How the Disaster Relief Act Works

Typically the relief act is meant for some sect of people. It is an active law in the United States, and specific criteria come into play before one can benefit from it. Those allowed to benefit from it include the following:

  • People who are United States citizen, non-citizen national, or a documented foreigner
  • People who have losses in a location that has been declared a disaster by the United States President
  • People whose primary residence are affected and damaged by the disaster
  • People whose primary residence is uninhabited

Real-World Examples of Disaster Relief Act

The Disaster Relief that Americans have enjoyed include the following:

  1. 2017 Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program (2017 WHIP)
  2. Crisis Counseling Assistance and Training Program
  3. Crop Insurance
  4. Disaster Assistance and Emergency Relief Program
  5. Disaster Legal Services
  6. Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) Locator
  7. Disaster Resources for Older Americans
  8. Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (DSNAP) - Food for Florida
  9. Disaster Unemployment Assistance
  10. Economic Injury Disaster Loans
  11. Emergency Watershed Protection Program
  12. Home Mortgage Insurance for Disaster Victims
  13. Home and Property Disaster Loans
  14. Individuals and Households Program (IHP) - Housing Assistance
  15. Individuals and Households Program (IHP) - Other Needs Assistance
  16. International Terrorism Victim Expense Reimbursement Program (ITVERP)
  17. Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP)
  18. Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP)
  19. National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)
  20. National Housing Locator System (NHLS): Disaster Resource Locator
  21. Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program

Significance of Disaster Relief Act

The aims of the Disaster Relief Act of 1974 include the following:

  • Establishment of a program that focuses on disaster preparedness through the services of all relevant federal agencies
  • Provision of grants to design plans and programs for disaster preparedness and prevention
  • Declaration of a major disaster at the request of a Governor
  • Assist state or local governments to enable them to repair or reconstruct public facilities
  • Provision of grants to assist in repairing or rebuilding educational, medical, and healthcare facilities and public utilities
  • Purchasing or leasing of temporary housing and give temporary mortgage or rent payment aid
  • Provision of aid to unemployed persons as a result of the disaster
  • Provision of extra relief, including food tickets and commodities, relocation aid, legal aid, and crisis counseling
  • Provision of state grants to assist individuals and households should support by the Act be otherwise insufficient
  • Make loans available to local governments undergoing a significant loss of tax and other revenues resulting from a disaster

Disaster Relief Act vs. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act

The Robert Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act is a 1988 United States of America federal law formed to bring an orderly and systematic federal natural disaster relief to help state and local governments carry out their duties to citizens. The purpose of the Act was to motivate states and local communities to formulate comprehensive disaster preparedness plans, be ready for better intergovernmental collaboration during a disaster, promote the use of insurance coverage, and provide federal relief programs for losses resulting from a disaster.

The Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act is an amended version of the Disaster Relief Act of 1974, which established the system in place today. The President makes a disaster declaration or an emergency declaration to trigger financial and physical aid through the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The Act gives FEMA the duty for organizing nationwide relief efforts, and the Federal Response Plan includes donations from 28 federal agencies and non-governmental organizations, like the United States Red Cross.