Federal Emergency Management Agency is a branch of the United States Department of Homeland Security. This Agency’s creation in 1979, by a presidential reorganization plan, was of vital importance. The purpose of this agency is to respond with quick action to disasters that hit the United States. In case of a disaster, the governor of that specific state should declare a state of emergency to the federal government, for the Federal Emergency Management Agency to respond. On the other hand, the Stafford Disaster Relief and Management Agency Assistance Act is a law in the United States Federal law which usually achieves recovery from federal natural disasters. This law sets order and systematic means for assisting states and local governments and carrying out aiding responsibilities. With an understanding of the meaning of the Federal Management Agency and the Stafford act of 1988, it raises interest to know more about the two institutions of the United States. This essay critically discusses the two institutions and their contribution to disaster management in the United States.
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Reasons and Events towards Creation of FEMA
The creation of the Federal Emergency Management Agency occurred for so many reasons. The main reason for its creation is to help states and local governments in the US to recover successfully from disasters. Its existence and creation is mainly to provide state and local governments with highly skilled experts in different fields of specialization. These experts’ intention is to help in the rebuilding efforts. These efforts may include infrastructure and access to recovery loans for small business proprietors with low interest rates. This Agency’s creation has a goal to offer funds training to the citizens of the US. This is a brilliant step of preparedness to disaster. In the funds training, they train employees on the importance of incorporating disaster recovery methods and plans and business continuity plans.
Early in the 19th century, there were the series of fire that struck the city of Portsmouth. This measure provided relief after that disaster, and the US 7th congress enabled its enacting. In American history, this was the first legislation that provided relief. So many other disaster recoveries related followed with inspiration from the first legislation of 1803. After the Great Fire of New York, the merchants of New York had their duties and tariffs waivers as a way of compensation by the federal government. Another memorable event in history that leads to the creation of disaster management laws was the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. After his assassination in a theatre, people, who were injured there, received compensation. The Department of Housing and Urban Development spearheaded the formation of Federal disaster and relief recovery in 1973. Over the years, so many legislations were enacted to counter disaster. The congress even allocated a specific annual amount to finance disaster recovery projects as a means of disaster preparedness.
FEMA’s formation was also as a way to combine different state institutions for the same goal and purpose. Its formation absorbed different organizations such as Federal Insurance Administration, the National Weather Service Community Preparedness Program, the National Fire Prevention and Control and Administration among others. Its creation also had an assigned responsibility of overseeing the US civil defense. The execution of this law was previously by the national defense. With time, the congress added the responsibilities of the congress. They expanded the response to earthquakes, disaster relief emergency assistance, dam safety and hazardous materials.
The Historical Importance of Robert T. Stafford Act of 1988
The Robert T. Stafford Act of 1988 was named after Robert T Stafford who helped to pass the law. His act leads to amendment of the Disaster Relief Act of 1974. The importance of this act to the federal government and the United States in general cannot be overlooked. It created a system in which, in case of a disaster, the declaration of emergency in the disaster stricken state triggers physical and financial support and monitor from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The Act intertwines with FEMA because it gives FEMA the ultimate responsibility to coordinate and control relief efforts in the US.
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The passing of this act helps different states to get help when a disaster strikes them. This is because this act gives the president the rights to avail technical assistance to affected states using agencies. This act also gives the President the power to deal with radical disasters such as fire, explosion, natural catastrophes or flood. Once identified the President may consider adding resources by the federal government to compensate damages caused. Under this act, the President has so many powers and courses of actions assigned to him (Haddow 2010). He has ultimate power and the responsibility to issue warnings on issues likely to cause public health safety. An important aspect of this law is the power of the President to allow the use of the state’s Department of Defense resources to recover from the emergency. Although this act sometimes suffers criticism especially in the past, it is extremely necessary and has helped the US to recover from so many emergencies and disasters.
In conclusion, it is so vivid and clear that the Federal Emergency Management Agency is certainly crucial to the United States. This Agency works hand in hand with Robert T Stanford’s Act of 1988 to counter disaster strikes and emergencies. The two have helped the United States to fly to extraordinary heights in terms of recovering from disasters. Therefore, the US remains a super power even after considering the disasters that have hit them in the past due to such plans.