206.48 Factors considered when evaluating a Governor's request for a major disaster declaration.§ 206.48 Factors considered when evaluating a Governor's request for a major disaster declaration.
When we review a Governor's request for major disaster assistance under the Stafford Act, these are the primary factors in making a recommendation to the President whether assistance is warranted. We consider other relevant information as well.
(a) Public Assistance Program. We evaluate the following factors to evaluate the need for assistance under the Public Assistance Program.
(1) Estimated cost of the assistance. We evaluate the estimated cost of Federal and nonfederal public assistance against the statewide population to give some measure of the per capita impact within the State. We use a figure of $1 per capita as an indicator that the disaster is of such size that it might warrant Federal assistance, and adjust this figure annually based on the Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers. We are establishing a minimum threshold of $1 million in public assistance damages per disaster in the belief that we can reasonably expect even the lowest population States to cover this level of public assistance damage.
(2) Localized impacts. We evaluate the impact of the disaster at the county and local government level, as well as impacts at the American Indian and Alaskan Native Tribal Government levels, because at times there are extraordinary concentrations of damages that might warrant Federal assistance even if the statewide per capita is not met. This is particularly true where critical facilities are involved or where localized per capita impacts might be extremely high. For example, we have at times seen localized damages in the tens or even hundreds of dollars per capita though the statewide per capita impact was low.
(3) Insurance coverage in force. We consider the amount of insurance coverage that is in force or should have been in force as required by law and regulation at the time of the disaster, and reduce the amount of anticipated assistance by that amount.
(4) Hazard mitigation. To recognize and encourage mitigation, we consider the extent to which State and local government measures contributed to the reduction of disaster damages for the disaster under consideration. For example, if a State can demonstrate in its disaster request that a Statewide building code or other mitigation measures are likely to have reduced the damages from a particular disaster, we consider that in the evaluation of the request. This could be especially significant in those disasters where, because of mitigation, the estimated public assistance damages fell below the per capita indicator.
(5) Recent multiple disasters. We look at the disaster history within the last twelve-month period to evaluate better the overall impact on the State or locality. We consider declarations under the Stafford Act as well as declarations by the Governor and the extent to which the State has spent its own funds.
(6) Programs of other Federal assistance. We also consider programs of other Federal agencies because at times their programs of assistance might more appropriately meet the needs created by the disaster.
(b) Factors for the Individual Assistance Program. The following factors are used to evaluate the need for supplemental Federal assistance to individuals under the Stafford Act, as Federal assistance may not supplant the combined capabilities of a State, Tribal, or local government. Federal Individual Assistance, if authorized, is intended to assist eligible individuals and families when State, Tribal, and local government resources and assistance programs are overwhelmed. State fiscal capacity (44 CFR 206.48(b)(1)(i)) and uninsured home and personal property losses (44 CFR 206.48(b)(2)) are the principal factors that FEMA will consider when evaluating the need for supplemental Federal assistance under the Individuals and Households Program but FEMA will always consider all relevant information submitted as part of a declaration request. If the need for supplemental Federal assistance under the Individuals and Households Program is not clear from the evaluation of the principal factors, FEMA will turn to the other factors to determine the level of need.
(1) State fiscal capacity and resource availability. FEMA will evaluate the availability of State resources, and where appropriate, any extraordinary circumstances that contributed to the absence of sufficient resources.
(i) Fiscal capacity (principal factor for individuals and households program). Fiscal capacity is a State's potential ability to raise revenue from its own sources to respond to and recover from a disaster. The following data points are indicators of fiscal capacity.
(A) Total taxable resources (TTR) of the State. TTR is the U.S. Department of Treasury's annual estimate of the relative fiscal capacity of a State. A low TTR may indicate a greater need for supplemental Federal assistance than a high TTR.
(B) Gross domestic product (GDP) by State. GDP by State is calculated by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. GDP by State may be used as an alternative or supplemental evaluation method to TTR.
(C) Per capita personal income by local area. Per capita personal income by local area is calculated by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. A low per capita personal income by local area may indicate a greater need for supplemental Federal assistance than a high per capita personal income by local area.
(D) Other factors. Other limits on a State's treasury or ability to collect funds may be considered.
(ii) Resource availability. Federal disaster assistance under the Stafford Act is intended to be supplemental in nature, and is not a replacement for State emergency relief programs, services, and funds. FEMA evaluates the availability of resources from State, Tribal, and local governments as well as non-governmental organizations and the private sector.
(A) State, tribal, and local government; non-governmental organizations (NGO); and Private Sector Activity. State, Tribal, and local government, Non-Governmental Organizations, and private sector resources may offset the need for or reveal an increased need for supplemental Federal assistance. The State may provide information regarding the resources that have been and will be committed to meet the needs of disaster survivors such as housing programs, resources provided through financial and in-kind donations, and the availability of affordable (as determined by the U.S. Department of Urban and Housing Development's fair market rent standards) rental housing within a reasonable commuting distance of the impacted area.
(B) Cumulative effect of recent disasters. The cumulative effect of recent disasters may affect the availability of State, Tribal, local government, NGO, and private sector disaster recovery resources. The State should provide information regarding the disaster history within the last 24-month period, particularly those occurring within the current fiscal cycle, including both Presidential (public and individual assistance) and gubernatorial disaster declarations.
(2) Uninsured home and personal property losses (principal factor for individuals and households program). Uninsured home and personal property losses may suggest a need for supplemental Federal assistance. The State may provide the following preliminary damage assessment data:
(i) The cause of damage.
(ii) The jurisdictions impacted and concentration of damage.
(iii) The number of homes impacted and degree of damage.
(iv) The estimated cost of assistance.
(v) The homeownership rate of impacted homes.
(vi) The percentage of affected households with sufficient insurance coverage appropriate to the peril.
(vii) Other relevant preliminary damage assessment data.
(3) Disaster impacted population profile. The demographics of a disaster impacted population may identify additional needs that require a more robust community response and delay a community's ability to recover from a disaster. FEMA will consider demographics of the impacted communities for the following data points as reported by the U.S. Census Bureau or other Federal agencies:
(i) The percentage of the population for whom poverty status is determined.
(ii) The percentage of the population already receiving government assistance such as Supplemental Security Income and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits.
(iii) The pre-disaster unemployment rate.
(iv) The percentage of the population that is 65 years old and older.
(v) The percentage of the population 18 years old and younger.
(vi) The percentage of the population with a disability.
(vii) The percentage of the population who speak a language other than English and speak English less than “very well.”
(viii) Any unique considerations regarding American Indian and Alaskan Native Tribal populations raised in the State's request for a major disaster declaration that may not be reflected in the data points referenced in paragraphs (b)(3)(i) through (vii) of this section.
(4) Impact to community infrastructure. The following impacts to a community's infrastructure may adversely affect a population's ability to safely and securely reside within the community.
(i) Life saving and life sustaining services. The effects of a disaster may cause disruptions to or increase the demand for life-saving and life-sustaining services, necessitate a more robust response, and may delay a community's ability to recover from a disaster. The State may provide information regarding the impact on life saving and life sustaining services for a period of greater than 72 hours. Such services include but are not limited to police, fire/EMS, hospital/medical, sewage, and water treatment services.
(ii) Essential community services. The effects of a disaster may cause disruptions to or increase the demand for essential community services and delay a community's ability to recover from a disaster. The State may provide information regarding the impact on essential community services for a period greater than 72 hours. Such services include but are not limited to schools, social services programs and providers, child care, and eldercare.
(iii) Transportation infrastructure and utilities. Transportation infrastructure or utility disruptions may render housing uninhabitable or inaccessible. Such conditions may also affect the delivery of life sustaining commodities, provision of emergency services, ability to shelter in place, and efforts to rebuild. The State may provide information regarding the impact on transportation infrastructure and utilities for a period of greater than 72 hours.
(5) Casualties. The number of individuals who are missing, injured, or deceased due to a disaster may indicate a heightened need for supplemental Federal disaster assistance. The State may report the number of missing, injured, or deceased individuals.
(6) Disaster related unemployment. The number of disaster survivors who lost work or became unemployed due to a disaster and who do not qualify for standard unemployment insurance may indicate a heightened need for supplemental Federal assistance. This usually includes the self-employed, service industry workers, and seasonal workers such as those employed in tourism, fishing, or agriculture industries. The State may provide an estimate of the number of disaster survivors impacted under this paragraph as well as information regarding major employers affected.[64 FR 47698, Sept. 1, 1999, as amended at 84 FR 10663, Mar. 21, 2019; 85 FR 2039, Jan. 14, 2020]