Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Reported to House amended, Part I (01/02/2015)

FEMA Reauthorization Act of 2013 - Title I: Reauthorization of FEMA and Modernization of Integrated Public Alert and Warning System - (Sec. 101) Amends the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2007 to authorize appropriations for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for FY2014-FY2016 for management and administration.

(Sec. 102) - Integrated Public Alert and Warning System Modernization Act of 2013 - Directs the Administrator of FEMA to modernize and implement the integrated public alert and warning system of the United States to ensure that the President is able, under all conditions, to alert governmental authorities and the civilian population in areas endangered by disasters, including by:

  • establishing common alerting and warning protocols, standards, terminology, and operating procedures for such system;
  • including in such system the capability to adapt the distribution and content of communications on the basis of geographic location, risks, or personal user preferences and to alert individuals with disabilities and individuals with access and functional needs;
  • ensuring that training, tests, and exercises are conducted for such system;
  • establishing and integrating into the National Incident Management System a comprehensive and periodic training program to instruct and educate federal, state, tribal, and local government officials in the use of the Common Alerting Protocol enabled Emergency Alert System;
  • conducting nationwide tests of the system at least every three years; and
  • ensuring that the system is resilient, secure, and can withstand acts of terrorism and other external attacks.

Requires the system to:

  • incorporate multiple communications technologies,
  • be designed to incorporate future technologies for communicating directly with the public to provide alerts to the largest portion of the affected population feasible and to improve the ability of remote areas to receive alerts,
  • promote local and regional partnerships to enhance community preparedness and response,
  • provide redundant alert mechanisms, and
  • protect individual privacy.

Directs the Administrator to submit to specified congressional committees a detailed plan to implement the system, including a time line, a spending plan, and recommendations for any additional authority necessary.

Directs the FEMA Administrator to establish the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System Advisory Committee to develop recommendations for the system. Terminates the Advisory Committee not later than six years after this Act's enactment.

Title II: Stafford Act and Other Programs - (Sec. 201) Amends the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (Stafford Act) to direct the Administrator to:

  • continue to administer the National Urban Search and Rescue Response System,
  • provide for a national network of standardized search and rescue resources to assist states and local governments in responding to hazards,
  • designate task forces to participate in the System,
  • enter into an agreement with the state or local government sponsoring a task force (sponsoring agency) with respect to participation, and
  • maintain such management and other technical teams as necessary to administer the System.

Authorizes the Administrator to appoint a System member for a period of federal service to participate in sponsored or sanctioned exercises, pre-incident staging, major disaster and emergency response activities, and training events.

Directs the Administrator to: (1) establish and maintain an advisory committee to provide expert recommendations to assist the Administrator in administering the System; (2) enter into an annual preparedness cooperative agreement with each sponsoring agency for training and exercises, equipment acquisition and maintenance, and medical monitoring required for responder safety and health; and (3) enter into response cooperative agreements under which the Administrator agrees to reimburse sponsoring agencies for costs incurred in responding to a major disaster or emergency.

Authorizes appropriations to carry out the System for FY2014-FY2016.

(Sec. 202) Includes public broadcasting facilities and community centers, including tax-exempt houses of worship, within the definition of a "private nonprofit facility," and public broadcasting within the definition of a "critical service," for purposes of provisions concerning eligibility for disaster assistance.

(Sec. 203) Makes a church, synagogue, mosque, temple, or other house of worship, and a private nonprofit facility operated by a religious organization, eligible for disaster assistance contributions from the President, without regard to the religious character of the facility or the primary religious use of the facility. Makes this section applicable to the provision of assistance in response to a major disaster or emergency declared on or after October 28, 2012.

(Sec. 204) Authorizes appropriations for grants for implementation of the Emergency Management Assistance Compact for FY2014-FY2016. Makes states and the Administrator of the Compact eligible to receive such grants.

(Sec. 205) Directs the FEMA Administrator to study and report to Congress on the differences between: (1) the physical testing standards that the Administrator applies with respect to electric utility facilities as a condition for federal assistance, and (2) the physical testing standards that are applied to electric utility facilities by the electric utilities industry and by the Rural Utilities Service of the Department of Agriculture (USDA).

(Sec. 206) Directs the FEMA Administrator, using funds from FEMA's management and expenses account, to review and report on options available to housing cooperatives and condominium associations to assist in repairing and rebuilding common areas following a major disaster. Requires such report to include information on:

  • the current eligibility of housing cooperative and condominium association owners and residents to receive funds under FEMA disaster relief programs,
  • the availability of individual assistance for such owners and residents to help cover the costs of repairing disaster-related damage to common areas, and
  • options for addressing gaps in available assistance to address disaster-related damage to common areas.

(Sec. 207) Directs the FEMA Administrator to issue a rule that limits the time frame of any audit conducted under the Stafford Act.