Resources for Disaster Recovery.


FEMA Releases Disaster Recovery Reform Act Video

June 2022

FEMA developed an introductory video to the Disaster Recovery Reform Act Section 1206 to arm floodplain administrators, emergency managers, elected officials and other stakeholders in the recovery process. The video will supply stakeholders with the information needed for successful reimbursement of these new eligible activities. Through the narrator’s story following a devastating disaster in her community, viewers will learn key eligibility requirements for communities, work and costs covered under the policy and how to seek reimbursement for these new activities. 

When disaster strikes, many communities have hundreds, if not thousands, of structures to protect against future damage or restore to local codes and standards. Section 1206 of the Disaster Recovery Reform Act authorizes FEMA to reimburse communities that participate in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for the resources needed to effectively administer and enforce building codes and floodplain management regulations following a major disaster declaration. This creates new eligible activities through FEMA’s Public Assistance Program to carry out required post-disaster activities, increasing the overall speed of recovery and enhancing NFIP compliance. 

To watch the full video, visit FEMA’s YouTube page


FEMA Releases Resources for Climate Change   

December 2021

FEMA Released the “Resources for Climate Change,” a document intended to assist state, local, tribal, and territorial partners in navigating FEMA resources regarding climate change.

These resources will support communities in building resilience and adapting to the impacts of climate change and funding for community adaptation strategies.  The document outlines relevant FEMA resources, including those that can help communities:

  • Identify and assess climate change risk.
  • Consider climate change during hazard mitigation planning.
  • Fund mitigation and climate adaptation strategies.
  • Build community capacity to address climate risks.

The document also includes information on how to fund mitigation and climate adaptation strategies, how a community can build capacity to address climate change and how emergency managers and officials can include climate change in their hazard mitigation planning.  Stakeholders will also be able to use the quick glance overview of all FEMA funding sources to help their planning efforts.

For additional resources on climate change, please visit FEMA.gov’s climate change page.


FEMA Advisory: Disaster Financial Management Guide

April 16, 2020

FEMA released the “Disaster Financial Management Guide” to support jurisdictions in establishing and implementing sound disaster financial management practices, which are critical for successful response and recovery.  The guide takes an all-hazards approach and addresses a broad range of issues and contains concepts, principles and resources applicable to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic response environment.

All jurisdictions, regardless of size, need to develop and implement disaster financial management considerations and practices to track, calculate and justify the costs of an emergency; support local reimbursement reconciliation; avoid de-obligation of grant funding; and effectively fund and implement recovery projects and priorities.

The Disaster Financial Management Guide identifies the capabilities and activities necessary to prepare and successfully implement disaster financial management while maintaining fiscal responsibility throughout response and recovery operations.  This includes considerations and practices necessary to track, calculate and justify the costs of an emergency; support local reimbursement reconciliation; avoid de-obligation of grant funding; and effectively fund and implement recovery projects and priorities.  Fiscal and grant regulations are strict and apply to all jurisdictions, so it is imperative that jurisdictions have robust scalable, flexible and adaptable disaster financial management plans and processes in place pre-disaster for all types of incidents.

To view the guide and other information, visit https://www.fema.gov/plan.


Unified Federal Environmental and Historic Preservation Review 

Background: The Unified Federal Environmental and Historic Preservation Review Process (UFR Process) was established on July 29, 2014, by the execution of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) among eleven federal agencies involved in the environmental and historic preservation (EHP) reviews associated with disaster recovery assistance. The UFR Process focuses on the federal EHP requirements applicable to disaster recovery projects following a presidentially declared disaster under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act. Through the UFR Process, federal agencies that fund or permit disaster recovery projects and those that perform EHP reviews associated with the decision-making process will coordinate their independent EHP review processes leading to expedited decision making, which can result in faster delivery of assistance and implementation of recovery projects. The UFR Process recognizes the important role of tribes, state agencies, localities and the stakeholders working together with federal agencies to coordinate EHP reviews.

The UFR Process provides federal agencies with opportunities to expedite EHP reviews through enhanced coordination for all presidentially declared disasters.


Unified Federal Environmental and Historic Preservation Review Library

FEMA’s Unified Federal Environmental and Historic Preservation Review (UFR) Library contains documents associated with UFR Process development and implementation.  These documents, the Tools and Mechanisms, are for federal, tribal, state, and local stakeholders, including applicants and EHP practitioners. 

The Tools and Mechanisms unify and expedite environmental and historic preservation (EHP) review for proposed disaster recovery projects because they can be in place before a disaster occurs, are scalable to the needs of a particular disaster, empower applicants, enable EHP practitioners to share data, apply existing efficiencies within EHP requirements to disaster recovery projects, and introduce new compliance pathways for specific EHP requirements.

The library contains the following: 

  • UFR Frequently Asked Questions
  • UFR Newsletters
  • Practitioner and Leadership Briefing Packages
  • Applicant Guide
  • Practitioner Guidance
  • Data Standards List and Instructions
  • Disaster-Specific Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
  • Interagency Meeting Checklist
  • EHP Agency Point of Contact Lists and Instructions
  • EHP Disaster Recovery Skills Checklist
  • UFR Process Glossary
  • IT Resources List and Instructions
  • Prototype Programmatic Agreement for Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act
  • Template Environmental Checklist for FEMA and HUD
  • UFR Fact Sheets for various stakeholders

Learn more and download documents on FEMA’s website: Unified Federal Environmental and Historic Preservation Review (UFR) Library | FEMA.gov


Guide to UFR Resources for Applicants and Practitioners

December 20, 2022

The “Guide to UFR Resources for Practitioners and Applicants” serves as a directory of UFR product for disaster recovery grant applicants.  The guide provides a synopsis of each resource.  While the primary audiences are disaster recovery grantees and subgrantees, other federal and state partners may find these resources useful to guide post-disaster engagements or pre-disaster planning.


Disaster Recovery Act of 2018

On October 5, 2018, the Disaster Recovery Reform Act (DRRA) of 2018 was signed into law as part of the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2018. The law contains 56 distinct provisions that require FEMA policy or regulation changes for full implementation, as they amend the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act.

In October 2019, FEMA published the DRRA Annual Report. This report provides an overview of the DRRA, highlights its alignment with FEMA’s strategic goals, and describes FEMA’s efforts to implement the law including the provisions pertaining to HMA.



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