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The New Disaster Relief Handbook

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Appendix C: Glossary

Section C.1: Abbreviations and Acronyms
C.2: Programs and Definitions - C.3: Disaster (Relief) Time Line

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C.1: Abbreviations and Acronyms

DA - Disaster Application

DFO - Disaster Field Office

DUA - Disaster Unemployment Assistance

EOC - Emergency Operations Center

ERT~A - Emergency Response Team (Advance)

ERT - Emergency Response Team

ESF - Emergency Support Function

FEMA - Federal Emergency Management Agency

FCO - Federal Coordinating Officer

FDRA - Federal Disaster Relief Act, PL.81-875

FIA - Federal Insurance Administration

FRP - Federal Response Plan

FSA - Farm Service Agency

IFGP - Individual and Family Grant Program

IRS - Internal Revenue Service

NFIP - National Flood Insurance Program

PA - Public Assistance (Program, FEMA)

PDA - Preliminary Damage Assessment

ROC - Regional Operations Center

SBA - Small Business Administration

SCO - State Coordinating Officer

USDA - United States Department of Agriculture

USFS - U.S. Forest Service

VA - Veterans Affairs, Department of

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C.2: Programs and Definitions

Crisis Counseling
A disaster program funded 75% by FEMA, administered by the state department of mental health.
Cora Brown Fund
A semi-private humanitarian fund.
Debris Removal
Where needed from public roads and other essential public areas, when requested by state/local government, may be provided by the Department of Defense through the FEMA command structure.
Disaster Declaration
Requested by the Governor, evaluated by FEMA, activated by presidential fiat.
Disaster Field Office (DFO)
In case of a presidential disaster declaration, the temporary FEMA ROC morphes into this.
Disaster Housing Assistance
FEMA's inhouse disaster aid program, provides up to $10,000 per applicant (i.e. family unit) for disaster-related housing needs, including emergency rental assistance (homeowners and renters) and temporary repairs (homeowners only).
Disaster Legal Services
Provides (limited) assistance to low-income applicants with disaster-related legal problems, through the Young Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association.
Disaster Loan Program
Administered by the SBA, provides low-interest loans to individuals and businesses for property replacement, real estate repairs, and hazard mitigation. (See Section 1.4)
Emergency Operations Center (EOC)
State or local government disaster command post.
Emergency Response Team ~ A (ERT~A)
The FEMA "advance team," composed of FEMA and relevant ESF agency personnel.
Emergency Response Team
In case of a presidential disaster declaration, the temporary FEMA ERT~A morphes into this.
Emergency Support Function(s) (ESF)
The 12 types of assistance available to state and local government, i.e, Transportation, Communications, Public works and engineering, Information and planning, Resource support, Urban search and rescue, Hazardous materials, Food, Energy, Health and medical, Firefighting, and Mass care, each of which can activate up to 16 different federal agencies and/or programs.4
Farm Service Agency (FSA)
An agency of the USDA, provides uninsured crop damage payments, emergency loans, and helps fund other farm or ranch disaster-related damage repairs.
Federal Disaster Relief Act (FRDA), PL.81-875
Passed by Congress in 1950 (Truman administration), authorized "the President to provide supplementary Federal assistance when a Governor requested help and the President approved the request. A critical statement in the act established (that) Federal disaster assistance would 'supplement the efforts and and available resources of the state and local governments'. . . not supplant them."1
Federal Coordinating Officer (FCO)
There's one appointed by FEMA for each declared disaster. He (or she) runs the Disaster Field Office (DFO).
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
Created by Congress in 1980 (Carter administration), combined a number of different disaster relief functions previously assigned to other agencies.
Federal Insurance Administration (FIA)
Administers the NFIP, managed in turn by FEMA.
Federal Response Plan (FRP)
"Describes how the Federal government will mobilize resources and conduct (recovery) activities. The plan relies on 27 Federal agencies and the Red Cross."3
Hazard Mitigation (Program, FEMA)
Provides federal aid in "support of measures that will permanently eliminate or reduce . . long term (disaster) vulnerability."5
Individual and Family Grant Program (IFGP)
A combination state/federal safety-net program. (See Section 1.3).
Individual Assistance
Federal disaster assistance programs for individuals, families, and businesses, includes FEMA's Disaster Housing Assistance, the SBA Disaster Loan Program, and the combination state and federal Individual and Family Grant Program, among others. (See Chapter One).
National Flood Insurance Act
Passed by Congress in 1968 (Johnson administration), required "adoption and enforcement of prudent, flood-resistant construction techniques for all new, substantially improved, and substantially damaged structures located with identified floodplain areas."2
National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)
First initialized by the NFIA in 1968, administered by the FIA, provides relatively low-cost flood insurance for properties in identified flood hazard zones.
Preliminary Damage Assessment (PDA)
Requested by state government, conducted by FEMA and ESF personnel, the first step to a federal disaster declaration.
Public Assistance (The PA program, FEMA)
Provides post-disaster assistance to schools, some non-profit organizations and religious groups, state and local government agencies and special districts; for repair of disaster-damaged infrastructure and emergency public safety measures.
Regional Operations Center (ROC)
Activated by FEMA at the time of a disaster event, the "initial coordination office for Federal activity."
Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, PL.93-288
Passed by Congress in 1988 (Reagan administration) "Legislated cost-sharing requirements for public assistance programs. . .and encouraged hazard mitigation."3
State Coordinating Officer (SCO)
The state compliment to the Federal Coordinating Officer (FCO).
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Can provide special assistance after or during a disaster, instrumental in mapping out the various NFIP flood hazard zones.
U.S. Forest Service (USFS)
Can provide firefighting and search and rescue functions after a disaster.
Veterans Affairs, Department of (VA)
Can provide housing, medical, and burial assistance to veterans after a disaster.

- Footnotes:

1 - A Citizen's Guide to Disaster Assistance, p.2
2 - A Citizen's Guide to Disaster Assistance, p.3
3 - A Citizen's Guide to Disaster Assistance, p.4
4 - A Citizen's Guide to Disaster Assistance, p.7
5 - A Citizen's Guide to Disaster Assistance, p.11

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C.3: U.S. Disaster (Relief) Time Line

1811 - Noontime tornado surprises downtown Charlestown, South Carolina - 500 people killed

1884 - Tornados swarm Davisboro, Georgia - 800 die, 10,000 injured

1896 - St Louis, Missouri - Tornado kills 306, injures 3500

1906 - Florida tsunami (tidal wave) sweeps away 2500

1911 - Pennsylvania dam break - over 900 people drown

1913 - Tornado hits Omaha, Nebraska - 250 die, 600 homes destroyed, 1100 homes severely damaged

1925 - Tornados kill over 1000 people across the Midwest

1927 - Tornado mows through Poplar Bluff, Missouri - 142 dead

1936 - Gauntlet of tornados hit Gainesville, Georgia - over a terrifying five day period (February 2-6) 421 people die.

1937 - Ohio River flood leaves one million people homeless

1947 - Huge tornado strikes White Deer, Texas (panhandle) - the widest tornado ever recorded, 1-1/2 miles in width, 169 killed

1950 - Blizzards kill 250 people. Federal Disaster Relief Act - passed into law by Congress.

1951 - Missouri River flood - 500,000 homeless

1953 - Tornado blasts Waco, Texas - 134 people die

1965 - Palm Sunday tornado hits Xenia, Ohio - 271 people killed

1968 - National Flood Insurance Act passed into law by Congress.

1969 - Mississippi hit by Hurricane Camille - 300 die

1972 - Hurricane Agnes pounds Eastern seaboard, quickly becoming the most expensive disaster in U.S. history up to that point (since supplanted by the Hurricane Andrew (1992) and the Northridge earthquake (1994).

1973 - Congress tightens National Flood Insurance Act to require flood insurance on new loans in "identified flood plains."

1974 - Terrible Tuesday - tornadoes rake 10 southern and midwestern states; Congress passes the Disaster Relief Act of 1974.

1979 - Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) created by act of Congress, combining a number of programs formerly aministered by other agencies.

1980 - Mount St. Helens erupts, covers much of the Pacific Northwest in a gnarly blanket of volcanic ash.

1985 - Mudslide kills over 200 people in Puerto Rican barrio.

1988 - Congress passes the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, PL.93-288, modernizing the U.S. disaster relief system.

1992 - Hurricane Andrew slams south Florida - Costliest U.S. storm ever, causes $30 Billion in damage, of which only $16 Billion is covered by insurance, $2 Billion by FEMA.

1994 - Northridge Earthquake - Costliest U.S. disaster ever, $44 Billion in damage, 25,000 dwellings uninhabitable, 1,000's of survivors left living in LA parks.

### End: Glossary

* * * * * * * *
Copyright ©1998-2009
John Porter aka John Lionheart

Beautiful Books
All Rights Reserved.

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