206.181 Use of gifts and bequests for disaster assistance purposes.§ 206.181 Use of gifts and bequests for disaster assistance purposes.
(a) General. FEMA sets forth procedures for the use of funds made possible by a bequest of funds from the late Cora C. Brown of Kansas City, Missouri, who left a portion of her estate to the United States for helping victims of natural disasters and other disasters not caused by or attributable to war. FEMA intends to use the funds, and any others that may be bequeathed under this authority, in the manner and under the conditions described below.
(b) Purposes for awarding funds. Money from the Cora Brown Fund may only be used to provided for disaster-related needs that have not been or will not be met by governmental agencies or any other organizations which have programs to address such needs; however, the fund is not intended to replace or supersede these programs. For example, if assistance is available from another source, including the Individual and Family Grant program and government-sponsored disaster loan assistance, then money from the Cora Brown Fund will not be available to the applicant for the same purpose. Listed below are the general categories of assistance which can be provided by the Cora Brown Fund:
(1) Disaster-related home repair and rebuilding assistance to families for permanent housing purposes, including site acquisition and development, relocation of residences out of hazardous areas, assistance with costs associated with temporary housing or permanent rehousing (e.g., utility deposits, access, transportation, connection of utilities, etc.);
(2) Disaster-related unmet needs of families who are unable to obtain adequate assistance under the Act or from other sources. Such assistance may include but is not limited to: health and safety measures; evacuation costs; assistance delineated in the Act or other Federal, State, local, or volunteer programs; hazard mitigation or floodplain management purposes; and assistance to self-employed persons (with no employees) to reestablish their businesses; and
(3) Other services which alleviate human suffering and promote the well being of disaster victims. For example, services to the elderly, to children, or to handicapped persons, such as transportation, recreational programs, provision of special ramps, or hospital or home visiting services. The funds may be provided to individual disaster victims, or to benefit a group of disaster victims.
(c) Conditions for use of the Cora Brown Fund. (1) The Cora Brown Fund is available only when the President declares that a major disaster or emergency exists under the Act, only in areas designated as eligible for Federal disaster assistance through notice in the Federal Register, and only at the discretion of the Assistant Administrator for the Disaster Assistance Directorate. The fund is limited to the initial endowment plus accrued interest, and this assistance program will cease when the fund is used up.
(2) A disaster victim normally will receive no more than $2,000 from this fund in any one declared disaster unless the Assistant Administrator for the Disaster Assistance Directorate determines that a larger amount is in the best interest of the disaster victim and the Federal Government. Funds to provide service which benefit a group may be awarded in an amount determined by the Assistant Administrator for the Disaster Assistance Directorate, based on the Regional Administrator's recommendation.
(3) The fund may not be used in a way that is inconsistent with other federally mandated disaster assistance or insurance programs, or to modify other generally applicable requirements.
(4) Funds awarded to a disaster victim may be provided by FEMA jointly to the disaster victim and to a State or local agency, or volunteer organization, to enable such an agent to assist in providing the approved assistance to an applicant. Example: Repair funds may be provided jointly to an applicant and the Mennonite Disaster Service, who will coordinate the purchase of supplies and provide the labor.
(5) Money from this fund will not duplicate assistance for which a person is eligible from other sources.
(6) In order to comply with the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973 (Pub. L. 93-234), as amended, any award for acquisition or construction purposes shall carry a requirement that any adequate flood insurance policy be purchased and maintained. The Assistant Administrator for the Disaster Assistance Directorate shall determine what is adequate based on the purpose of the award.
(7) The fund shall be administered in an equitable and impartial manner without discrimination on the grounds of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, or economic status.
(8) Funds awarded to a disaster victim from this fund may be combined with funds from other sources.
(d) Administrative procedures. (1) The Assistant Administrator for the Disaster Assistance Directorate, shall be responsible for awarding funds and authorizing disbursement.
(2) The Chief Financial Officer shall be responsible for fund accountability and, in coordination with the Assistant Administrator for the Disaster Assistance Directorate, for liaison with the Department of the Treasury concerning the investment of excess money in the fund pursuant to the provisions contained in section 601 of the Act.
(3) Each FEMA Regional Administrator may submit requests to the Assistant Administrator for the Disaster Assistance Directorate on a disaster victim's behalf by providing documentation describing the needs of the disaster victim, a verification of the disaster victim's claim, a record of other assistance which has been or will be available for the same purpose, and his/her recommendation as to the items and the amount. The Assistant Administrator for the Disaster Assistance Directorate shall review the facts and make a determination. If the award amount is below $2,000, the Assistant Administrator for the Disaster Assistance Directorate may appoint a designee to have approval authority; approval authority of $2,000 or above shall be retained by the Assistant Administrator for the Disaster Assistance Directorate. The Assistant Administrator for the Disaster Assistance Directorate shall notify the Chief Financial Officer of a decision for approval, and the Chief Financial Officer shall order a check to be sent to the disaster victim (or jointly to the disaster victim and an assistance organization), through the Regional Administrator. The Assistant Administrator for the Disaster Assistance Directorate shall also notify the Regional Administrator of the decision, whether for approval or disapproval. The Regional Administrator shall notify the disaster victim in writing, identify any award as assistance from the Cora Brown Fund, and advise the recipient of appeal procedures.
(4) If the award is to be for a service to a group of disaster victims, the Regional Administrator shall submit his/her recommendation and supporting documentation to the Assistant Administrator for the Disaster Assistance Directorate (or his/her designee if the award is below $2,000), who shall review the information and make a determination. In cases of approval, the Assistant Administrator for the Disaster Assistance Directorate shall request the Chief Financial Officer to send a check to the intended recipient or provider, as appropriate. The Assistant Administrator for the Disaster Assistance Directorate shall notify the Regional Administrator of the decision. The Regional Administrator shall notify a representative of the group in writing.
(5) The Chief Financial Officer shall process requests for checks, shall keep records of disbursements and balances in the account, and shall provide the Assistant Administrator for the Disaster Assistance Directorate with quarterly reports.
(e) Audits. The Inspector General of DHS may audit the use of money in this account to determine whether the funds are being administered according to these regulations and whether the financial management of the account is adequate. The Inspector General shall provide his/her findings to the Administrator, for information, comments and appropriate action. A copy shall be provided to the Chief Financial Officer for the same purpose.