Summary: S.1630 — 112th Congress (2011-2012)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for S.1630. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in Senate (09/23/2011)

Disaster Recovery Act of 2011 - Amends: (1) the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (Stafford Act) to revise the definition of "major disaster" to include any natural disaster (including a pandemic), act of terrorism, or other man-made disaster (currently, any natural catastrophe or, regardless of cause, any fire, flood, or explosion) that meets the specified criteria; and (2) the Stafford Act and the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (HSA) to define "recovery" as the process of restoring, reshaping, and enhancing the resiliency of the physical, social, cultural, economic, and natural environments and services, government institutions, and the well-being of affected individuals.

Amends the Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act of 2006 to direct: (1) the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to ensure the preparedness of federal agencies to respond to and support recovery from a natural disaster, act of terrorism, or other man-made disaster by specified means; and (2) the head of each federal agency with major responsibilities under the National Response Framework or the National Disaster Recovery Framework to designate a senior official to ensure that the agency is prepared to execute response and recovery responsibilities and to coordinate response and recovery activities with the Administrator.

Amends the Stafford Act to authorize the President to declare a catastrophic disaster if: (1) a catastrophic incident has occurred; (2) the President has declared a major disaster relating to that incident in a state; (3) the state has requested that the President declare a catastrophic disaster; (4) an independent panel of experts has issued a recommendation to the President concerning whether a catastrophic disaster should be declared; and (5) the total estimated amount of federal assistance to support response, recovery, and mitigation costs related to the catastrophic incident exceeds $1 billion. Requires the President, immediately following the declaration of such a disaster, to establish a Commission to facilitate and support state and local governments in achieving an efficient, effective, and expeditious recovery.

Directs the President to: (1) develop a catalog of federal disaster assistance, (2) establish procedures to monitor disaster recovery indicators after a catastrophic disaster, and (3) increase by 10% the federal share of assistance under the Stafford Act if, at the time of a declaration of a major disaster, a state or local government has in effect an approved recovery plan.

Makes various changes to the Stafford Act, including adding the provision of rescue, care, shelter, and essential needs to children and to individuals with disabilities or other special needs to provisions regarding essential assistance. Authorizes the President to: (1) extend the period during which emergency shelter is provided upon determining that timely transition into housing assistance is not practicable or that an extension is necessary to meet housing needs after the major disaster; (2) reimburse a state or local government for costs relating to pay and benefits for its permanent employees conducting emergency protective measures; (3) provide temporary housing for volunteers under specified circumstances; and (4) establish streamlined procedures, including for consideration of multiple structures as a group and for an analysis of the environmental impacts, historical impacts, cost-effectiveness, and fulfillment of cost-share requirements for proposed hazard mitigation measures.

Directs the President to increase the federal share of assistance to a state by 10% with respect to the major disaster if the state has in effect and is actively enforcing an approved state building code.

Prohibits the President from denying assistance to an individual or household because a member of the predisaster household has already received assistance if the individual or household is a victim of domestic violence.

Extends the period for appeals of assistance decisions.

Requires the President to direct the FEMA Administrator, in coordination with the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), to establish a single comprehensive disaster case management system to facilitate rapid access by survivors of a major disaster to resources and services.

Directs the President to: (1) establish rules and regulations under which an applicant may request the use of alternative dispute resolution to resolve disputes relating to eligible assistance, (2) issue guidance for the administration and use of catastrophic disaster recovery grants, and (3) eliminate regulations that are no longer relevant and simplify and expedite disaster recovery and assistance for a catastrophic disaster.

Amends Stafford Act provisions regarding contributions to personnel and administrative expenses to require the FEMA Administrator, in approving standards for state and local emergency preparedness operational plans, to ensure that such plans take into account the needs of children and individuals with disabilities or other special needs.

Amends HSA to: (1) require each state, local, or tribal government to integrate into mass evacuation plans evacuation plans for schools and child care centers; and (2) establish within FEMA a Disaster Reserve Workforce to supplement the work of permanent full-time FEMA employees.