Summary: S.3062 — 93rd Congress (1973-1974)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Public Law No: 93-288 (05/22/1974)


Disaster Relief Act - =Title I: Findings, Declarations, and Definitions= - Declares the finding of Congress that special measures are necessary to assist the efforts of the States in expediting the rendering of aid and emergency services and reconstruction and rehabilitation of devastated areas.

Defines the terms used in this Act.

=Title II: Disaster Preparedness Assistance= - Authorizes the President to establish a program of disaster preparedness that utilizes services of all appropriate agencies.

Directs the President to provide technical assistance to the States in developing comprehensive plans and practicable programs for preparation against disasters.

Provides that, upon application by a State, the President is authorized to make grants, not to exceed in the aggregate to such State $250,000, for the development of plans, programs, and capabilities for disaster preparedness and prevention. Authorizes the President to make grants not to exceed 50 percent of the cost of improving, maintaining, and updating State disaster assistance plans, with a grant limit of $25,000 per year per State.

Directs the President to insure that all appropriate Federal agencies are prepared to issue warnings of disasters to State and local officials.

=Title III: Disaster Assistance Administration= - Provides that all requests for a determination by the President that an emergency or a major disaster exists shall be made by the Governor of the affected State. Provides that, based upon such request, the President may declare that an emergency or a major disaster exists.

Authorizes the President to direct any Federal agency, with or without reimbursement, to utilize its available personnel, equipment, supplies, facilities, and other resources in support of State and local disaster assistance efforts.

Directs the President to appoint a Federal coordinating officer to operate in the affected area of a declared major disaster. Sets forth the duties of such officer.

Directs the President to form emergency support teams of Federal personnel to be deployed in an area affected by a major disaster or emergency to assist the Federal coordinating officer.

Sets forth authorized forms of assistance to be given in a major disaster or emergency area.

=Title IV: Federal Disaster Assistance Programs= - Authorizes the President to authorize any Federal agency to repair or reconstruct any facility owned by the United States and under the jurisdiction of such agency, which is damaged or destroyed by any major disaster.

Authorizes the President to make contributions to State or local governments to help repair or reconstruct public facilities belonging to such State or local governments, which were damaged or destroyed by a major disaster.

Authorizes the President to make grants to help repair or reconstruct private nonprofit educational, utility, emergency, medical, and custodial care facilities which were damaged by a major disaster.

Authorizes the President to provide, either by purchase or lease, temporary housing for those who require it as a result of a major disaster. Authorizes the President to provide assistance on a temporary basis in the form of mortgage or rental payments to or on behalf of those who, as a result of financial hardship caused by a major disaster, have received written notice of dispossession or eviction.

Authorizes the President to provide to any individual unemployed as a result of a major disaster such benefit assistance as he deems appropriate while such individual is unemployed.

Authorizes the President to make a grant to a State for the purpose of such State making grants to meet disaster - related necessary expenses or serious needs of individuals or families adversely affected by a major disaster in those cases where such individuals or families are unable to meet such expenses or needs through assistance under other provisions of this Act, or from other means.

Authorizes the President to make loans to any local government which may suffer a substantial loss of tax and other revenues as a result of a major disaster, and has demonstrated a need for financial assistance in order to perform its governmental functions. Sets forth the procedures for administration of such loans.

Authorizes additional relief programs for major disaster areas, including distribution of food coupons and food commodities, relocation assistance, legal services, crisis counseling assistance and training, emergency communications, emergency public transportation, and fire suppression grants.

Provides that where an existing timber sale contract between the Secretary of Agriculture or the Secretary of the Interior and a timber purchaser does not provide relief from major physical change not due to negligence of the purchaser prior to approval of construction of any section of specified road or of any other specified development facility and, as a result of a major disaster, a major physical change results in additional construction work in connection with such road or facility by such purchaser, the increased construction cost shall be borne by the United States.

=Title V: Economic Recovery for Disaster Areas= - Revises the Public Works and Economic Development Act of 1965 by providing that in the case of any area affected by a major disaster, the State Governor may request the President for assistance for economic recovery under this Act. Requires the Governor to designate a Recovery Planning Council for such area. Sets forth the membership composition of the Council. Provides that the purpose of the Council is to provide cooperative planning for development, restoration of employment base, and continued coordination of Federal-aid programs for long-range restoration and rehabilitation of normal commercial, industrial, and other economic activities. Sets forth administrative procedures of the Council.

Authorizes the President to provide funds to any Recovery Planning Council for the implementation of a recovery investment plan by public bodies. Sets forth regulations with respect to the use and administration of such funds.

Authorizes the appropriation of not in excess of $250,000,000 to carry out the provisions of this title.

=Title VI: Miscellaneous= - Authorizes the President to prescribe such rules and regulations as may be necessary and proper to carry out any of the provisions of this Act.

Makes various technical and conforming amendments.

Authorizes appropriations to the President of such sums as may be necessary to carry out this Act through the close of June 30, 1977.