Author: Francis X. McCarthy, Analyst in Emergency Management Policy; Jared T. Brown, Analyst in Emergency Management and Homeland Security Policy
Before and after a disaster strikes, it may be helpful to understand the broad outlines of the national emergency management structure and where authority rests at various stages of the process. This report provides information that can aid policymakers as they navigate through the many levels of responsibility, and numerous policy pressure points, by having an understanding of the laws and administrative policies governing the disaster response and recovery process. The report also reviews the legislative framework that exists for providing federal assistance, as well as the implementing policies the executive branch employs to provide supplemental help to state, tribal, and local governments during time of disasters. See the “Where to Obtain Further Information” section of this report for online resources with information on the response to current disasters, on the disaster management process and federal disaster assistance programs, and on the current scientific predictions for various natural hazards.