[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 218 (Thursday, November 12, 2015)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 70115-70143]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-28570]



[[Page 70115]]

Vol. 80

Thursday,

No. 218

November 12, 2015

Part III





Department of Homeland Security





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Federal Emergency Management Agency





44 CFR Part 206





Factors Considered When Evaluating a Governor's Request for Individual 
Assistance for a Major Disaster; Proposed Rule

Federal Register / Vol. 80 , No. 218 / Thursday, November 12, 2015 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 70116]]


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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

Federal Emergency Management Agency

44 CFR Part 206

[Docket ID FEMA-2014-0005]
RIN 1660-AA83


Factors Considered When Evaluating a Governor's Request for 
Individual Assistance for a Major Disaster

AGENCY: Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking.

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SUMMARY: FEMA proposes to revise its regulations to comply with Section 
1109 of the Sandy Recovery Improvement Act of 2013 which requires FEMA, 
in cooperation with State, local, and Tribal emergency management 
agencies, to review, update, and revise through rulemaking the 
Individual Assistance factors FEMA uses to measure the severity, 
magnitude, and impact of a disaster.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before January 11, 2016.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by docket ID FEMA-2014-
0005, by one of the following methods:
    Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the 
instructions for submitting comments.
    Mail/Hand Delivery/Courier: Regulatory Affairs Division, Office of 
Chief Counsel, 500 C Street SW., 8NE, Washington, DC 20472-3100.
    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name 
and docket ID. Regardless of the method used for submitting comments or 
material, all submissions will be posted, without change, to the 
Federal e-Rulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov, and will 
include any personal information you provide. Therefore, submitting 
this information makes it public. You may wish to read the Privacy Act 
notice that is available via the Privacy Notice link on the homepage of 
http://www.regulations.gov.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or 
comments received, go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov, click on ``Advanced Search,'' then enter ``FEMA-
2014-0005'' in the ``By Docket ID'' box, then select ``FEMA'' under 
``By Agency,'' and then click ``Search.'' Submitted comments may also 
be inspected at the Office of Chief Counsel, Federal Emergency 
Management Agency, 500 C Street SW., 8NE, Washington, DC 20472-3100.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mark Millican, FEMA, Individual 
Assistance Division, 500 C Street SW., Washington, DC 20472-3100, 
(phone) 202-212-3221 or (email) [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Table of Contents

I. Public Participation
II. Executive Summary
    A. Purpose of the Regulatory Action
    1. The Need for the Regulatory Action and How the Action Will 
Meet the Need
    2. Legal Authority
    B. Summary of Major Provisions
III. Background
    A. The Federal Disaster Declaration Process
    1. Preliminary Damage Assessment (PDA)
    2. State's Submission of Its Declaration Request to FEMA
    3. FEMA's Analysis and Recommendation to the President
    4. Approval or Denial of the Declaration Request
    5. Types of Assistance Approved Under the Declaration Request
    B. Sandy Recovery Improvement Act of 2013
    C. FEMA's Outreach Efforts Required by the Sandy Recovery 
Improvement Act
    1. The Role of Voluntary, Faith, and Community Based 
Organizations During Disasters
    2. The Correlation Between the Population Size of a State and 
Its Capability To Recover
    3. Issues With Widespread Damage and Contiguous States
    4. Impact on Businesses
    5. Decoupling Individual Assistance Programs
    6. Impacts to Community
    7. Linking Individual Assistance Declarations With Public 
Assistance Estimated Cost Factor
    8. Thresholds
    9. Insurance
    10. Homes in Foreclosure
    11. Incentives for State Sponsored IA Programs
IV. Discussion of the Proposed Rule
    A. 44 CFR 206.48--Paragraph (b)(1) State Fiscal Capacity and 
Resource Availability
    B. 44 CFR 206.48--Paragraph (b)(2) Uninsured Home and Personal 
Property Losses
    C. 44 CFR 206.48--Paragraph (b)(3) Disaster Impacted Population 
Profile
    D. 44 CFR 206.48--Paragraph (b)(4) Impact to Community 
Infrastructure
    E. 44 CFR 206.48--Paragraph (b)(5) Casualties
    F. 44 CFR 206.48--Paragraph (b)(6) Disaster Related Unemployment
    G. Principal Factors for Evaluating the Need for the Individuals 
and Households Program
V. Regulatory Analysis
    A. Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review and 
Executive Order 13563, Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review
    1. Executive Summary & A-4 Accounting Statement
    2. Need for Regulatory Action
    3. Affected Population
    4. Current Baseline and Changes From Proposed Rule
    5. Impacts to Costs, Benefits, and Transfer Payments
    a. State Costs
    b. Federal Costs
    c. Benefits
    d. Transfer Payments
    9. Cumulative Impact of the Proposed Rule
    10. Marginal Analysis of the Proposed Factors
    11. Regulatory Alternatives
    a. Voluntary, Faith and Community Based Organizations Resources
    b. Maintain the 44 CFR 206.48(b)(6) Table
    c. Automatically Trigger Contiguous Counties and States
    d. Considering Negative Impact on Businesses
    e. Linking Individual Assistance Cost Factor With Public 
Assistance Cost Factor
    f. Use of Factor Thresholds
    g. Homes in Foreclosure
    h. Do Not Include Fiscal Capacity Indicators
    i. Do Not Include State Resources Indicators
    B. Regulatory Flexibility Act
    C. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995
    D. National Environmental Policy Act
    E. Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995
    F. Privacy Act
    G. Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination With 
Indian Tribal Governments
    H. Executive Order 13132, Federalism
    I. Executive Order 11988, Floodplain Management
    J. Executive Order 11990, Protection of Wetlands
    K. Executive Order 12898, Environmental Justice
    L. Congressional Review of Agency Rulemaking

I. Public Participation

    We encourage you to participate in this rulemaking by submitting 
comments and related materials. We will consider all comments and 
material received during the comment period.
    If you submit a comment, identify the agency name and the docket ID 
for this rulemaking, indicate the specific section of this document to 
which each comment applies, and give the reason for each comment. You 
may submit your comments and material by electronic means, mail, or 
delivery to the address under the ADDRESSES section. Please submit your 
comments and material by only one means.
    Regardless of the method used for submitting comments or material, 
all submissions will be posted, without change, to the Federal e-
Rulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov,

[[Page 70117]]

and will include any personal information you provide. Therefore, 
submitting this information makes it public. You may wish to read the 
Privacy Act notice that is available via a link on the homepage of 
www.regulations.gov.
    Viewing comments and documents: For access to the docket to read 
background documents or comments received, go to the Federal e-
Rulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. Background documents 
and submitted comments may also be inspected at the Office of Chief 
Counsel, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 500 C Street SW., 8NE, 
Washington, DC 20472-3100.

II. Executive Summary

A. Purpose of the Regulatory Action

1. The Need for the Regulatory Action and How the Action Will Meet the 
Need
    On January 29, 2013, the President signed the Sandy Recovery 
Improvement Act of 2013 (SRIA) into law (Pub. L. 113-2). Section 1109 
of SRIA requires FEMA in cooperation with State, local, and Tribal 
emergency management agencies, to review, update, and revise through 
rulemaking the factors found at 44 CFR 206.48 that FEMA uses to 
determine whether to recommend provision of Individual Assistance (IA) 
during a major disaster. These factors help FEMA measure the severity, 
magnitude, and impact of a disaster.
    FEMA is proposing this rule to comply with SRIA and to provide 
clarity on the IA declaration factors that FEMA currently considers in 
support of its recommendation to the President on whether a major 
disaster declaration authorizing IA is warranted. The additional 
clarity may reduce delays in the declaration process by decreasing the 
back and forth between States and FEMA in the declaration process. FEMA 
is also proposing new factors on Fiscal Capacity and Resource 
Availability to provide additional context on potential disaster 
situations. The proposed rule would also satisfy the requirements 
outlined above in Section 1109 of SRIA.
2. Legal Authority
    FEMA has authority for this proposed rule pursuant to the Robert T. 
Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (Stafford Act). 
42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq. Section 401 of the Stafford Act lays out the 
procedures for a declaration for FEMA's major disaster assistance 
programs when a catastrophe occurs in a State. The specific changes 
proposed by this NPRM are intended to comply with Section 1109 of the 
Sandy Recovery Improvement Act of 2013. Public Law 113-2.

B. Summary of Major Provisions

    FEMA proposed to revise the factors found at 44 CFR 206.48 that 
FEMA uses to determine whether to recommend provision of Individual 
Assistance during a major disaster. The current factors found at 44 CFR 
206.48 for Individual Assistance include the following factors: (1) 
Concentration of Damages, (2) Trauma, (3) Special Populations, (4) 
Voluntary Agency Assistance, (5) Insurance, and (6) Average Amount of 
Individual Assistance by State.
    FEMA is proposing to revise the current factors by providing 
additional clarity regarding the considerations FEMA evaluates when 
making a recommendation on whether Individual Assistance is warranted 
for a major disaster declaration. FEMA is proposing to revise 44 CFR 
206.48 to include the following factors: (1) State Fiscal Capacity and 
Resource Availability, (2) Uninsured Home and Personal Property Losses, 
(3) Disaster Impacted Population Profile, (4) Impact to Community 
Infrastructure, (5) Casualties, and (6) Disaster Related Unemployment. 
As is currently the practice, FEMA will continue to use a myriad of 
factors and data to formulate its recommendations to the President on 
major disaster declarations that authorize IA. No single data point or 
factor would determine on its own FEMA's ultimate recommendation nor 
would any single factor necessarily affect the President's ultimate 
determination of whether a major disaster declaration authorizing IA is 
warranted. FEMA purposely declined to be more specific in areas of the 
proposed rule so that FEMA does not limit Presidential discretion for 
declaring a major disaster declaration that authorized Individual 
Assistance because the parameters for a major disaster declaration can 
change from Administration to Administration. FEMA wants to ensure that 
we retain as much flexibility as possible so that we can conform to 
what the President wants in their disaster declaration recommendations. 
The proposed factors would not limit the President's discretion 
regarding major disaster declarations.

III. Background

A. The Federal Disaster Declaration Process

    When a catastrophe occurs in a State, the State's Governor may 
request a Presidential declaration of a major disaster \1\ pursuant to 
Section 401 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency 
Assistance Act (Stafford Act). 42 U.S.C. 5170; 44 CFR 206.36(a). Such a 
request must be based on a finding that the disaster is of such 
severity and magnitude that an effective response is beyond the 
capabilities of the State and the affected local governments and that 
Federal assistance is necessary. 42 U.S.C. 5170.
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    \1\ A major disaster is any natural catastrophe (including any 
hurricane, tornado, storm, high water, wind driven water, tidal 
wave, tsunami, earthquake, volcanic eruption, landslide, mudslide, 
snowstorm, or drought), or, regardless of cause, any fire, flood, or 
explosion, in any part of the United States, which in the 
determination of the President causes damage of sufficient severity 
and magnitude to warrant major disaster assistance under this Act to 
supplement the efforts and available resources of States, local 
governments, and disaster relief organizations in alleviating the 
damage, loss, hardship, or suffering caused thereby. 42 U.S.C. 5122; 
44 CFR 206.2(17).
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    The capacity to respond to a catastrophe varies from State to 
State. The initial decision on whether supplemental Federal assistance 
is necessary for a State responding to and recovering from a natural 
disaster lies with each State. The basis for any State request for a 
major disaster declaration must be a finding that (1) the situation is 
of such severity and magnitude that an effective response is beyond the 
capacities of the State and affected local governments, and (2) Federal 
assistance under the Stafford Act is necessary to supplement the 
efforts and available resources of the State, local governments, 
disaster relief organizations, and compensations by insurance for 
disaster-related losses. 44 CFR 206.36(b)(1)-(2).
    The President's declaration may authorize various types of Federal 
assistance, falling under three main program areas: Public Assistance, 
Individual Assistance (IA), and Hazard Mitigation. Public Assistance 
provides supplemental Federal disaster grant assistance for debris 
removal, emergency protective measures, and the repair, replacement, or 
restoration of disaster-damaged, publicly owned facilities and the 
facilities of certain Private Non-Profit organizations. Individual 
Assistance provides financial or direct assistance to individuals and 
households who have been injured or whose property has been damaged or 
destroyed as a result of a Federally-declared disaster, and whose 
losses are not covered by insurance or other means. Additionally, a 
declaration authorizing Individual Assistance may authorize crisis 
counseling, disaster case management, disaster unemployment assistance, 
and disaster legal services.

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The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program provides grants to States and local 
governments to implement long term hazard mitigation measures after a 
major disaster declaration. FEMA's regulations at 44 CFR part 206 
Subpart B describe the process leading to a Presidential declaration of 
a major disaster and the actions triggered by such a declaration. 44 
CFR 206.31.
1. Preliminary Damage Assessment (PDA)
    An initial step in the major disaster declaration process is the 
preliminary damage assessment (PDA). The PDA is used to determine the 
impact and magnitude of damage and the resulting unmet needs of 
individuals, businesses, the public sector, and the community as a 
whole. 44 CFR 206.33. When the State official responsible for disaster 
operations determines that an event may be beyond the capabilities of 
the State and local government to respond, the State will request that 
the FEMA Regional Administrator perform a joint FEMA-State PDA. 44 CFR 
206.33(a). A damage assessment team is formed, which is composed of at 
least one representative of the Federal government and one 
representative of the State. 44 CFR 206.33(b). A local government 
representative familiar with the extent and location of damage in the 
community is also included if possible. 44 CFR 206.33(b). Other State 
and Federal agencies, and voluntary relief organizations may also be 
asked to participate, as needed. 44 CFR 206.33(b). A FEMA official will 
brief team members on damage criteria, the kind of information to be 
collected for the particular incident, and reporting requirements. 44 
CFR 206.33(b).
    The length of time required to conduct a PDA varies based upon the 
circumstances of the event. In large disasters, a major disaster 
declaration may be made prior to completing a PDA, in which case a 
damage assessment is conducted following the declaration in order to 
determine additional program needs. Damage that is widespread may take 
considerably longer to verify than damage in a concentrated area, as 
there is a greater geographic area to assess. Certain types of 
disasters such as flooding, or disasters affecting remote or isolated 
areas, may slow PDAs down due to limited accessibility. Depending on 
the above circumstances, a PDA can take anywhere from a day or two to a 
week or more. On average, a PDA can be completed within a week. At the 
close of the PDA, FEMA consults with State officials to discuss 
findings and reconcile any differences. 44 CFR 206.33(c).
2. State's Submission of Its Declaration Request to FEMA
    During or at the close of the PDA, the Governor of a State submits 
the request for a major disaster declaration through the appropriate 
FEMA Regional Administrator. 44 CFR 206.36. The request must be 
submitted within 30 days of the occurrence of the incident in order to 
be considered. 44 CFR 206.36(a). The basis for the request must be a 
finding that (1) the situation is of such severity and magnitude that 
an effective response is beyond the capabilities of the State and 
affected local governments, and (2) Federal assistance under the 
Stafford Act is necessary to supplement the efforts and available 
resources of the State, local governments, disaster relief 
organizations, and compensation by insurance for disaster-related 
losses. 44 CFR 206.36(b)(1)-(2). In addition, the request must include: 
Confirmation that the Governor has taken appropriate action under State 
law and directed the execution of the State emergency plan; an estimate 
of the amount and severity of damages and losses stating the impact of 
the disaster on the public and private sectors; information describing 
the nature and amount of State and local resources which have been or 
will be committed to alleviate the results of the disaster; preliminary 
estimates of the types and amount of supplementary Federal disaster 
assistance needed under the Stafford Act; and certification by the 
Governor that State and local government obligations and expenditures 
for the current disaster will comply with all applicable cost sharing 
requirements of the Stafford Act. 44 CFR 206.36(c)(1)-(5).
3. FEMA's Analysis and Recommendation to the President
    Upon receipt of the Governor's request, the FEMA Regional 
Administrator provides written acknowledgement of the request. 44 CFR 
206.37(a). Based on information obtained by the PDA and consultations 
with appropriate State and Federal officials and other interested 
parties, the FEMA Regional Administrator promptly prepares a summary of 
the PDA findings, analyzes the data, and submits a recommendation to 
FEMA Headquarters. 44 CFR 206.37(b). This Regional Analysis must 
include a discussion of State and local resources and capabilities and 
other assistance available to meet the major disaster-related needs. 44 
CFR 206.37(b).
    Based on all available information, the FEMA Administrator 
formulates a recommendation which is forwarded to the President with 
the Governor's request. 44 CFR 206.37(c). A recommendation for a major 
disaster declaration is based on a finding that the situation is or is 
not of such severity and magnitude as to be beyond the capabilities of 
the State and its local governments, and must include a determination 
of whether or not supplemental Federal assistance \2\ under the 
Stafford Act is necessary and appropriate. 44 CFR 206.37(c)(1). In 
developing a recommendation, FEMA considers factors such as the amount 
and type of damages; the impact of damages on affected individuals, the 
State, and local governments; the available resources of the State and 
local governments, and other disaster relief organizations; the extent 
and type of insurance in effect to cover losses; assistance available 
from other Federal programs and other sources; imminent threats to 
public health and safety; recent disaster history in the State; hazard 
mitigation measures taken by the State or local governments, especially 
implementation of measures required as a result of previous major 
disaster declarations; and other factors pertinent to a given incident. 
44 CFR 206.37(c)(1). When preparing its recommendation for Individual 
Assistance in particular, FEMA considers specific factors described in 
44 CFR 206.48(b).
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    \2\ The supplemental nature of Federal disaster assistance is a 
longstanding principle of emergency management and disaster response 
in this country. After any event, the local officials are the first 
to respond, by nature of their proximity to the event and knowledge 
of the area and circumstances. If additional resources are needed, 
the State then steps in to assist. Once those resources are 
overwhelmed, or it is clear that they will be overwhelmed, the 
Governor may request a major disaster declaration. 44 CFR 206.36(a). 
In the event of a declaration, State and local officials continue to 
lead their respective response and recovery missions, with Federal 
support provided under the Stafford Act.
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4. Approval or Denial of the Declaration Request
    Upon completion of its recommendation, FEMA forwards it to the 
President along with the Governor's request. The Governor's request may 
result in either a Presidential declaration of a major disaster or an 
emergency, or denial of the Governor's request. 44 CFR 206.38(a). The 
Governor will be promptly notified by the FEMA Administrator of a 
declaration by the President that a major disaster exists, or that the 
Governor's request does not justify the use of the authorities of the 
Stafford Act. 44 CFR 206.39. A State may appeal a denial of declaration 
request within 30 days after the date of the letter denying the 
request. 44 CFR 206.46(a).

[[Page 70119]]

5. Types of Assistance Approved Under the Declaration Request
    A major disaster declaration will include the types of assistance 
that are authorized under the declaration, 44 CFR 206.40(a), although 
other types may be authorized later, 44 CFR 206.40(c). The types of 
assistance authorized under the declaration are based upon whether the 
damage involved and its effects are of such severity and magnitude as 
to be beyond the response capabilities of the State, the affected local 
governments, and other potential recipients of supplementary Federal 
assistance. 44 CFR 206.40(a). A major disaster declaration may 
authorize all, or only particular types of, supplementary Federal 
assistance requested by the Governor. 44 CFR 206.40(a). As noted above, 
when evaluating requests for Individual Assistance, FEMA considers the 
factors under 44 CFR 206.48(b) to determine whether supplemental 
Federal Individual Assistance is warranted.
    A major disaster declaration authorizing Individual Assistance may 
include any or all of the following programs:
    Individuals and Households Program: The Individuals and Households 
Program (IHP) provides grants, direct assistance, or both to eligible 
disaster survivors who have necessary expenses and serious needs that 
they are unable to meet through other means, such as insurance. 44 CFR 
206.110-120. This help may be in the form of housing assistance 
(including Temporary Housing, Repair, Replacement, and Semi-Permanent 
or Permanent Housing Construction) as well as assistance to meet 
``other needs'' such as medical, dental, child care, funeral, personal 
property, and transportation costs.
    Crisis Counseling Program: The Crisis Counseling Program (CCP) 
assists individuals and communities recovering from the effects of a 
natural or human caused disaster through the provision of community 
based outreach and psycho-educational services. 44 CFR 206.171. 
Supplemental Federal funding for crisis counseling is available to the 
State through two grant mechanism: (1) Immediate Services Program, 
which provides funds for up to 60 days of services immediately 
following a disaster declaration; and (2) the Regular Services Program, 
which provides funds for up to nine months following a disaster 
declaration.
    Disaster Case Management Program: The Disaster Case Management 
Program (DCMP) is a program that involves a partnership between a 
disaster case manager and a survivor to develop and carry out a 
Disaster Recovery Plan. 42 U.S.C. 5189d. The process involves an 
assessment of the survivor's verified disaster caused unmet needs, 
development of a goal oriented plan that outlines the steps necessary 
to achieve recovery, organization and coordination of information on 
available resources that match the disaster caused unmet need, 
monitoring of progress towards the recovery plan goals and, when 
necessary, client advocacy.
    Disaster Legal Services: Disaster Legal Services provides legal 
assistance to low income individuals who, prior to or as a result of 
the disaster, are unable to secure legal services adequate to meet 
their disaster related needs. 44 CFR 206.164. FEMA, through an 
agreement with the Young Lawyers Division of the American Bar 
Association, provides free legal help for disaster survivors.
    Disaster Unemployment Assistance: Disaster Unemployment Assistance 
(DUA) provides unemployment benefits and re-employment services to 
individuals who have become unemployed as a result of a major disaster 
and who are not eligible for regular State unemployment insurance. 44 
CFR 206.141.

B. Sandy Recovery Improvement Act of 2013

    On January 29, 2013, the President signed the Sandy Recovery 
Improvement Act of 2013 (SRIA) into law (Pub. L. 113-2). Section 1109 
of SRIA requires FEMA, in cooperation with State, local, and Tribal 
emergency management agencies, to review, update, and revise through 
rulemaking the factors found at 44 CFR 206.48 that FEMA uses to 
determine whether to recommend provision of Individual Assistance 
during a major disaster. These factors help FEMA measure the severity, 
magnitude, and impact of a disaster.
    Congress directed FEMA to review, update, and revise these factors, 
including 44 CFR 206.48(b)(2) related to trauma and the specific 
conditions or losses that contribute to trauma, to provide more 
objective criteria for evaluating the need for assistance to 
individuals, to clarify the threshold for eligibility, and to speed a 
declaration of a major disaster or emergency \3\ under the Stafford 
Act. Pursuant to SRIA, this rulemaking must be completed by January 29, 
2014. Although the necessary process to revise the factors is not yet 
complete, FEMA intends to complete this process as expeditiously as 
possible.
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    \3\ The factors that FEMA considers to evaluate the need for 
assistance to individuals under the Stafford Act are at 44 CFR 
206.48. FEMA uses these factors to evaluate a governor's request for 
a declaration of a major disaster, not an emergency. SRIA Section 
1109 states that FEMA must review, update, and revise the factors in 
44 CFR 206.48(b). The factors that FEMA uses to evaluate a 
governor's request for emergency assistance, however, are not 
provided in 44 CFR 206.48(b) or in FEMA's regulations. Therefore, 
the scope of this rulemaking will apply only to Individual 
Assistance factors that FEMA considers when evaluating a Governor's 
request for a major disaster declaration. Section 502 of the 
Stafford Act authorizes FEMA to provide IHP assistance as part of an 
emergency declaration. FEMA has previously considered some of the 
factors found at 206.48(b) when considering an emergency declaration 
request that includes IHP assistance. FEMA will continue to consider 
some of the factors, when applicable, at 44 CFR 206.48(b) when 
evaluating an emergency declaration request that includes IHP 
assistance.
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    SRIA also authorized, among other things, the option for Federally 
recognized Indian Tribal governments to make a request directly to the 
President for a Federal emergency or major disaster declaration. FEMA 
will implement this provision of SRIA in a separate rulemaking.

C. FEMA's Outreach Efforts Required by the Sandy Recovery Improvement 
Act

    Section 1109 of SRIA requires FEMA to cooperate with State, local, 
and Tribal emergency management agencies during the process of 
reviewing, updating, and revising the factors found at 44 CFR 
206.48(b). FEMA conducted outreach with stakeholders, including 
meetings with the National Emergency Managers Association, the 
International Association of Emergency Managers, the National Advisory 
Council, FEMA regional offices, and Tribal governments (hereinafter 
``stakeholder group''). The stakeholder group had widespread 
participation from individuals involved in emergency management at the 
State, local, and tribal levels. These outreach efforts were conducted 
from February 2013 through May 2013 and consisted of in-person 
conferences and conference calls. During this outreach, a series of 
themes emerged from the members of the stakeholder group which are 
discussed below.
1. The Role of Voluntary, Faith, and Community Based Organizations 
During Disasters
    Many in the stakeholder group felt that the consideration of 
services and benefits provided by voluntary, faith-based, and 
community-based organizations during a disaster should not continue to 
serve as an indicator for when supplemental Federal assistance is 
warranted. The stakeholders felt that voluntary, faith-based, and 
community-based organization involvement may not be available at the 
time of a disaster declaration and those organizations do

[[Page 70120]]

not provide funding for the rebuilding or replacement of houses. FEMA 
currently considers, as an Individual Assistance factor, the extent to 
which voluntary agencies and State or local programs can meet the needs 
of disaster survivors. 44 CFR 206.48(b)(4). Voluntary, faith-based, and 
community-based organizations are often among the first to respond to 
an event. Following a disaster, voluntary, faith-based, and community-
based organizations mobilize to provide immediate assistance such as 
food, clothing, shelter, cleaning supplies, comfort kits, first aid, 
and medical care, as well as services including coordinating donations, 
counseling, home repairs, and rebuilding. FEMA is proposing to continue 
consideration of the resources made available by such organizations as 
part of the new ``Resource Availability'' factor discussed below. FEMA 
recognizes that the resources provided by the voluntary, faith-based, 
and community-based organizations are typically not a long term 
recovery solution for a disaster affected community and that these 
organizations' financial capabilities are mostly donor-based and 
dependent on the economic climate. FEMA also believes that information 
on voluntary, faith-based, and community-based organizations is 
valuable because it can enhance the picture of disaster needs at a 
local, grass roots level and may either offset the need for, or reveal 
a need for, supplemental Federal assistance.
2. The Correlation Between the Population Size of a State and Its 
Capability To Recover
    Several members of the stakeholder group discouraged FEMA from 
making a correlation between State population size and the capability 
of that State to recover. More specifically, multiple members of the 
stakeholder group expressed concern with the table in the current 
regulations which provides the average amount of Individual Assistance 
by State. See 206.48(b)(6). This table of averages does not set a 
threshold for recommending Individual Assistance, but was intended as 
guidance to States and voluntary agencies as they develop plans and 
programs to meet the needs of disaster survivors. 44 CFR 206.48(b)(6).
    In developing this proposed rule, FEMA evaluated the utility of 
this table. FEMA determined that the table should be removed because it 
causes confusion among States, and may be viewed incorrectly as a 
threshold for whether a State should request Individual Assistance. In 
addition, the table is based on 1990 Census data, uses assistance 
information from 1994-1999, and is based on the previous iteration of 
the IHP which consisted of two separate programs: (1) The Temporary 
Housing Assistance Program and (2) the Individual and Family Grant 
Program. FEMA recognizes that there are many factors, including 
population, that contribute to a State's capability to respond to and 
recover from a disaster. FEMA is proposing several factors, discussed 
below, that will be used in evaluating State capability.
3. Issues With Widespread Damage and Contiguous States
    Current 44 CFR 206.48(b)(1) notes that high concentrations of 
damages generally indicate a greater need for Federal assistance than 
widespread and scattered damages throughout a State. Stakeholders were 
concerned that the cost of widespread minimal damage across counties 
within a State may not be appropriately considered within the 
concentration of damage factor. The stakeholders wanted greater 
consideration to widespread events that are costly. FEMA recognizes 
that as a practical matter, widespread minimal damage spread across a 
larger geographic area, can overwhelm a State's capability to 
adequately respond to a disaster. Therefore, FEMA is proposing a 
factor, discussed below, that will evaluate the estimated cost of 
assistance for a State.
    In events where disasters cross state lines, several emergency 
managers recommended that a major disaster declaration in one of the 
States should automatically trigger a major disaster declaration in the 
other affected State or States. The Stafford Act requires that a 
Governor's request for a major disaster declaration is based on a 
finding that the disaster is of such severity and magnitude to be 
beyond the capabilities of the State and affected local governments. 42 
U.S.C. 5170(a). FEMA's major disaster recommendation to the President 
is based on this same finding. 44 CFR 206.37(c). Each State has 
different capabilities to respond to, recover from, and mitigate the 
effects of a disaster. Moreover a disaster that crosses state lines may 
have differing impacts in the affected states. As such, it is unlikely 
that every event that impacts multiple states will necessarily be 
beyond each affected State's respective capabilities. Therefore, rather 
than recommending that the President automatically declare a disaster 
for each adjoining State affected by a disaster, FEMA proposes to 
continue to base its major disaster declaration recommendation on the 
capability of the affected State and local governments to respond to 
the event, in accordance with the requirements for a major disaster 
declaration in the Stafford Act.
4. Impact on Businesses
    Multiple members of the stakeholder group asked FEMA to consider 
the impact of an incident on businesses. They believe that there is a 
direct correlation between impacts on businesses and a community's 
ability to recovery. As discussed below, FEMA is proposing revised IA 
factors that consider the impact to businesses because the impacts of a 
disaster on businesses may impede a community's ability to recover. 
Business losses alone, however, will not result in a Presidential major 
disaster declaration that authorizes IA because the IA grant programs 
do not provide assistance to businesses. Instead, FEMA considers the 
effect that business disruptions have on disaster survivors. For 
example, some survivors may lose work or become unemployed due to a 
disaster, and may otherwise be ineligible for standard unemployment 
insurance benefits, thus showing an increased need for DUA.
    In addition, the Small Business Administration (SBA) has separate 
statutory authority and programs, which may be available to assist 
businesses absent a Presidential major disaster declaration.
5. Decoupling Individual Assistance Programs
    Several members of the stakeholder group suggested decoupling IA 
programs so that States can request specific IA programs instead of 
receiving a generic major disaster declaration that authorizes all IA 
programs. The manner in which IA programs are requested and authorized 
is outside the scope of this proposed rulemaking, which is to revise 
the factors which FEMA uses to evaluate the need for IA. However, 
current FEMA policy and practice already allows States to request all 
IA programs or specific IA programs, as appropriate, via its 
standardized form, Request for Presidential Disaster Declaration Major 
Disaster or Emergency, OMB Control Number 1660-0009. This form allows 
States to ``check off'' the IA programs they are requesting.
    Indeed, there have been recent major disaster declarations, which 
authorized Disaster Unemployment Assistance and the Crisis Counseling 
Program, without the other IA programs.\4\ These programs

[[Page 70121]]

meet specific needs in the disaster-impacted community that may be 
unrelated to physical disaster damage. FEMA may consider recommending 
authorization of these programs when they are needed, even in the 
absence of authorization of the Individuals and Households Program, 
which is generally directly tied to physical disaster damage.
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    \4\ For example South Dakota, DR-4155, Severe Winter Storm, 
Snowstorm, and Flooding, Declared November 8, 2013 (DUA and CCP), 78 
FR 72093; Colorado, DR-4134, Black Forest Wildfire, Declared July 
26, 2013 (DUA and CCP), 78 FR 51204; Colorado, DR-4133, Royal Gorge 
Wildfire, Declared July 26, 2013 (DUA only), 78 FR 51204.
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6. Impacts to Community
    FEMA received comments from the stakeholder group suggesting that 
FEMA assess the impacts from a disaster to a community as a whole and 
not just consider the damage that occurred to individual houses and 
residences to determine the need for a major disaster declaration that 
authorizes IA and the specific IA programs required. FEMA is 
considering implementing this recommendation in the proposed factor 
described below entitled, ``Impact to Community Infrastructure.'' FEMA 
believes that by reporting and examining community impacts instead of 
just individual residence impacts, FEMA and the State will have a 
better understanding of the overall impact of the disaster on the lives 
of individuals in the community and which IA programs would benefit 
disaster survivors. As discussed in more detail below, significant 
disruptions to important services such as transportation, schools, 
child care, eldercare, or police services are likely to impede recovery 
of that community and may be indicative of a heightened need for 
Federal assistance. In addition, such impacts may show a specific need 
for certain IA programs. For example, a community may have relatively 
low damage impacts to individual residences but a large amount of the 
community's infrastructure, such as schools or roads, may have been 
destroyed. Such impacts can be quite traumatic to the community and may 
suggest a need for specific IA programs such as the Crisis Counseling 
Program, but not necessarily the Individuals and Households Program. 
This information will assist FEMA in determining which IA programs to 
approve when granting a major disaster declaration.
7. Linking Individual Assistance Declarations With Public Assistance 
Estimated Cost Factor
    Some members of the stakeholder group suggested aligning the 
financial indicators for IA and Public Assistance major disaster 
declarations. Currently, FEMA uses the following factors to evaluate 
the need for a Public Assistance major disaster declaration: Estimated 
cost of assistance, localized impacts, insurance coverage, hazard 
mitigation, recent multiple disasters, and programs of other Federal 
assistance. These factors are focused almost entirely on the impact of 
the event on State, local, and tribal governments, as well as certain 
private non-profit organizations. Members of the stakeholder group 
specifically identified the estimated cost of assistance factor as an 
approach that could be applied to IA. Under this factor, FEMA evaluates 
the estimated cost of Federal and non-federal public assistance against 
the statewide population to give a measure of the per capita impact 
within the State. 44 CFR 206.48(a)(1). That factor also establishes a 
$1 million threshold, based on the proposition that even the smallest 
population States have the capability to cover that level of public 
assistance infrastructure damage. Under FEMA's current regulations, 
there is no corresponding IA single indicator designed to evaluate the 
total cost of the disaster against the capability of a requesting 
State.
    FEMA agrees with the comments received from emergency managers that 
the fiscal capacity of a State should be considered, but FEMA does not 
agree that the Public Assistance per capita indicator measure should be 
adopted for this purpose. Instead, as discussed below, FEMA proposes to 
use Total Taxable Resources and Gross Domestic Product by State as 
indicators of a State's fiscal capacity. For reasons discussed below, 
FEMA believes that these indicators, calculated by the U.S. Department 
of Treasury and the U.S. Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic 
Analysis (BEA), are more appropriate for the purposes of evaluating a 
State's fiscal capacity and its capability to meet the needs of 
individuals after an event. In addition to Total Taxable Resources and 
Gross Domestic Product by State, FEMA will consider the estimated cost 
of assistance and States would also have the ability to submit other 
information relevant to their fiscal capacity. FEMA's proposal of a 
fiscal capacity factor is discussed further below.
8. Thresholds
    Some members of the stakeholder group indicated that they would 
like a specific ``hard'' threshold that indicates whether a State would 
be eligible to receive a major disaster declaration authorizing IA. The 
stakeholders felt that if there was an established threshold it would 
give States a clear idea of what level of damage and need the State 
must have before requesting assistance. The stakeholders believed that 
this would prevent States from spending the time compiling the data and 
requesting a declaration when they have not sustained enough damage to 
qualify for a major disaster declaration that authorizes IA.
    Section 320 of the Stafford Act prohibits the denial of assistance 
to a geographic area based solely use of an arithmetic formula or a 
sliding scale based on income or population. 42 U.S.C. 5163. Although 
FEMA determined that any hard thresholds or inflexible formula would 
offend the principles of Section 320,\5\ FEMA believes that a 
systematic and objective approach using standardized factors is 
important for making informed and consistent recommendations to the 
President as well as enhancing predictability for a State when they 
request IA. As discussed throughout section IV, FEMA is proposing to 
use objective data from other Federal agencies to inform the overall 
assessment of the request, but, in keeping with the principles of 
Section 320 and recognizing that every disaster presents unique 
circumstances, this data alone will not be independently dispositive of 
whether FEMA recommends the need for IA.
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    \5\ As noted above, FEMA applies a $1 million minimum threshold 
when evaluating requests for Public Assistance. This is based upon a 
determination that even the smallest states can be expected to cover 
that level of damage and that disaster assistance is intended to be 
supplemental in nature. The minimum threshold is not a sliding scale 
or an arithmetic formula, nor is it based on population or income. 
Rather, it is related directly to the degree of damage only. As 
such, there is no conflict with section 320 of the Stafford Act.
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9. Insurance
    Under its current regulations, FEMA considers the amount of 
insurance coverage when evaluating the need for IA. 44 CFR 
206.48(b)(5). FEMA received comments from the stakeholder group that 
said that this insurance coverage factor could be viewed as a penalty 
for people that have limited insurance or insurance that does not cover 
the specific disaster damage. FEMA does not agree that the insurance 
coverage factor penalizes disaster survivors for maintaining private 
homeowner's insurance or flood insurance. FEMA's programs are not loss 
indemnification programs. They do not ensure that an applicant is 
returned to their pre-disaster living condition nor can they cover all 
disaster-related losses. FEMA assistance is not as comprehensive as 
insurance coverage and the amount of money that an insurance company 
will

[[Page 70122]]

provide as a settlement is typically greater than the dollar amount of 
assistance FEMA is legally permitted to provide.\6\ FEMA takes 
insurance coverage into consideration under current 44 CFR 206.48(b)(5) 
because, under the Stafford Act, Federal disaster assistance cannot 
duplicate assistance from any source, including available insurance 
proceeds. When evaluating this factor, FEMA considers the type of 
disaster damage when determining whether there is insurance coverage. 
For disaster survivors with insurance that does not cover the specific 
disaster damage, their losses are considered uninsured.
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    \6\ For disasters occurring in Fiscal Year 2016 the maximum 
amount of financial assistance provided to an individual or 
household under section 408 of the Stafford Act (IHP) with respect 
to any single emergency or major disaster is $33,000. See 80 FR 
62086, Oct. 15, 2015. This amount is adjusted annually based on the 
Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers as calculated by the 
Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.
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    Comments that FEMA received from the stakeholder group raised 
additional concern with the insurance data that FEMA uses because it 
can be inaccurate leading FEMA to under- or over-estimate the actual 
insurance penetration rates \7\ within a community. FEMA currently 
utilizes National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) data to determine 
insurance penetration rates for flood damages and Census data to 
determine homeowners' insurance coverage percentages. FEMA uses the 
percentage of owner-occupied homes with a mortgage based on Census data 
to determine an insurance penetration rate. FEMA assumes that a home 
with a mortgage would require home insurance coverage. FEMA is pursuing 
additional resources beyond NFIP and Census data to verify insurance 
penetration rates in order to have the most accurate insurance 
information available. FEMA is requesting that stakeholders and the 
public provide information and suggestions on potential sources of data 
for the most accurate insurance information. FEMA will consider 
suggestions during the development of the final rule.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \7\ Insurance coverage rates and insurance penetration rates are 
both currently captured in 44 CFR 206.48(b)(5). In the new proposed 
regulation, both of these insurance rates will be captured at 
206.48(b)(2)(vi).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

10. Homes in Foreclosure
    FEMA received comments from the stakeholder group related to homes 
in foreclosure. Some commenters stated that if an area with a high 
foreclosure rate is affected by a disaster, these foreclosed homes 
without an owner could be a greater burden to the State in the recovery 
process. FEMA considered this information and has preliminarily 
concluded that foreclosure data should not be specified in our 
evaluation factors. FEMA's IA programs do not provide any form of 
assistance for foreclosed homes. Repair assistance is available only 
for owner-occupied primary residences. As such, homes without an owner, 
or homes owned by a bank or other creditor would not be eligible for 
assistance. FEMA recognizes that high levels of foreclosure may be 
associated with economic difficulties in the affected area that could 
also negatively impact a community's ability to recover. However, FEMA 
believes other factors including poverty level, pre-disaster 
unemployment, and per capita personal income will be adequate 
indicators of economic health in most circumstances. If a State 
believes that homes in foreclosure will impact their capability to 
respond to the disaster, then the State may articulate this concern in 
the narrative portion of their declaration request. FEMA considers all 
relevant information provided in a State's request. 44 CFR 206.48.
11. Incentives for State Sponsored IA Programs
    FEMA received comments from the stakeholder group stating that FEMA 
should provide incentives for States to have their own IA programs. 
Commenters stated that currently there is no consideration by FEMA of 
the disasters that are paid for by States and that States should not be 
penalized for having a program that assists its citizens during the 
time it takes for PDAs to be completed and a major disaster declaration 
authorized. FEMA agrees with the comments received from emergency 
managers that any efforts or programs to help citizens by a State 
should be considered. As discussed below in the ``Planning After Prior 
Disasters'' factor, FEMA proposes to include consideration of any 
planning and disaster relief programs a State establishes after a prior 
disaster because States are ultimately responsible for the well-being 
of their citizens and therefore should continuously evaluate and 
improve their disaster planning and relief programs based on lessons 
learned from previous disasters.

IV. Discussion of the Proposed Rule

    This rule proposes to implement Section 1109 of SRIA, which 
requires FEMA to revise and update through rulemaking the Individual 
Assistance factors that are used to make a major disaster 
recommendation to the President. States are not required to provide 
information on every single factor listed below; the amount of 
information and data provided by each State is voluntary. However, the 
failure of a State to provide sufficient evidence that supplemental 
Federal assistance is necessary may result in a delay or possibly 
denial of a request for a major disaster declaration authorizing IA.
    As is currently the practice, FEMA will continue to use a myriad of 
factors and data to formulate its recommendations to the President on 
major disaster declarations that authorize IA. No single data point or 
factor would determine on its own FEMA's ultimate recommendation nor 
would any single factor necessarily affect the President's ultimate 
determination of whether a major disaster declaration authorizing IA is 
warranted. The proposed factors would not limit the President's 
discretion regarding major disaster declarations. FEMA reviewed the 
current factors and proposes to revise the current factors as follows.

A. 44 CFR 206.48--Paragraph (b)(1) State Fiscal Capacity and Resource 
Availability

    FEMA is proposing to add at 44 CFR 206.48(b)(1) a factor entitled 
``State Fiscal Capacity and Resource Availability.'' The factors 
discussed below will be used by FEMA to evaluate a State's fiscal 
capacity to respond to a disaster as well as a State's available 
resources that can or have been committed to the disaster recovery 
process.
    Fiscal Capacity. FEMA is proposing to evaluate a State's fiscal 
capacity to respond to and recover from a disaster in 44 CFR 
206.48(b)(1)(i)(A)-(D). As discussed above, major disaster declarations 
are based upon a finding that the event is of such severity and 
magnitude that an effective response is beyond the capabilities of the 
State and affected local governments. Economic conditions of the State 
and affected local governments are clearly relevant to such a finding. 
However, the current regulations do not specifically include 
consideration of economic factors that could affect a State's 
capability to respond to or recover from a disaster. The proposed data 
points will help FEMA evaluate through independently calculated data 
whether a State is financially overwhelmed and unable to adequately 
respond to a disaster.
    In addition, the United States Government Accountability Office 
(GAO) has suggested in multiple reports \8\ that FEMA should 
incorporate

[[Page 70123]]

States' fiscal capacity into its considerations for recommendations on 
disaster declarations to the President. The GAO reports have 
historically focused on fiscal capacity in FEMA's Public Assistance 
(PA) factor criteria, but changes to the PA criteria are outside the 
scope of this proposed rule. FEMA believes that the same principle 
applies to IA and PA, in that there is a need to assess a State's 
capacity to respond and recover from a disaster on its own when 
determining whether a major disaster declaration is warranted because 
Federal assistance is supplemental. Each State's capacity to respond 
and recover varies based on the circumstances of the disaster and the 
State's resources.
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    \8\ United States Government Accountability Office, FEDERAL 
DISASTER ASSISTANCE: Improved Criteria Needed to Assess a 
Jurisdiction's Capability to Respond and Recover on Its Own, GAO-12-
838, September 2012. Available at: http://www.gao.gov/assets/650/648162.pdf. United States Government Accountability Office, DISASTER 
ASSISTANCE: Improvement Needed in Disaster Declaration Criteria and 
Eligibility Assurance Procedures, August 2001. Available at: http://www.gao.gov/assets/240/232622.pdf.
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    FEMA therefore proposes to include in 44 CFR 206.48(b)(1)(i)(A)-(C) 
the following three factors which will help evaluate a State and local 
jurisdiction's fiscal capacity: (A) The Total Taxable Resources (TTR) 
of the State,\9\ (B) the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by State,\10\ (C) 
and the Per Capita Personal Income by Local Area. FEMA anticipates that 
these data points are readily available so that the State can discuss 
the data points in their request for a major disaster declaration. 
These publicly available data points, calculated by third-party 
government agencies, will allow FEMA to use standardized data to 
evaluate the economic capability of a State to effectively respond to 
an event.
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    \9\ For a more detailed discussion of the methodology estimating 
the total taxable resources (TTR) of the State, please refer to 
Dep't of the Treasury, Treasury Methodology for Estimating Total 
Taxable Resources (TTR) (last revised Nov. 2002), http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/economic-policy/Documents/nmpubsum.pdf. This document is also available in the docket for this 
rulemaking. The data on TTR by State is available at http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/economic-policy/taxable-resources/Pages/Total-Taxable-Resources.aspx. FEMA provides this Web site for 
reference purposes, the Web site may change based on U.S. Treasury's 
future actions, and FEMA will adjust its use of the Web page and 
data as necessary.
    \10\ Gross Domestic Product of the State was formerly referred 
to as Gross State Product. For a more detailed discussion of the 
methodology estimating the Gross Domestic Product of the State, 
please refer to http://bea.gov/regional/pdf/gsp/GDPState.pdf. This 
document is also available in the docket for this rulemaking. An 
example of GDP by State is available at http://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/regional/gdp_state/gsp_newsrelease.htm; however, FEMA 
will use updated data as new information is published.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The TTR of the State is an annual estimate of the relative fiscal 
capacity of a State, calculated by the U.S. Department of Treasury. TTR 
is defined as the unduplicated sum of the income flows produced within 
a State and the income flows, received by its residents, which a State 
could potentially tax. Calculation of the TTR is based on the GDP by 
State and additional accounting for resident earnings (wages, salaries, 
proprietor's income, etc.) from out-of-state, and resident dividend and 
interest income, as well as reduction for components that are presumed 
not taxable by States (employee and employer contributions to social 
insurance, federal indirect business taxes, federal civilian 
enterprises surplus/deficit). While TTR does not consider the actual 
fiscal choices made by the States, it does reflect their potential 
resources. Increases or decreases in TTR could indicate a strengthening 
or declining State economy for FEMA to consider when making a 
determination of the State's capacity. In summary, TTR is a flow 
concept, a comprehensive measure of all the income flows a State can 
potentially tax. TTR data is updated annually with a two year lag in 
the data.
    The GDP by State is calculated by the BEA.\11\ GDP by State 
estimates are measured as the sum of the distributions by industry and 
state of the components of gross domestic income which is the sum of 
the costs incurred and incomes earned in the production of GDP. 
Currently, TTR is only provided for the fifty States and the District 
of Columbia,\12\ but not the territories; but GDP by State includes 
calculations for U.S. territories.\13\ FEMA would use GDP by State 
primarily as an alternative fiscal capacity measure when the TTR of an 
area is unavailable. GDP by State may also be used by a State when 
their TTR is inaccurate due to the two year lag in TTR data. It is 
possible that a State's TTR data could be strong or trending upwards 
when in fact recent events may have caused a significant drop in the 
State fiscal capacity that is not yet reflected. This significant drop 
could be caused by, for instance, a previous disaster or a financial 
downturn. Additionally, if a disaster had a significant amount of 
damages and impacts, so much so that it could have a major impact on 
the real or actual TTR, FEMA would likely recommend granting IA, 
assuming the damages were not covered by home, property, or flood 
insurance and IA assistance would not duplicate benefits. TTR is one 
data point along with numerous others and will not on its own determine 
FEMA's recommendation. States also have the opportunity, as they have 
in the past, to tell FEMA how their economy is impacted by the disaster 
and previous disasters. The State may also present, and FEMA will 
evaluate, the GDP trend in addition to simply the TTR data.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \11\ GDP by State is a component of the TTR calculation.
    \12\ The District of Columbia's TTR does not include income 
earned by out-of-state commuters. Since the District of Columbia is 
proscribed by Federal law from taxing the earnings of commuters from 
outside its borders, the U.S. Treasury has subtracted the earnings 
of non-residents (commuter income).
    \13\ GDP by State data is currently available from the BEA for 
the following territories: Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and 
the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. The U.S. Census 
publishes GDP for Puerto Rico.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Generally, FEMA assumes a State with a low TTR may have a lower 
threshold for requiring supplemental Federal assistance than a State 
with a higher TTR because its economy may not be as resilient against 
the increased financial burdens that are attributed to a large 
disaster. FEMA assumes territories with lower GDP may have a relatively 
lower threshold for requiring Federal assistance. While a higher TTR or 
GDP are indicative of greater fiscal capability, FEMA recognizes that 
there are disasters that are so large or so destructive as to overwhelm 
even the most fiscally capable States.
    Per capita personal income by local area is calculated by the 
BEA,\14\ and is the personal income of the residents of a given area 
divided by the resident population of the area. BEA uses the Census 
Bureau's annual midyear population estimates when computing the per 
capita personal income. FEMA anticipates using per capita personal 
income by local area as a measure to better assess the need for 
supplemental Federal assistance within each local area. A local area 
with a relatively low per capita personal income that is affected by a 
disaster may have a lower threshold for requiring supplemental Federal 
assistance. Local governments in areas with low per capita personal 
income will typically have lower tax bases and therefore may have fewer 
resources available to help local residents impacted by a disaster, 
which may indicate a lower threshold for requiring supplemental Federal 
assistance. Per capita personal income by local area when considered 
holistically with TTR (and when

[[Page 70124]]

appropriate GDP by State) will help to identify areas of concentrated 
need at the micro local area and individual level in addition to the 
macro State level.
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    \14\ Data on per capita personal income is available on the 
BEA's ``Local Areas Personal Income & Employment'' Table CA1. FEMA 
may need to update this source if the BEA provides a new table for 
per capita personal income, and it is provided here for 
clarification purposes only.
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    FEMA also proposes to include at 44 CFR 206.48(b)(1)(i)(D) a factor 
entitled ``Other Factors.'' ``Other Factors'' is included to explicitly 
prompt the State to raise and discuss any other additional factors 
related to the State's fiscal capacity, i.e., burdens on a State 
treasury or a State's inability to collect funds. This factor will 
encourage a State to provide an explanation of a State's fiscal 
capacity that might not be captured or accurately reflected in the 
above factors. A State may have an extraordinary fiscal circumstance 
that is not reflected in the above factors and FEMA encourages the 
State to discuss the circumstances. For example, a hurricane may cause 
extensive damage in a coastal area and negatively impact tourism, which 
in turn, will have a negative impact on the tax base and fiscal 
capacity.
    Resource Availability. FEMA proposes to include at 44 CFR 
206.48(b)(1)(ii) a factor entitled ``Resource Availability.'' Federal 
disaster assistance is supplemental in nature. FEMA's current 
regulations do not provide for the level of granularity and detail for 
FEMA to fully evaluate what and where the resource shortfalls are for a 
community and State that was affected by a disaster. ``Resource 
Availability'' will be an evaluation of the disaster assistance 
resources available from State, Tribal, and local governments as well 
as non-governmental organizations and the private sector so that FEMA 
can determine where, if any, gaps in resources exist. This factor also 
provides for consideration of those circumstances that may prevent a 
State from having sufficient resources to devote to the disaster 
recovery process. Supplemental Federal assistance under the Stafford 
Act is not warranted or necessary if a State's disaster-caused needs 
can be met by the available resources provided by a State, Tribal, 
local governments, non-governmental organizations, or the private 
sector.
    FEMA is proposing to include at 44 CFR 206.48(b)(1)(ii)(A)-(D) four 
factors that will enable FEMA to fully evaluate a State's available 
resources post disaster: (1) State, Tribal, and local government, Non-
Governmental Organizations (NGO), and Private Sector Activity; (2) 
Cumulative Effect of Recent Disasters; (3) State Services; and (4) 
Planning After Prior Disasters.
    In current regulations, FEMA evaluates voluntary agency assistance 
to determine the need for assistance to individuals under the Stafford 
Act. 44 CFR 206.48(b)(4). While the current factor's title is 
``Voluntary agency assistance,'' both State and local government 
programs are included. FEMA is clarifying the inclusion of State and 
local government programs and is also expanding 44 CFR 
206.48(b)(1)(ii)(A) to include private sector assistance. FEMA is also 
specifying Tribal government assistance, which was previously 
considered under local government programs. FEMA is proposing this as a 
factor because the level of assistance available to disaster survivors 
from State, Tribal, and local government, NGOs, and the private sector, 
may offset a need or reveal an increased need for supplemental 
assistance. Assistance provided by State, Tribal, and local government, 
NGOs, and the private sector can include but is not limited to 
Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) resources, sheltering, 
housing programs, feeding, mental health services, child care, elder 
care, reunification services, clean up kits, blankets and cots, 
financial assistance, and other donations.
    This factor is an attempt to include the ``Whole Community'' 
approach to emergency management that reinforces the fact that FEMA is 
only one part of our nation's emergency management team; that FEMA must 
evaluate all of the resources of the collective team in preparing for, 
protecting against, responding to, recovering from and mitigating 
against all hazards; and that collectively we must meet the needs of 
the entire community in each of these areas. FEMA fully recognizes that 
a government-centric approach to emergency management is not enough to 
meet the challenges posed by a catastrophic incident. When the 
community is engaged in emergency management, it becomes empowered to 
identify its needs and the existing resources that may be used to 
address them. Collectively, we can determine the best ways to organize 
and strengthen community assets, capacities, and interests. This allows 
us, as a nation, to expand our reach and deliver services more 
efficiently and cost effectively to build, sustain, and improve our 
capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, 
and mitigate all hazards. The ``Whole Community'' approach is an 
ongoing component of the nation's larger, coordinated effort to enhance 
emergency planning and strengthen the nation's overall level of 
preparedness.
    FEMA proposes to add a new factor ``Cumulative Effect of Recent 
Disasters,'' at 44 CFR 206.48(b)(1)(ii)(B), to evaluate a State's 
disaster history, both Presidential (public and individual assistance) 
and gubernatorial disaster declarations, for the previous 24-month 
period. FEMA is particularly interested in information from a State 
highlighting any disasters that have occurred within the State's 
current budget cycle. FEMA is proposing this as a factor because 
multiple disasters in a 24-month period, and particularly within one 
State budget cycle, may significantly strain a State budget and reduce 
the State's capability to adequately respond to and recover from a 
disaster without supplemental Federal assistance. In addition, pursuant 
to FEMA's regulations, at 44 CFR 206.48(a)(5), in evaluating the need 
for assistance under the Public Assistance program, FEMA considers the 
disaster history of the State for the last 12-month period. FEMA is 
requesting 24 months of State disaster history data because it closely 
aligns with the length of time for IA programs. For example, IHP 
assistance is available for 18 months and DCMP is available for 24 
months from the date of a major disaster declaration. A State with an 
open disaster period that is affected by another disaster might have 
various unique issues related to recovery and the compounded effects of 
two disasters within a short amount of time. Review of disaster 
activity occurring within the past 24 months will help to capture any 
ongoing disaster activity where individuals may still be receiving IHP 
assistance. If the length of time were limited to only 12 months, this 
factor might not identify that the State currently has an open major 
disaster declaration where individuals are potentially still receiving 
FEMA IA assistance. This time period will also align with most State 
government fiscal cycles, which are typically one or two years. An 
unanticipated number of disasters within a fiscal cycle may contribute 
to budget shortfalls that may render a State less able to respond to an 
event.
    FEMA is proposing a new factor, ``State Services,'' at 44 CFR 
206.48(b)(1)(ii)(C). Under this factor, FEMA would evaluate information 
regarding any circumstances that prevent a State from having the 
resources to provide sufficient services to its citizens. FEMA strongly 
believes that it is important for a State to have pre-identified 
funding sources or sufficient disaster relief funds or programs that 
can be utilized to assist its citizens after a disaster. A State 
requesting a major disaster declaration should address the reasons why 
the State does not have sufficient funds, or

[[Page 70125]]

why the funding sources are insufficient to meet the needs of its 
citizens.
    Finally, under the ``Resource Availability'' factor, FEMA is 
proposing to consider a State's ``Planning After Prior Disasters,'' at 
44 CFR 206.48(b)(1)(ii)(D). Federal disaster assistance is supplemental 
and is not intended to take the place of State disaster assistance 
programs. States are strongly encouraged to develop and continuously 
improve their own disaster assistance programs. For this factor, States 
should identify any new and existing individual assistance programs as 
well as any improvements to existing individual assistance programs 
made as a result of previous disasters. States that continually fail to 
address limitations or shortfalls identified by FEMA or the State after 
previous events will receive negative consideration under this factor. 
FEMA is proposing this as a factor because States are ultimately 
responsible for the well-being of their citizens and therefore should 
continuously evaluate and improve their disaster planning and relief 
programs based on lessons learned from previous disasters.

B. 44 CFR 206.48--Paragraph (b)(2) Uninsured Home and Personal Property 
Losses

    Under FEMA's current regulations, FEMA evaluates the concentration 
of damages to individuals. 44 CFR 206.48(b)(1). FEMA also considers the 
amount of insurance coverage pursuant to 44 CFR 206.48(b)(5). FEMA is 
proposing to incorporate both of the current factors, as well as 
additional information collected during the PDA process, into a new 
factor entitled ``Uninsured Home and Personal Property Losses'' in a 
new 44 CFR 206.48(b)(2). As described above in section (III)(A)(1) of 
the Background section, FEMA and the State participate in the joint PDA 
process, which includes an examination of the extent of damage to 
individual residences. The PDA data points help to illustrate the 
extent of damage that a community has sustained and help FEMA estimate 
the probable grant assistance under the Individuals and Households 
Program. The proposed data points save FEMA time when evaluating a 
major disaster declaration request because the requested data has 
already been evaluated and validated by FEMA during the joint PDA 
process. FEMA currently collects this information via the joint PDA 
process and uses them when evaluating requests for major disaster 
declaration.\15\ This proposed factor will more accurately describe the 
information collected and evaluated during joint PDAs.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \15\ Preliminary Damage Assessment for Individual Assistance 
Operations Manual (9327.2). Available at: http://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/29569.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The first proposed data point is the cause of damage in a new 
paragraph 44 CFR 206.48(b)(2)(i). FEMA is requesting this information 
in part because it is directly relates to insurance coverage. The cause 
of disaster damage refers to the peril that caused the disaster damage 
such as a tornado or wind driven rain. Insurance policies typically 
only cover damage resulting from a specific peril or perils. FEMA is 
legally prohibited from duplicating insurance proceeds when providing 
disaster assistance and must know the level of insurance coverage and 
the cause of the damage to estimate the potential amount of Federal IA 
available.
    The second proposed data point is information on the jurisdictions 
impacted and the concentration of damages in a new paragraph 44 CFR 
206.48(b)(2)(ii). FEMA is requesting this information because it will 
highlight the counties within a State that may require IA as well as 
whether the damages were in one concentrated area of the State or 
widespread. This information will be gathered during the PDA process by 
either the damage assessment teams or via geographic information system 
(GIS) data. IA is typically authorized based on county or parish 
jurisdictional boundaries.
    The third proposed data point is the number of homes impacted and 
degree of damage in a new paragraph 44 CFR 206.48(b)(2)(iii). Degree of 
damage refers to the extent of disaster damage and its impact on the 
habitability of a home. FEMA is requesting this information because it 
illustrates how a community was affected and what types and the extent 
of IA that may be needed for the community. This information is 
typically given at both the county or parish jurisdictional level and 
the State wide level.
    The fourth proposed data point is the estimated cost of assistance 
in a new paragraph 44 CFR 206.48(b)(2)(iv). The estimated cost of 
assistance is typically generated by the joint FEMA-State PDA and is 
already currently collected in FEMA's current declarations process. The 
estimated cost of damage will help FEMA gather information about the 
cost of a disaster and the potential amount of FEMA assistance that 
would be awarded. This data point is often determined using information 
obtained from the other data points outlined in this factor. This data 
point is important because it will capture the probable grant 
assistance that will be awarded for personal property in addition to 
grant assistance for housing.
    The fifth proposed data point is information on the homeownership 
rate of impacted homes in a new paragraph 44 CFR 206.48(b)(2)(v). This 
factor is an estimated rate of the homeownership of impacted homes in 
the disaster-affected area. FEMA may provide assistance for real 
property repair or replacement to homeowners for their primary 
residence and rental assistance to homeowners or renters; therefore, it 
is important to know homeownership rates in order to estimate probable 
assistance.
    The sixth proposed data point is information on the percentage of 
affected households with insurance coverage appropriate to the peril in 
a new paragraph 44 CFR 206.48(b)(2)(vi). FEMA is requesting this 
information because FEMA will consider the percentage of affected 
households with insurance coverage as part of the evaluation of whether 
the IHP is necessary and to assist in determining probable grant 
assistance. Insurance appropriate to the peril is, for example, if the 
cause of the damage is wind and the homeowner has homeowner's 
insurance, then the homeowner has insurance appropriate to the peril. 
If the homeowner has homeowner's insurance, but no flood insurance, and 
the cause of the damage is flooding, then the homeowner does not have 
insurance appropriate to the peril. If a homeowner has sufficient and 
appropriate insurance to the peril, Federal assistance may be limited 
to ONA, CCP, DCMP, or DUA programs because the Stafford Act prohibits 
FEMA from duplicating benefits received from any other source, 
including insurance proceeds. The State should attempt to provide this 
information through the State insurance commissioner or office and 
other appropriate sources. FEMA will verify the data using the best 
analysis methods available. FEMA currently utilizes National Flood 
Insurance Program (NFIP) data to determine insurance penetration rates 
for flood damages and Census data to determine homeowners' insurance 
coverage percentages. Since insurance coverage is not collected during 
the Census, the percentage of owner-occupied homes with a mortgage is 
used to determine an insurance penetration rate, due to assumption that 
a home with a mortgage would require home insurance coverage. FEMA is 
pursuing additional resources beyond NFIP and Census data to verify

[[Page 70126]]

insurance penetration rates in order to have the most accurate 
insurance information available. As previously mentioned in Section 
III(C)(9), FEMA is requesting that stakeholders and the public provide 
information and suggestions on potential sources of data for the most 
accurate insurance information. FEMA will consider any suggestions 
during the development of the final rule.
    Finally, the seventh proposed data point is any other relevant 
preliminary damage assessment data in a new paragraph 44 CFR 
206.48(b)(2)(vii). FEMA is proposing this factor to explicitly prompt 
the State to discuss any other damage assessment information that was 
gathered during the joint FEMA-State PDA that the State believes 
demonstrates that an effective response is beyond the capability of the 
State and affected local governments and that supplemental Federal 
assistance for individuals is appropriate.

C. 44 CFR 206.48--Paragraph (b)(3) Disaster Impacted Population Profile

    In FEMA's current regulations at 44 CFR 206.48(b)(3), FEMA 
considers special populations in evaluating the need for assistance to 
individuals under the Stafford Act. FEMA proposes to expand on this 
current factor, in the proposed factor ``Disaster Impacted Population 
Profile'' at a revised 44 CFR 206.48(b)(3). Currently, in the ``special 
populations'' factor FEMA considers demographic information regarding 
low income, elderly, or unemployed populations that are affected by a 
major disaster because those populations may have a greater need for 
assistance. 44 CFR 206.48(b)(3). FEMA also considers whether a State 
has any American Indian or Alaskan Native Tribal populations. 44 CFR 
206.48(b)(3).
    FEMA is proposing to consider additional demographic data points 
related to the disaster impacted community. This information will help 
FEMA to identify the specific issues or obstacles that a community may 
face in their disaster recovery. FEMA will consider the following U.S. 
Census and other Federal agency \16\ demographic data points \17\ in 
making a recommendation for IA under a major disaster declaration: (1) 
The percentage of the population for whom poverty status is determined; 
(2) the percentage of the population already receiving government 
assistance, such as Supplemental Security Income and Supplemental 
Nutrition Assistance Program benefits; (3) the pre-disaster 
unemployment rate; (4) the percentage of the population that is 65 
years or older; (5) the percentage of the population 18 years or 
younger; (6) the percentage of the population with a disability; and 
(7) the percentage of the population who speak a language other than 
English and speak English less than ``very well.'' In addition, FEMA 
will continue to consider any unique considerations regarding American 
Indian and Alaskan Native Tribal populations raised in the State's 
request for a major disaster declaration, even if such considerations 
are not be reflected in the U.S. Census Bureau data. These data points 
are readily available so that the State can discuss the data points in 
its request for a major disaster declaration.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \16\ Poverty data comes from the U.S. Census Small Area Estimate 
Branch, ``Poverty and Median Income Estimates for Counties.'' 
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program data is from the U.S. 
Census's American Community Survey (ACS) using the American 
FactFinder, Advanced Search, Geographies: ``All Counties within the 
United States,'' Topics: S2201, 5-year estimates. Supplemental 
Security Income data comes from ACS using the American FactFinder, 
Advanced Search, Geographies: ``All Counties within the United 
States,'' Topics: B19056, 5-year estimates. The unemployment data at 
the state and county level are respectively available at http://www.bls.gov/web/laus/laumstrk.htm and http://www.bls.gov/lau/#cntyaa. Data on county populations of ``65 or Older'' and ``18 or 
Younger'' data comes from the ACS using the American FactFinder, 
Advanced Search, Geographies: ``All Counties within the United 
States,'' Topics: DP05, 5-year estimates. Data on populations with a 
disability comes from the ACS, American FactFinder, Advanced Search, 
Geographies: ``All Counties within the United States,'' Topics: 
S1810, 3-year estimates. Data on ``percent of population who speaks 
English less than very well'' comes from the ACS, American 
FactFinder, Advanced Search, Geographies: ``All Counties in the 
United States,'' Topics: B06007, 5-year estimates. Data on American 
Indian and Alaska Native populations comes from the ACS, American 
FactFinder, Advanced Search, Geographies: ``All Counties within the 
United States,'' Topics: DP05, 5-year estimates. FEMA may update 
these sources to account for future improvement and changes in the 
U.S. Census, BLS, BEA, and Treasury data reporting, and the sources 
are provided here for example.
    \17\ For definitions related to demographic data points, please 
refer to the associated organizations Web sites. For example, refer 
to U.S. Census Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates definitions 
at http://www.census.gov/did/www/saipe/methods/statecounty/20102012county.html for percentage of the population for whom 
poverty status is determined. For a definition of the pre-disaster 
unemployment rate, refer to Bureau of Labor Statics at http://www.bls.gov/bls/glossary.htm and search for the term ``unemployment 
rate''. The U.S. Census glossary at http://www.census.gov/glossary 
and American Community Survey also provide definitions related to 
demographic data points including the following terms: Assistance 
and Subsidies, Age, Disability, Language Spoken at Home, and Ability 
to Speak English.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The proposed population demographic data points are relevant to all 
of FEMA's IA programs and are a valuable source of information to 
determine if specific programs are needed after a disaster. For 
example, demographic information revealing a large number of low 
income, unemployed, or elderly populations in a disaster area could 
indicate a need for supplemental Federal assistance because those 
populations may not have a large amount of disposable income or qualify 
for a Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster loan. With respect 
to demographic information that reveals a large non-English speaking 
population, this will help FEMA to structure their outreach efforts to 
ensure that any messaging efforts are in the appropriate languages.

D. 44 CFR 206.48--Paragraph (b)(4) Impact to Community Infrastructure

    In FEMA's current regulations, at 44 CFR 206.48(b), FEMA considers 
the degree of trauma to a State and to communities when evaluating a 
State's need for IA. FEMA considers conditions that might cause trauma, 
such as large scale disruption of normal community functions and 
services and emergency needs such as extended or widespread loss of 
power or water. 44 CFR 206.48(b)(2)(ii) and (iii). SRIA specifically 
identified trauma as a factor that required clarification as to the 
specific conditions or losses that contribute to trauma. FEMA proposes 
to examine what was previously identified as part of the ``trauma'' 
factor by identifying and evaluating several more objective factors 
which contribute to the level of trauma caused by a disaster.\18\ The 
``Impact to Community Infrastructure'' factor at a proposed new 44 CFR 
206.48(b)(4) includes several considerations which relate to the level 
of trauma, as well as considerations that shed light on a community's 
ability to recover from a disaster. This factor has three components: 
(1) Life-Saving and Life-Sustaining Services; (2) Essential Community 
Services; and (3) Transportation Infrastructure and Utilities. 
Significant levels of damage, disruption, or destruction to any or all 
of these components may hinder the ability of individuals and families 
to make a timely recovery, be indicative of higher levels of trauma, 
and suggest an increased need for supplemental Federal assistance--for 
example Other Needs Assistance, Crisis Counseling Program, or Disaster 
Case Management Program. FEMA anticipates information on the three 
components will be provided by the State.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \18\ FEMA is also providing additional clarity on what 
constituted trauma in the Casualties factor which can be found in 
the proposed new 44 CFR 206.48(b)(5) and is discussed below.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

[[Page 70127]]

    FEMA is requesting information on an activity or disruption that 
lasts for more than 72 hours for each of the below components. As a 
general matter members of the public should be prepared to potentially 
be on their own at least 72 hours after a disaster.\19\ It may take 
FEMA up to 72 hours to assess and mobilize Federal assets to help a 
State that is overwhelmed by a disaster. In addition, preparing for at 
least this amount of time will allow emergency responders to focus on 
those individuals requiring more immediate assistance.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \19\ See the following Web sites as examples: The FEMA run 
national public service advertising (PSA) campaign Web site http://www.ready.gov/build-a-kit; the Texas Division of Emergency 
Management Web site http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/dem/Preparedness/emerSupplyKits.htm; the San Francisco Department of Emergency 
Management Web site http://www.sf72.org/home; and the New York City 
Office of Emergency Management Web site http://www.nyc.gov/html/oem/html/get_prepared/supplies.shtml.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Life-Saving and Life-Sustaining Services. FEMA is proposing that a 
State provide information regarding the impact of the disaster on life-
saving and life-sustaining services for a period of greater than 72 
hours in a new paragraph 44 CFR 206.48(b)(4)(i). FEMA is specifically 
seeking information on services such as, but not limited to, police, 
fire/EMS, hospital/medical, sewage, and water treatment services 
because prolonged disruption may affect the viability of a community 
and necessitate survivor relocation. The effects of a disaster will 
increase the demand for life-saving and life-sustaining services and 
necessitate a more robust response. Significant or extended disruptions 
to these services will hinder a community's ability to recover from a 
disaster.
    Life-saving services are services that provide an essential 
community function that, if interrupted, will affect public health and 
safety in a community. Some typical examples of life-saving services 
data that FEMA is requesting are whether emergency medical services 
such as ambulances, fire services, police services, or hospital 
services are affected by the disaster. Life-sustaining services are 
services that are required to support life and well-being within a 
community and are necessary for the community to function as normal. 
Some typical examples of life-sustaining services data that FEMA is 
requesting are whether any community healthcare programs, assistance to 
homebound individuals such as Meals on Wheels, or food providers such 
as grocery stores or restaurants are affected by the disaster.
    Essential Community Services. FEMA is proposing that a State 
provide information regarding the impact on essential community 
services for a period greater than 72 hours in a new paragraph 44 CFR 
206.48(b)(4)(ii). Essential community services are services that 
improve the quality of life for a person in a community but do not 
sustain a person's life. FEMA is requesting information on the impact 
of the disaster on essential community services such as, but not 
limited to, schools, social services programs and providers, child 
care, and eldercare. Information on the impact of the disaster on 
essential community services can include, for instance, the number of 
schools closed, whether any social service programs or providers such 
as Meals on Wheels were affected by the disaster, and the number of 
providers of child care or eldercare in the community that closed. 
Significant or extended disruptions to these services will hinder the 
affected community's ability to recover from a disaster.
    Transportation Infrastructure and Utilities. FEMA is proposing that 
the State provide information regarding the impact of the disaster on 
transportation infrastructure and utilities in a new paragraph 44 CFR 
206.48(b)(4)(iii). Specifically, FEMA is seeking information on the 
number of roads, bridges, tunnels, and public transit closures and 
utility outages of water, power, sewage, and gas that last longer than 
72 hours. Transportation infrastructure or utility disruptions can 
render housing uninhabitable or inaccessible for disaster survivors, 
affect the delivery of life sustaining commodities, provision of 
emergency services, ability to shelter in place, and efforts to 
rebuild. Significant or extended disruptions to this infrastructure 
will hinder the affected community's ability to recover from a 
disaster.

E. 44 CFR 206.48--Paragraph (b)(5) Casualties

    In FEMA's current regulations, at 44 CFR 206.48(b)(2)(i), FEMA 
evaluates the degree of trauma to a State and to communities, including 
consideration of ``large numbers of injuries and deaths.'' As discussed 
above, SRIA specifically directed FEMA to clarify the factor related to 
trauma; the proposed changes to the Impact to Community Infrastructure 
factor, described above, represent part of this effort.
    In addition, FEMA is proposing in a new 44 CFR 206.48(b)(5) that 
States submit information on the number of individuals who are missing, 
injured, or deceased due to a disaster. FEMA believes that this 
information may indicate a heightened need for supplemental Federal 
assistance because casualties are clearly indicative of the level of 
trauma in the affected area. Moreover, each of the proposed data points 
link to one or more types of assistance under IA programs. The 
estimated number of missing individuals can highlight how traumatic an 
event was for a community and indicate a potential need for crisis 
counseling. This information may also be an indicator that additional 
injured or deceased individuals may be discovered during the course of 
the disaster recovery. The estimated number of injured individuals may 
also indicate a need for crisis counseling as well as medical or dental 
assistance under the ONA provision of the Individuals and Households 
Program. The estimated number of deceased individuals may indicate a 
need for crisis counseling as well as funeral assistance under ONA. 
These proposed data points are typically provided by the State already.

F. 44 CFR 206.48--Paragraph (b)(6) Disaster Related Unemployment

    In FEMA's current regulations, FEMA considers whether ``special 
populations,'' such as the unemployed, are affected by the disaster and 
whether they may have a greater need for assistance in 44 CFR 
206.48(b)(3). As discussed above, FEMA is proposing to add a ``Disaster 
Impacted Population Profile'' factor, which incorporates consideration 
of a number of special populations, including the percentage of low-
income, unemployed, and elderly individuals within the population.
    In addition, FEMA is proposing a new factor, ``Disaster Related 
Unemployment,'' in a new paragraph 44 CFR 206.48(b)(6) that will 
evaluate unemployment in a different manner than FEMA's current 
regulations. FEMA's current regulations are focused primarily on those 
that are unemployed prior to the disaster. In this new factor, FEMA 
will seek to identify individuals that may have lost work or become 
unemployed as a result of the disaster.
    The Disaster Unemployment Assistance program (DUA), operation of 
which has been delegated to the Department of Labor, 44 CFR 206.141, 
provides unemployment benefits and re-employment services to 
individuals who have become unemployed as a result of a major disaster 
and who are not eligible for regular State unemployment insurance. The 
types of workers who typically receive such assistance are self-
employed, service industry workers, and seasonal workers such as those 
employed in tourism, fishing, or agriculture industries. In

[[Page 70128]]

order to fully evaluate whether or not DUA is appropriate, FEMA is 
requesting that a State provide information on the estimated number of 
disaster survivors who lost work or became unemployed due to a disaster 
and who do not qualify for standard unemployment insurance.
    In addition, FEMA is requesting that a State provide information 
regarding any major employers that are affected in the area by the 
disaster because it may highlight an additional need for the community 
in their recovery efforts. When a major employer in a community is 
affected by a disaster, it can signal to FEMA that the community will 
have a prolonged recovery because a large amount of individuals may be 
out of work and unable to support their own recovery efforts. This may 
further indicate need for DUA and other IA programs. FEMA anticipates 
that the State will provide this information.

G. Principal Factors for Evaluating the Need for the Individuals and 
Households Program

    FEMA is proposing that the principal factors it will consider in 
evaluation of any major disaster declaration request for IHP will be 
the fiscal capacity of the requesting State (44 CFR 206.48(b)(1)(i)) 
and the uninsured home and personal property losses (44 CFR 
206.46(b)(2)). As discussed above, major disaster declarations are 
based upon a finding that the event is of such severity and magnitude 
that effective response and recovery is beyond the capabilities of the 
State and affected local governments. IHP provides grants and direct 
assistance to eligible disaster survivors who have necessary and 
serious needs that they are unable to meet through other means. In 
order to determine the need for IHP, it is important to evaluate the 
total estimated need for such assistance resulting from the event and 
to compare that estimated need to the fiscal capability of the 
requesting State.
    FEMA evaluated major disaster declaration requests including IHP 
between January 2008 and July 2013 and determined that the uninsured 
home and personal property losses' estimated cost of assistance was an 
important factor driving whether a major disaster declaration 
authorizing IHP was declared by the President. FEMA found that 97% of 
requests involving estimated costs of assistance that were equal to or 
greater than $7.5 million were granted major disaster declarations 
authorizing IHP, while only 6% of requests involving estimated costs of 
assistance equal to or less than $1.5 million were granted. Requests 
falling between those numbers were much more uncertain, with 
approximately 44% granted, as reflected in Table 1.

                    Table 1--Estimated Cost of Assistance to Declaration Decision Comparative
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                     Number of       Number of    Percentage  of
         Dollar amount of estimated costs of  assistance             disaster        disasters       disasters
                                                                     requests        declared        declared
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
$7.5 million or more............................................              32              31              97
$1.5 million to $7.5 million....................................              87              38              44
$1.5 million or less............................................              34               2               6
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
* Based on major disaster declaration requests including IHP between January 2008 and July 2013.

    Similarly, FEMA found that the ratio of IA Cost to Capacity 
(ICC),\20\ which is the estimated cost of IA divided by the State's TTR 
in millions, was particularly indicative of the declaration result 
above and below certain levels. FEMA conducted a review of 153 \21\ 
major disaster declaration requests that included IA that were 
submitted between January 2008 to July 2013 to determine if there would 
be any impact from using TTR in assessing a State's need for a major 
disaster declaration authorizing IA. Each State request included an 
estimate of the costs from the damages attributed to the disaster 
event. FEMA retrieved the TTR per State at the time of each request. 
For each request, FEMA divided the estimated cost by the State TTR in 
millions. For example, if a State estimated $2,000,000 in IA costs and 
the State's TTR was $30,000,000,000, FEMA divided $30,000,000,000 by 
$1,000,000 to get the State's TTR in millions which is $30,000. FEMA 
then divided $2,000,000 by $30,000 to get the ratio of IA Cost to 
Capacity (ICC) of 66.7.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \20\ See the discussion in V. Regulatory Analysis; A. Executive 
Order 12866; 5. Impacts to Costs, Benefits, and Transfer Payments; 
d. Transfer Payments, for more detailed explanation of ICC and these 
findings.
    \21\ For the analysis on TTR, FEMA excluded disaster declaration 
requests that did not include a request for IA. FEMA also excluded 
duplicate requests, U.S. territories' requests (because there is no 
TTR data available), requests without summaries of the PDA data or 
with insufficient data, and requests that involved an expedited 
decision.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Based on the ICC calculation for all 153 State requests, there is a 
general trend that shows the greater the ICC ratio for a major disaster 
declaration request that included IA, especially above 25, the more 
likely the request would be granted. Additionally, the lower the ICC 
ratio for a major disaster declaration request that included IA, 
especially below 10, the more likely the request was denied. Major 
disaster declaration requests for IA with an ICC greater than 25 were 
granted 95% of the time, while requests with an ICC below 10 were 
granted only 7% of the time. Requests with ICCs falling in between 10 
and 25 were granted approximately half the time.
    FEMA is not proposing to use these numbers as a hard ``threshold'' 
or incorporate them into regulation because there is no one factor 
required to receive a major disaster declaration authorizing IA and we 
want to preserve the President and FEMA's discretion to consider the 
circumstances of each event. Moreover, FEMA recognizes that this kind 
of analysis can help identify trends and ensure consistent 
decisionmaking over time, but does not always provide the full scope of 
information necessary for FEMA to make an informed recommendation.
    However, FEMA believes that providing these types of trends and 
historic data is important to help guide States in their consideration 
of whether or not an event might warrant a major disaster declaration 
authorizing IA. The trends and historical data will also help guide 
State planning with respect to what level of IHP damage they should 
expect to handle without supplemental Federal assistance. This type of 
planning guidance is consistent with the original intent behind the 
table currently in 44 CFR 206.48(b)(6). As discussed above, the data in 
that table eventually became out of date and it no longer has any 
utility as a planning tool.
    In order to ensure that the most useful and up to date data and 
information are available to States for guidance and planning purposes, 
FEMA proposes to compile and periodically publish aggregate PDA data 
for major disaster requests, including IHP. Currently,

[[Page 70129]]

FEMA publishes Preliminary Damage Assessment Reports \22\ for every 
request for a major disaster declaration. These reports lay out the PDA 
data that was provided in the Governor's request and indicate whether 
or not the request resulted in a declaration. Upon finalization of new 
IA declaration factors, FEMA intends to continue publishing these 
reports with new declaration factors. In addition, FEMA intends to 
periodically publish the aggregate data from these reports in a format 
that will assist States in evaluating the likelihood of receiving a 
major disaster declaration for a specific event and for planning for 
future events. By publishing this information in periodic guidance, and 
not codifying it in regulation, FEMA would ensure that the data remains 
timely and useful.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \22\ These can be found on FEMA's Web site at: https://www.fema.gov/preliminary-damage-assessment-reports.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In addition to publishing PDA data, FEMA intends to publish 
guidance that provides clarity to States on how FEMA would utilize the 
new proposed factors when it evaluates major disaster declaration 
requests that include IA. This guidance will provide additional detail 
regarding analysis of the principal factors as well as other factors 
identified in the proposed rule. FEMA intends to publish the guidance 
for public comment to this rulemaking docket, and FEMA will develop the 
final rule and guidance as a pair taking into consideration all 
comments received on the NPRM and guidance. Over time, FEMA may update 
this guidance as necessary. The provision of more specific details 
regarding evaluation of the specific factors through guidance will 
allow FEMA to be more nimble in adapting to changing circumstances or 
changing priorities, while also creating an important transparency 
benefit for State and local governments.
    It is important to note that certain disasters may present unique 
circumstances which cannot be anticipated by regulation or policy 
guidance, as such States may submit, and FEMA may evaluate, all 
relevant information. In addition, FEMA only evaluates requests and 
makes recommendations to the President. The sole discretion to approve 
or deny any request for major disaster declaration request lies with 
the President.

V. Regulatory Analysis

A. Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review and Executive 
Order 13563, Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review

1. Executive Summary & A-4 Accounting Statement
    Executive Orders 13563 and 12866 direct agencies to assess the 
costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if 
regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize 
net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public 
health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). Executive 
Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and 
benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting 
flexibility. This rule has been designated a ``significant regulatory 
action'' although not economically significant, under section 3(f) of 
Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, the rule has been reviewed by the 
Office of Management and Budget.
    This proposed rule would impose a cost burden of $3,752 in the 
first year of implementation and $1,609 annually for subsequent years. 
During the ten year period following the final rule's effective date, 
the total cost would be $18,233 undiscounted. The ten year present 
value total cost would be $15,806 and $13,302 if discounted at three 
and seven percent, respectively. The small annualized cost of the 
proposed rule would be $1,853 at three percent and $1,894 at seven 
percent.\23\
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    \23\ FEMA includes estimates of discounted present value costs 
and annualized costs according to guidance from OMB Circular A-4. 
Office of Management and Budget, Published September 17, 2003. 
Available at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/assets/omb/circulars/a004/a-4.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Despite the newly identified factors, this proposed rule would not 
change the total amount of assistance available to individuals and 
households because much of the proposed rule codifies FEMA's evolving 
declarations practice since 1999. FEMA does not anticipate the two 
newly proposed factors would change the total amount of individual 
assistance as well, which is discussed in the following sections. 
Benefits of the proposed rule include clarifying FEMA's existing 
practices, reducing processing time for requests due to clarifications, 
and providing States with notice of the new factor information FEMA is 
proposing to consider as part of the IA declarations process.

                                                                  A-4 Accounting Table
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                     Estimates                                      Units
                                      ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Category                  Primary        Low          High                    Discount                                     Notes
                                         estimate     estimate     estimate   Year dollar      rate          Period covered
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                        Benefits
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Annualized Monetized ($millions/year)         None         None         None           NA           NA  NA.....................  Not Quantified.
Annualized Quantified................         None         None         None           NA           NA  NA.....................  Not Quantified.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Qualitative..........................   The proposed rule more clearly identifies declaration factors FEMA considers in making
                                        its recommendation to the President on a major disaster declaration authorizing IA. It
                                       codifies many factors FEMA currently considers but are not specifically identified in 44
                                          CFR 206.48(b). The proposed rule may also result in regulatory efficiencies due to
                                          reduced process time and effort (back and forth). In addition, the newly identified
                                           factors would provide FEMA additional information on a requesting State's fiscal
                                                                  capacity and resource availability.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                          Costs
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Annualized Monetized.................     $1,894.0         $0.0         $0.0         2013           7%  10 Years...............  None.
                                          $1,853.0         $0.0         $0.0         2013           3%  10 Years...............

[[Page 70130]]

 
Annualized Quantified................         None         None         None         2013          N/A  10 Years...............
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Qualitative..........................  None.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                        Transfers
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Federal Annualized Monetized                  None         None         None           NA           7%  NA.....................  None.
 ($millions/year).
Other Annualized Monetized ($millions/        None         None         None           NA           7%  NA.....................  None.
 year).
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                         Effects
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
State, Local, and/or Tribal                   None         None         None          N/A           NA  NA.....................  None.
 Government.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Small Business.......................  FEMA certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this proposed rule would not, if promulgated, have a significant
                                       economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.
Wages................................  None.
Growth...............................  Not Measured.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2. Need for Regulatory Action
    FEMA is proposing this rule to provide clarity on the IA 
declaration factors that FEMA currently considers in support of its 
recommendation to the President on whether a major disaster declaration 
authorizing IA is warranted. The additional clarity may reduce delays 
in the declaration process by decreasing back and forth between States 
and FEMA in the declarations process. FEMA is also proposing two new 
factors on Fiscal Capacity and Resource Availability to provide 
additional context on potential disaster situations. The proposed rule 
would also satisfy the requirements outlined in Section 1109 of SRIA.
3. Affected Population
    Requests for a Federal major disaster declaration authorizing IA 
must come from a State's Governor. 44 CFR 206.36(a). As such, the 
proposed rule affects the 56 States that are eligible to request a 
Presidential major disaster declaration authorizing IA. States are 
defined in 44 CFR 206.2(a)(22), and include any State of the United 
States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, 
Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana 
Islands.
    Although Section 1110 of SRIA amended the Stafford Act to allow 
Federally recognized Indian Tribal governments to submit requests for 
emergency or major disaster declarations, SRIA charged FEMA to 
implement that authority separately by rulemaking. Thus such 
declarations would be covered by a separate process and are not 
included in this proposed rule. Local governments are also not affected 
by the proposed rule because the disaster related information local 
governments provide to the State is part of their current disaster 
response process to provide situational awareness and ascertain need 
for further assistance.
4. Current Baseline and Changes From Proposed Rule
    The proposed rule largely codifies many considerations that FEMA 
has applied for several years under the ``other relevant information'' 
prong of the regulation but were not specifically identified in FEMA 
regulations. FEMA reviewed State major disaster declaration letters 
that requested IA for numerous disasters and found that States 
typically included more information and data than what is specifically 
identified in the current regulations at 44 CFR 206.48(b).\24\ As such, 
costs for States would be minimally impacted by the proposed rule 
because States currently provide FEMA with the proposed information for 
major disaster declaration requests, as appropriate. A marginal 
analysis table evaluating each of the considerations is provided later 
in the preamble and a more detailed table is provided in the rulemaking 
docket.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \24\ FEMA reviewed a sample of State major disaster declaration 
request letters and found that each letter was unique and provided 
many of the data points and information that would be explicitly 
included under the proposed regulation. The information submitted 
will vary depending on the disaster, the scope of damages and the 
need for assistance. FEMA does not require every data point to be 
submitted to get a declaration. Some requests will have more data or 
information, while other requests will have less. For instance, in 
more severe events to less resilient areas, the States did not need 
to provide a large amount of information to get a declaration, 
because it was evident to FEMA and the White House that the 
individual assistance needs were outside the capacity of the 
requesting State.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In addition, as stated previously, Indian Tribal governments 
(requesting assistance through the State) and local governments 
currently provide the proposed factor information for their local area 
and affected residents to the State in support of a State's request and 
its determination on whether a request for a major disaster declaration 
authorizing IA is warranted. Therefore, FEMA anticipates Indian Tribal 
governments (requesting assistance through the State) and local 
governments will not incur additional costs by the proposed regulation.
    FEMA is also proposing to include two new factors: Fiscal Capacity 
and Resource Availability. Both new factors have small burden increases 
associated with obtaining the additional information. FEMA considers 
Fiscal Capacity data solely a Federal burden increase since it intends 
to collect the information. Resource Availability information is 
considered a State burden increase since States would provide such 
information. However, FEMA does not anticipate either new factor to 
impact the number of IA declaration requests received or the amount of 
IA assistance provided, and therefore no impact to transfer payments.
    Fiscal Capacity. FEMA recognizes that each State's capacity to 
respond

[[Page 70131]]

and recover varies based on the circumstances of the disaster and the 
State's resources. FEMA intends to include the consideration of fiscal 
capacity data to better evaluate a State's ability to adequately 
respond to a disaster with or without supplemental Federal assistance. 
The GAO has suggested in multiple reports that FEMA should incorporate 
States' fiscal capacity into its considerations for recommendations on 
disaster declarations to the President. Though the GAO reports have 
focused on including fiscal capacity in FEMA's PA declaration factor 
criteria, FEMA believes that there is a need to assess a State's 
capacity to respond and recover on its own when determining whether a 
major disaster declaration that authorizes IA is warranted as well. 
Furthermore, the GAO supported the use of TTR as a measure of a State's 
fiscal capacity because it is a comprehensive estimate of the resources 
that could potentially be subject to State taxation.\25\ Therefore, 
FEMA is proposing to include fiscal capacity as an additional factor in 
its determination.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \25\ United States Government Accountability Office, FEDERAL 
DISASTER ASSISTANCE: Improved Criteria Needed to Assess a 
Jurisdiction's Capability to Respond and Recover on Its Own, GAO-12-
838, September 2012, Page 31. Available at: http://www.gao.gov/assets/650/648162.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    To ascertain a State's fiscal capacity to respond to a major 
disaster, FEMA intends to review data on a State's Total Taxable 
Resources (TTR). The U.S. Department of Treasury calculates the TTR of 
the State, which is used as a measure of a State's fiscal capacity.\26\ 
TTR is based on the GDP per State but makes adjustments for additional, 
potentially-taxable income flows like capital gains and commuter 
income. FEMA acknowledges that TTR does not capture a State's actual 
tax revenue or expenditures and cannot be viewed as a financial 
accounting of a State's budget. TTR is instead intended to measure all 
income flows a State can potentially tax.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \26\ A 2012 GAO report stated that other Federal departments and 
agencies have used TTR data to determine a jurisdiction's fiscal 
capacity and the extent to which a jurisdiction should be eligible 
for Federal assistance; specifically the Department of Health and 
Human Services' Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services 
Administration's block grant program and Community Mental Health 
Service.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Resource Availability. Relative to State services and planning 
after prior disasters, FEMA encourages States to continuously improve 
their own disaster assistance programs for their citizens. States 
should identify any new individual assistance programs as well as any 
improvements to existing individual assistance programs made as a 
result of previous disasters. FEMA intends to include this factor to 
encourage States to continuously evaluate and improve their disaster 
planning and relief programs based on lessons learned from previous 
disasters. On the other hand, States that continually fail to address 
limitations or shortfalls identified after previous events would be a 
consideration in FEMA's deliberation. Nonetheless, FEMA does not expect 
that the inclusion of this factor would affect the overall number of 
major disaster declarations authorizing IA as this factor would be 
considered with a number of other factors and would not, in isolation, 
determine whether a declaration is recommended.
5. Impacts to Costs, Benefits, and Transfer Payments
    In the following section, FEMA discusses the proposed rule's 
quantified costs for States and the Federal government, qualitative 
benefits, and why there are no expected impacts to transfer payments.
a. State Costs
    As stated previously, many of the factors listed in the proposed 
rule have previously been submitted or requested subsequent to a State 
request and thus are estimated to have no new costs. The two proposed 
additional factors that have not been typically provided or considered 
would impose a new cost. FEMA intends to obtain data related to fiscal 
capacity from publicly accessible databases and Web sites at no cost to 
States. Providing information on State services and planning after 
prior disasters would impose a new cost on States. In addition, FEMA 
assumes the proposed rule may have an initial implementation cost for 
States to familiarize themselves and understand the new factor data 
requirements.
    If a State is unable to provide information for a particular factor 
or factors, FEMA would evaluate and provide a recommendation on the 
State's need for Federal assistance based on the information submitted 
and data available from other sources, as appropriate. The only 
required elements of a State's major disaster declaration request 
appear at 44 CFR 206.36. FEMA's intent, through this proposed rule, is 
to clearly identify the considered data points that are previously 
captured under the ``other relevant information'' prong of the 
regulation to inform the States' formulation of their request. In some 
scenarios, certain pieces of information identified in the proposed 
rule may be inapplicable or unavailable. In addition, FEMA recognizes 
that the circumstances of a disaster may not allow a State to collect 
all of the information identified within the proposed rule. States 
would need to provide information that supports their request for a 
major disaster declaration authorizing IA, but would not have to 
address every data point in the proposed rule to be granted the 
request. For example, for a catastrophe of unusual severity and 
magnitude such that preliminary damage assessments are not necessary to 
determine the requirement for Federal assistance, States may submit an 
abbreviated request pursuant to 44 CFR 206.36(d), which need only 
contain limited information required by that provision. The proposed 
rule is identifying factors, which FEMA would consider in its review of 
a major disaster declaration request that includes IA when making 
recommendations to the President, but ultimately the amount of data 
provided by the State is voluntary.
    FEMA anticipates information on State services and planning after 
prior disasters would be addressed in a short summary in the Governor's 
request. FEMA program employees who work with declarations estimate 
that a State would spend an additional 30 minutes collecting and 
incorporating information on State services and planning after prior 
disasters into the State's declaration request. FEMA assumes this time 
would be used to write a paragraph or two on why the State lacks the 
resources to provide sufficient services to its citizens and any new or 
existing State individual assistance programs or improvements made to 
State individual assistance programs as a result of previous disasters. 
FEMA assumes that a State would be aware of their own service and 
program capabilities prior to considering whether a request for a major 
disaster declaration that authorizes IA is warranted. In addition, a 
State may build upon past requests in subsequent requests depending on 
whether their program efforts have been ongoing or have changed.\27\ 
FEMA previously estimated that States spend 33 hours on average to 
compile, write, and submit a request for a declaration.\28\ FEMA 
assumed the equivalent of a State Government Chief Executive, a senior

[[Page 70132]]

level government official familiar with State emergency assistance 
programs, would prepare the Request for Presidential Disaster 
Declaration Major Disaster or Emergency, FEMA Form 010-0-13. Per the 
U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average hourly 
wage rate for a State Government Chief Executive is $54.66 which FEMA 
multiplied by 1.4 to account for benefits.\29\ This results in a fully 
loaded State Government Chief Executive hourly wage rate of $76.52. 
Between January 2004 and December 2013, FEMA received 413 requests for 
a major disaster declaration that authorized IA. FEMA divided 413 by 
ten years to estimate that States would submit an average of 41 
requests for major disaster declarations authorizing IA per year. FEMA 
multiplied 30 minutes (0.5 hours) by the fully loaded hourly wage rate 
of $76.52 and 41 submissions to get an annual cost of $1,569 (0.5 x 
$76.52 x 41 = $1,568.66).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \27\ FEMA recognizes there may be a level of repetition in a 
State's request, but FEMA would prefer to ensure it has up to date 
information, including recent efforts from previous disasters, for 
the White House and FEMA to consider.
    \28\ FEMA has provided the supporting statement document for the 
information collection, OMB Control Number 1660-0009, in the public 
rulemaking docket. The supporting statement dated February 25, 2013 
was the latest supporting statement prior to this proposed 
regulation.
    \29\ U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 
Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2013 National Industry-
Specific Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, NAICS code 
999200, State Government excluding schools and hospitals, and 
Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code 11-1011 for Chief 
Executive. http://www.bls.gov/oes/2013/may/naics4_999200.htm.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    As noted above, most of the information included in the proposed 
factors is information that was previously captured under the ``other 
relevant information'' prong of the regulation and has been considered, 
as appropriate, when evaluating requests for a major disaster 
declaration that authorized IA. However, FEMA at times has had to reach 
back to the State for additional information.\30\ By clearly 
identifying information considered in the proposed rule, FEMA 
anticipates that such delays in the declaration process would be 
diminished. With the changes in the proposed rule, the regulations 
would improve clarity regarding potentially relevant information. 
States would be encouraged to include the fulsome information in the 
original request, which could potentially eliminate follow-up 
correspondence and speed up the determination of a major disaster 
declaration request. Although FEMA recognizes that large scale 
disasters may not need as much detail or data to support a major 
disaster declaration request due to the extent of IA damage costs; 
other disasters may be more difficult to determine if a need for 
Federal disaster assistance exists without the State providing 
additional information identified in the proposed rule. Thus the 
proposed rule provides the State with the types of requested data that 
informs FEMA's recommendation and ultimately, the President's 
determination of a State's need for a major disaster declaration that 
authorizes IA.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \30\ Historically, FEMA has attempted to cure some of the lack 
of clarity by providing States with major disaster declaration 
request template letters, which provided a suggested organizational 
structure for States to follow when making their request for a major 
disaster declaration.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    To estimate the time for States to understand changes made to the 
regulations, State governments would spend time reading the proposed 
and existing regulations. Based on a sample of FEMA employees who 
formerly worked for State governments, FEMA estimates States would 
spend 30 minutes (0.5 hours) to familiarize themselves and understand 
the new factor data requirements.\31\ FEMA assumes the equivalent of a 
State Government Chief Executive, a senior level government official 
familiar with State emergency assistance programs, would read the 
existing and new regulations to understand the changes. FEMA multiples 
the fully loaded hourly wage rate of a State Government Chief 
Executive, calculated above as $76.52, by 0.5 hours and 56 States, to 
calculate an increased State cost of $2,143 ($76.52 x 0.5 x 56 = 
$2,142.56). FEMA assumes State governments would read the regulation 
once in the first year it goes into effect and would subsequently refer 
to supplemental guidance materials, such as the Governor's request 
template, to complete requests.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \31\ To estimate the time for States to familiarize themselves 
and understand the new factor data requirements, FEMA surveyed its 
own employees who formerly worked for State governments. Thirteen 
employees were identified who worked for various States, 
representing multiple regions, State sizes, and a range in years of 
service in State government and FEMA. These employees were asked to 
read the proposed and existing regulations and answer questions to 
test their understanding of the changes. The employees were also 
provided a copy of excerpts of this regulatory preamble if they 
needed further information to answer the test. About 40 percent of 
the employees referred back to the preamble to answer the questions. 
It took an average of 17 minutes to read the existing and proposed 
regulatory text and 11 minutes to answer the questions, including 
referring back to the preamble. FEMA rounded 28 minutes (11minutes 
+17minutes) to 30 minutes and uses 0.5 hours to calculate the costs.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    FEMA estimates total State costs in the first year to be $3,712. 
FEMA estimates State costs in subsequent years to be $1,569.
b. Federal Costs
    FEMA anticipates the Federal government would incur minor 
additional costs by the rule because, as noted above, FEMA already 
considers most of these factors under the ``other relevant 
information'' prong of the regulation when reviewing major disaster 
declaration requests. In addition, FEMA has already begun to change the 
way it collects information for major disaster declaration 
recommendations that did not require regulatory action.
    In the past, FEMA would review pre-disaster data about a disaster 
location. This pre-disaster data provided FEMA information about the 
disaster location that helped to illustrate the population and area 
that was impacted by a disaster. The pre-disaster data came from 
Federal sources, such as the United States Census Bureau and the Bureau 
of Labor Statistics. Independent of the regulation, FEMA had begun a 
process to streamline how pre-disaster data is collected and 
disseminated as well as improving the efficiency and speed of the PDA 
process by using new technologies and processes to collect and transmit 
information faster.
    One of the areas where FEMA would incur costs is for the retrieval 
of fiscal capacity data from Treasury and BEA. To estimate the 
additional activity time, FEMA performed a dry run retrieval and 
storage of the relative fiscal capacity data. To retrieve, store, and 
update Treasury's TTR data (including all State data in a single 
retrieval), FEMA estimates it would take 10 to 15 minutes, and uses the 
average of this range, 12.5 minutes, for the purposes of this analysis. 
FEMA estimates it would take the equivalent amount of time for the 
BEA's GDP per State data, and uses 12.5 minutes as well. FEMA estimates 
it would take 15 to 30 minutes to retrieve BEA per capita personal 
income data and uses the average of 22.5 minutes. FEMA sums these three 
time burdens to calculate a total burden of 47.5 minutes and divides by 
60 minutes, for an estimated increase burden of 0.79 hours x 
((12.5+12.5+22.5)/60=0.7917).
    FEMA anticipates this data retrieval to take place once annually, 
and to be completed by a Federal employee in the DC area at the General 
Schedule 12, Step 1 level, at an hourly wage rate of $36.23.\32\ FEMA 
multiplies this wage rate by 1.4 to account for benefits, resulting in 
a fully loaded wage rate of $50.72. FEMA multiplies the time per year, 
0.79 hours by the fully loaded wage rate of $50.72, to get an annual 
Federal cost increase of $40 (0.79 x

[[Page 70133]]

$50.72 = $40.07), and ten-year total Federal increase of $400.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \32\ The General Schedule (GS) 12 (Step 1) hourly wage of $36.23 
is taken from the Office of Personnel Management; 2014 General 
Schedule (GS) salaries & wages tables; locality pay tables 
(Washington-Baltimore-Northern Virginia, DC-MD-VA-WV-PA). Retrieved 
7/30/14 from http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/pay-leave/salaries-wages/2014/general-schedule/.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The following table displays the ten year total costs 
(undiscounted, discounted at three percent, and discounted at seven 
percent) for the proposed rule.

                                                        Table 2--Total Costs of the Proposed Rule
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              State costs
                 Year                     State initial        (providing         FEMA costs        Undiscounted       Annual costs       Annual costs
                                           review cost        information)    (retrieving data)     annual costs     discounted at 3%   discounted at 7%
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1.....................................             $2,143             $1,569                $40             $3,752             $3,643             $3,507
2.....................................  .................              1,569                 40              1,609              1,517              1,405
3.....................................  .................              1,569                 40              1,609              1,472              1,313
4.....................................  .................              1,569                 40              1,609              1,430              1,227
5.....................................  .................              1,569                 40              1,609              1,388              1,147
6.....................................  .................              1,569                 40              1,609              1,348              1,072
7.....................................  .................              1,569                 40              1,609              1,308              1,002
8.....................................  .................              1,569                 40              1,609              1,270                936
9.....................................  .................              1,569                 40              1,609              1,233                875
10....................................  .................              1,569                 40              1,609              1,197                818
                                       -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total.............................              2,143             15,690                400             18,233             15,806             13,302
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

c. Benefits
    Benefits of the proposed rule include clarifying FEMA's existing 
practices, reducing processing time for requests, and providing States 
with notice of the new factor information FEMA is proposing to consider 
as part of the IA declarations process. States have the ability to 
assess and determine what information supports a major declaration 
request. The proposed rule would identify factors considered in the IA 
declarations process, including many factors that FEMA previously 
considered under the ``other relevant information'' prong of the 
regulation, but are not currently specified in 44 CFR 206.48(b).
    In the past, FEMA may have at times had to follow up for additional 
information on major disaster declaration requests to better support 
FEMA's recommendation on a major disaster declaration authorizing IA. 
This regulation would improve clarity on the factors that FEMA 
considers when evaluating the need for a major disaster declaration 
authorizing IA. FEMA expects this to lessen or possibly eliminate the 
need to go back to the States for additional information.\33\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \33\ In making past determinations, FEMA has not tracked the 
length of time or the number of written or oral correspondence with 
the State to retrieve additional data. Therefore FEMA cannot 
quantify the potential savings from the clarifications provided in 
the proposed regulation.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The two newly identified factors would also provide additional 
context to a State's circumstances to help inform FEMA's 
recommendation. FEMA believes the inclusion of fiscal capacity would 
further inform and strengthen FEMA's recommendations to the President 
with regard to major disaster declarations that authorize IA. In 
addition, information considered may be available more quickly and 
provide a fuller context. Such measures may also be more objective 
compared to other perceptions of a State's capacity to respond. This 
would also provide notice to States of the new factor information FEMA 
would consider.
d. Transfer Payments
    First, it is important to note that the ultimate determination 
regarding whether or not to grant a State's request for a major 
disaster declaration resides with the President. FEMA does not 
anticipate or intend for this proposed rule to affect the number of 
major disaster declarations authorizing IA granted each year. As FEMA 
has previously considered the majority of the proposed factors in past 
declaration requests for individual assistance and data used in the 
proposed new factors are correlated to past declaration 
recommendations, FEMA anticipates this proposed rule would not have an 
impact on transfer payments, which are payments from the Federal 
government to States and individuals.
    FEMA intends the proposed rule to identify factors that it would 
use when making recommendations to the President. FEMA already 
considers the majority of factors described in the proposed rule during 
previous deliberations on whether to recommend a major disaster 
declaration authorizing IA to the President. The only data items that 
FEMA has not considered in the past are the data on (1) State services 
and planning after prior disasters and (2) the fiscal capacity factor.
    State Services and Planning after Prior Disasters. As stated 
previously, FEMA does not expect that the inclusion of these data items 
would affect the overall number of major disaster declarations 
authorizing IA as this factor would be considered with a number of 
other factors and would not, in isolation, determine whether a 
declaration is recommended.
    Fiscal Capacity. Although FEMA is introducing a factor for fiscal 
capacity, analysis conducted in preparation of this proposed rule 
reveals that FEMA's recommendations and major disaster declarations by 
the President in the past have a correlation to the fiscal capacity of 
the requesting State. Historically, FEMA captured an aspect of fiscal 
capacity when evaluating the damage caused by each disaster in relation 
to the population of the affected State. States with the highest TTR 
also tend to have the highest population. As such, major disaster 
declarations authorizing IA have had a correlation to the fiscal 
capacity of the requesting State.
    FEMA conducted a review of 153 \34\ major disaster declaration 
requests that included IA that were submitted between January 2008 to 
July 2013 to determine if there would be any impact from using TTR in 
assessing a State's need for a major disaster declaration authorizing 
IA. Each State request included an estimate of the costs from the 
damages attributed to the disaster event. FEMA retrieved the TTR per 
State at the time of each request. For each request, FEMA divided the 
estimated cost of IA by the State TTR in millions. For example, if a 
State estimated $2,000,000 in IA costs and the State's TTR was 
$30,000,000,000, FEMA

[[Page 70134]]

divided $30,000,000,000 by $1,000,000 to get the State's TTR in 
millions which is $30,000. FEMA then divided $2,000,000 by $30,000 to 
get the ratio of ICC (IA Cost to Capacity) of 66.7.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \34\ For the analysis on TTR, FEMA excluded disaster declaration 
requests that did not include a request for IA. FEMA also excluded 
duplicate requests, U.S. territories' requests (because there is no 
TTR data available), requests without summaries of the PDA data or 
with insufficient data, and requests that involved an expedited 
decision.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Based on the ICC calculation for all 153 State requests, there is a 
general trend that shows the greater the ICC ratio for a major disaster 
declaration request that included IA, especially above 25, the more 
likely the request would be granted. Additionally, the lower the ICC 
ratio for a major disaster declaration request that included IA, 
especially below 10, the more likely the request was denied. The 
following table displays the total number of requests and the total 
granted major disaster declarations based on ICC ratio size as well as 
the percentage of granted major disaster declaration requests within 
the respective ICC group.

                       Table 3--Number of IA Requests and Granted IA Requests by ICC Ratio
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                             Number of        Percentage of      Percentage of
                                          Number of           approved           approved           approved
              ICC Ratio                requests  (2008-   requests (2008-    requests (2008-      requests  in
                                            2013)              2013)              2013)        range (2008-2013)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>25.................................                 43                 41              57.7%                95%
10-25...............................                 53                 26              36.6%                49%
<10.................................                 57                  4               5.6%                 7%
                                     ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total...........................                153                 71               100%
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Based on the above data, there were 53 major disaster declaration 
requests that included IA with ICC ratios between 10 and 25; and 26 of 
these requests were declared major disasters that included IA. Hence, 
approximately half (26/53 = 49 percent) of major disaster declaration 
requests with ICC ratios between 10 and 25 that included IA were 
granted. FEMA believes this approval rate helps illustrate that other 
factors are taken into consideration when determining FEMA's 
recommendation especially in borderline events.
    In addition, based on the above data, the higher the estimated cost 
of IA damages and the lower the State TTR, the more likely a major 
disaster declaration request authorizing IA was granted in the past. 
FEMA did not review TTR data when making these previous decisions; 
however there appears to be a past trend that decisions had an inverse 
correlation between estimated IA costs and State TTR. This is likely 
because past declaration criteria, such as State population, are highly 
correlated with State TTR. Furthermore, depictions of States' economic 
health, similar to TTR, were already captured in data from State major 
disaster declaration requests in the past. For example, the State 
median household income and the State TTR per capita are highly 
correlated because States that have a higher median household income 
also tend to have a higher TTR per capita. Thus, FEMA assumes that the 
impact of considering TTR in future major disaster declaration 
recommendations would be minimal because FEMA previously considered 
data that follows the same trend as TTR.
    Furthermore, there were major disaster declaration requests that 
had high IA cost estimates, and though the State had a higher than 
average TTR, the major disaster declaration authorizing IA was still 
granted. FEMA recognizes that some disasters cause enough damage to 
overwhelm even the most prepared and fiscally capable States and local 
governments and that disasters may have special circumstances 
warranting assistance.
    FEMA's intent in this proposed rule is to continue to take multiple 
factors into consideration in addition to TTR. Therefore, fiscal 
capacity would be more relevant following events where it is not clear 
whether or not the State and affected local governments are, in fact, 
overwhelmed.
    Based on the above analysis, FEMA concluded that even though fiscal 
capacity is a new factor, it would not have an impact on the overall 
number of major disaster declarations granted each year that authorize 
IA because FEMA previously followed a trend that utilized similar 
economic data and takes various factors into account. Even though FEMA 
did not collect or factor the TTR per State in previous major disaster 
declaration recommendations that included IA to the President there was 
a correlation; and FEMA assumes that IA declarations will follow a 
similar trend in the future.
    FEMA also intends to review data on per capita personal income by 
local area to ascertain a local government's fiscal capacity. FEMA 
previously evaluated data on median household income per county and 
foresees minimal impact from also reviewing per capita personal income 
by local area because both data points are indicators of the economic 
circumstances of local areas.
    Again, FEMA proposes the use of the fiscal capacity factor in 
future recommendations regarding major disaster declarations that 
include IA and acknowledges that the new data points would be utilized 
in conjunction with several other data points. FEMA would continue to 
use a myriad of factors and data to formulate its recommendations to 
the President on major disaster declarations that authorize IA. No 
single data point or factor would singularly affect FEMA's 
recommendation nor would each individually affect the President's 
ultimate determination of whether a major disaster declaration 
authorizing IA is warranted.
9. Cumulative Impact of the Proposed Rule
    FEMA has reviewed the proposed rule's impact on States that request 
a Presidential major disaster declaration that authorizes IA. FEMA 
estimates the cumulative impact of all the factors together will result 
in a minor burden increase for States to provide more information in 
their requests and for FEMA to retrieve data for its consideration on 
requests. The net quantified impact is a ten-year total cost of 
$18,233. This cost may be offset by cost savings from efficiencies 
attributed to the information FEMA currently iteratively requests from 
States but are not captured in the current regulations. FEMA 
anticipates no cumulative impact to average annual transfer payments 
based on the inclusion of all the proposed factors. Based on the above 
analysis, FEMA estimates that this proposed rule is not an economically 
significant rulemaking because the proposed rule would impose an

[[Page 70135]]

additional average annual burden of less than $2,000 \35\ on the public 
and FEMA.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \35\ FEMA estimated the first year implementation cost of 
approximately $3,700 and $1,600 annually for subsequent years in 
previous section of this regulatory analysis.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

10. Marginal Analysis of the Proposed Factors
    The following table provides a breakdown of each IA declaration 
factor included in the proposed rule. It also identifies which factors 
are new or previously considered. Activity costs per year and 
associated benefits are also included. The proposed rule would not 
change the total amount of Federal assistance available to individuals 
and households. A more detailed table providing additional information 
is also included in the rulemaking docket on www.regulations.gov.

                                Table 4--IA Declarations Factor Marginal Analysis
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                Factor                         Status          Activity cost per year           Benefits
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fiscal Capacity: Total Taxable          New.................  $11--FEMA will spend 10-  Informs States that FEMA
 Resources (TTR) of the State                                  15 minutes a year         may assess State's
44 CFR Sec.   206.48(b)(1)(i)(A)                               retrieving and storing    taxable resources based
                                                               Treasury data             on TTR and may use TTR
                                                               (including all State      to depict State
                                                               data in one retrieval).   economic growth or
                                                                                         decline and relative
                                                                                         fiscal capacity with
                                                                                         comparably-sized States
                                                                                         or the Nation.
Fiscal Capacity: Gross Domestic         New.................  $11--FEMA will spend 10-  Informs States that FEMA
 Product (GDP) by State                                        15 minutes a year for     may assess State fiscal
44 CFR Sec.   206.48(b)(1)(i)(B)                               retrieving and storing    capacity with this data
                                                               BEA GDP data (including   point when TTR data is
                                                               all State & Territory     not available or if the
                                                               data in one retrieval).   TTR data is inaccurate
                                                                                         due to the 2 year lag
                                                                                         in the data update.
Fiscal Capacity: Per Capita Personal    New.................  $19--FEMA will spend 15-  Provides FEMA the
 Income by Local Area                                          30 minutes a year for     flexibility to use
44 CFR Sec.   206.48(b)(1)(i)(C)                               retrieving and storing    information on the
                                                               BEA Per Capita Personal   local fiscal capacity
                                                               Income data annually      characteristics to
                                                               (including data on all    judge IA needs in
                                                               local areas in one        disaster affected
                                                               retrieval).               areas.
Fiscal Capacity: Other Factors          New.................  $0--State time will vary  Provides FEMA the
44 CFR Sec.   206.48(b)(1)(i)(D)                               and data will be used     flexibility to use any
                                                               on a case-by-case basis   other data or
                                                               as needed.                information on a State
                                                                                         or local area's fiscal
                                                                                         capacity to judge
                                                                                         disaster needs in
                                                                                         affected areas.
Resource Availability: State Tribal     Previously            $0--No change in time     Clarification of current
 and Local Government Non-Governmental   Considered.           burden due to current     practice in regulation.
 Organizations (NGO) and Private                               compliance.
 Sector Activity
44 CFR Sec.   206.48(b)(1)(ii)(A)
Resource Availability: Cumulative       Previously            $0--No change in time     Clarification of current
 Effect of Recent Disasters              Considered.           burden due to current     practice in regulation.
44 CFR Sec.   206.48(b)(1)(ii)(B)                              compliance.
Resource Availability: State Services   New.................  $784.5--15 minutes for    Provides FEMA more
44 CFR Sec.   206.48(b)(1)(ii)(C)                              States to discuss why     information to evaluate
                                                               the State does not have   the resources States
                                                               sufficient funding to     have used. States
                                                               provide adequate State    consider their
                                                               services to its own       resources in their
                                                               citizens after a major    request.
                                                               disaster.
Resource Availability: Planning After   New.................  $784.5--15 minutes for    Provides FEMA more
 Prior Disasters                                               States to discuss         information to evaluate
44 CFR Sec.   206.48(b)(1)(ii)(D)                              improvements to their     the State's resource
                                                               State IA programs and     planning. State's
                                                               any disaster planning     demonstrate they have
                                                               that occurred after       planned after recent
                                                               prior major disasters.    disasters.
Uninsured Home and Personal Property    Previously            $0--No change in time     Clarification of current
 Losses: The cause of damage             Considered.           burden due to current     practice in regulation.
44 CFR Sec.   206.48(b)(2)(i)                                  compliance.
Uninsured Home and Personal Property    Previously            $0--No change in time     Clarification of current
 Losses: The jurisdictions impacted      Considered.           burden due to current     practice in regulation.
 and concentration of damage                                   compliance.
44 CFR Sec.   206.48(b)(2)(ii)
Uninsured Home and Personal Property    Previously            $0--No change in time     Clarification of current
 Losses: The number of homes impacted    Considered.           burden due to current     practice in regulation.
 and degree of damage                                          compliance.
44 CFR Sec.   206.48(b)(2)(iii)
Uninsured Home and Personal Property    Previously            $0--No change in time     Clarification of current
 Losses: The estimated cost of           Considered.           burden due to current     practice in regulation.
 assistance                                                    compliance.
44 CFR Sec.   206.48(b)(2)(iv)
Uninsured Home and Personal Property    Previously            $0--No change in time     Clarification of current
 Losses: The homeownership rate of       Considered.           burden due to current     practice in regulation.
 impacted homes                                                compliance.
44 CFR Sec.   206.48(b)(2)(v)
Uninsured Home and Personal Property    Previously            $0--No change in time     Clarification of current
 Losses: The percentage of affected      Considered.           burden due to current     practice in regulation.
 households with insurance coverage                            compliance.
 appropriate to the peril
44 CFR Sec.   206.48(b)(2)(vi)
Uninsured Home and Personal Property    Previously            $0--No change in time     Clarification of current
 Losses: Other relevant preliminary      Considered.           burden due to current     practice in regulation.
 damage assessment data                                        compliance.
44 CFR Sec.   206.48(b)(2)(vii)

[[Page 70136]]

 
Disaster Impacted Population Profile:   Previously            $0--No change in time     Clarification of current
 The percentage of the population for    Considered.           burden due to current     practice in regulation.
 whom poverty status is determined                             compliance, data
44 CFR Sec.   206.48(b)(3)(i)                                  collected in PDA
                                                               process.
Disaster Impacted Population Profile:   Previously            $0--No change in time     Clarification of current
 The percentage of the population        Considered.           burden due to current     practice in regulation.
 already receiving government                                  compliance, data
 assistance such as Supplemental                               collected in PDA
 Security Income and Supplemental                              process.
 Nutrition Assistance Program benefits
44 C.F.R Sec.   206.48(b)(3)(ii)
Disaster Impacted Population Profile:   Previously            $0--No change in time     Clarification of current
 The pre-disaster unemployment rate      Considered.           burden due to current     practice in regulation.
44 CFR Sec.   206.48(b)(3)(iii)                                compliance, data
                                                               collected in PDA
                                                               process.
Disaster Impacted Population Profile:   Previously            $0--No change in time     Clarification of current
 The percentage of the population that   Considered.           burden due to current     practice in regulation.
 is 65 years old and older                                     compliance, data
44 CFR Sec.   206.48(b)(3)(iv)                                 collected in PDA
                                                               process.
Disaster Impacted Population Profile:   Previously            $0--No change in time     Clarification of current
 The percentage of the population 18     Considered.           burden due to current     practice in regulation.
 years old and younger                                         compliance, data
44 CFR Sec.   206.48(b)(3)(v)                                  collected in PDA
                                                               process.
Disaster Impacted Population Profile:   Previously            $0--No change in time     Clarification of current
 The percentage of the population with   Considered.           burden due to current     practice in regulation
 a disability                                                  compliance, data
44 CFR Sec.   206.48(b)(3)(vi)                                 collected in PDA
                                                               process.
Disaster Impacted Population Profile:   Previously            $0--No change in time     Clarification of current
 The percentage of the population who    Considered.           burden due to current     practice in regulation.
 speak a language other than English                           compliance, data
 and speak English less than ``very                            collected in PDA
 well''                                                        process.
44 CFR Sec.   206.48(b)(3)(vii)
Disaster Impacted Population Profile:   Previously            $0--No change in time     Clarification of current
 Any unique considerations regarding     Considered.           burden due to current     practice in regulation.
 American Indian and Alaskan Native                            compliance.
 Tribal populations that may not be
 reflected in the U.S. Census Bureau
 data
44 CFR Sec.   206.48(b)(3)(viii)
Impact to Community Infrastructure:     Previously            $0--No change in time     Clarification of current
 Life Saving and Life Sustaining         Considered.           burden due to current     practice in regulation.
 Services                                                      compliance.
44 CFR Sec.   206.48(b)(4)(i)
Impact to Community Infrastructure:     Previously            $0--No change in time     Clarification of current
 Essential Community Services            Considered.           burden due to current     practice in regulation.
44 CFR Sec.   206.48(b)(4)(ii)                                 compliance.
Impact to Community Infrastructure:     Previously            $0--No change in time     Clarification of current
 Transportation Infrastructure and       Considered.           burden due to current     practice in regulation.
 Utilities.                                                    compliance.
44 CFR Sec.   206.48(b)(4)(iii)
Casualties: The number of missing,      Previously            $0--No change in time     Clarification of current
 injured, or deceased individuals        Considered.           burden due to current     practice in regulation.
44 CFR Sec.   206.48(b)(5)                                     compliance.
Disaster Related Unemployment: The      Previously            $0--No change in time     Clarification of current
 number of disaster survivors who lost   Considered.           burden due to current     practice in regulation.
 work or became unemployed due to a                            compliance.
 disaster and who do not qualify for
 standard unemployment insurance
44 CFR Sec.   206.48(b)(6)
All Factors : All Data Points           6 New & 22            $3752 in the first year   Informs States with the
Sec.   206.48(b)                         Previously            and $1609 in the          information that FEMA
                                         Considered.           subsequent annual         considers when deciding
                                                               reoccurring costs--       whether to recommend an
                                                               Increase time burden      IA declaration to the
                                                               due to new factors and    President's Office.
                                                               time for the State to
                                                               read and understand the
                                                               new regulations.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

11. Regulatory Alternatives
    FEMA includes the regulatory alternatives to the proposed rule and 
the reasons for choosing not to use each alternative in the following 
discussion. The decision on each alternative was based on qualitative 
factors and not on a quantitative analysis of these alternatives. When 
possible, FEMA acknowledges if the respective alternative could have an 
impact on economic transfer payments or costs.
a. Voluntary, Faith and Community Based Organizations Resources
    FEMA considered removing the information on resources available 
from voluntary, faith, and community based organizations during 
disasters from its list of determining factors. Stakeholders suggested 
removing these organizations because their availability may be limited 
by their financial circumstances, their donors' economic situations, 
and the circumstances of their volunteers. FEMA recognizes this concern 
but believes that information on the activities of these organizations 
is valuable because it can enhance the picture of disaster needs at a 
local level and may offset or reveal a need for supplemental Federal 
assistance. FEMA

[[Page 70137]]

also recognizes that these organizations have limited resources, and 
considers this point when determining the need for an IA declaration. 
FEMA anticipates there could be impacts on transfer payments due to 
changes in the number of disaster declarations if resources available 
from voluntary, faith, and community based organizations were no longer 
considered. If FEMA was to remove this factor from consideration in 
major disaster declaration request for IA, it could potentially move 
transfer payments in either direction, depending on the situation. For 
example, if a State no longer describes how their voluntary agencies 
are overwhelmed, then FEMA may not be inclined to recommend a major 
disaster declaration that authorizes IA and would decrease transfer 
payments. On the other hand, FEMA could potentially be more inclined to 
recommend a major disaster declaration that authorizes IA without 
information on the voluntary agencies' resources, which could increase 
transfer payments.
b. Maintain the 44 CFR 206.48(b)(6) Table
    FEMA evaluated the utility of the current 44 CFR 206.48(b)(6) table 
listing the average amount of IA based on State size, and determined it 
causes confusion with stakeholders. This table of averages does not set 
a threshold for recommending Individual Assistance, but was intended as 
guidance to States and voluntary agencies as they develop plans and 
programs to meet the needs of disaster survivors. FEMA determined that 
the table should be removed because it causes confusion among States, 
and may be used incorrectly as a threshold for whether a State should 
request Individual Assistance. Furthermore, the table has been 
interpreted by States to suggest that State population is the main 
factor or the only factor in determining State capability or fiscal 
capacity. In the proposed rule, FEMA would continue to consider various 
factors when making its recommendation. FEMA did not quantify the 
impacts of this alternative but assumed there would not be economic 
impacts from maintaining the table because other factors are already 
considered. FEMA has chosen to remove the table for clarification 
purposes.
c. Automatically Trigger Contiguous Counties and States
    Based on stakeholder recommendations, FEMA considered whether to 
include a provision that would allow contiguous affected counties and 
States to be automatically declared as a major disaster after an event 
that crosses the borders of a declared State or county. FEMA recognizes 
that State or county lines do not bind disaster events geographically, 
but in considering whether to declare a particular area, FEMA must 
consider the damages in the area as well as the capabilities of the 
jurisdictional governments. The Stafford Act requires that a Governor's 
request for a major disaster declaration be based on a finding that the 
disaster is of such severity and magnitude to be beyond the 
capabilities of the State and affected local governments to effectively 
respond. 42 U.S.C. 5170(a). Thus, FEMA is proposing to maintain the 
requirement that each county and State must request a major disaster 
declaration after determining that the disaster damages and impacts are 
beyond the capabilities of the affected area's State or local 
government. FEMA cannot automatically grant a major disaster 
declaration based on proximity to other declared areas without evidence 
that the disaster damage and impacts are beyond the affected area's 
capabilities.
    FEMA did not quantify the impacts of this alternative but does 
acknowledge there could be an increase in transfer payments if FEMA 
automatically declared affected counties and States contiguous to a 
declared State or county. FEMA assumed this alternative would result in 
transfer payment increases because specifics about damage information 
and resource capabilities of nearby counties would not be considered 
and less impacted counties would likely be provided assistance based on 
geographic location rather than need.
d. Considering Negative Impact on Businesses
    FEMA considered including the impact of an incident on businesses 
in affected areas, including business losses based on stakeholder 
recommendations. FEMA is proposing a revised factor that considers the 
impact to businesses because the negative impacts to employers and 
employees may affect a community's ability to recover. Business losses 
alone, however, will not result in a Presidential major disaster 
declaration that authorizes IA because the IA grant programs do not 
provide assistance to businesses. Instead, FEMA considers the effect 
that business disruptions have on disaster survivors. For example, if 
disaster survivors lose work or become unemployed due to business 
impacts from a disaster, this information may highlight an increased 
need for DUA. In addition, the Small Business Administration (SBA) has 
separate statutory authority and programs, which may be available to 
assist businesses absent a Presidential major disaster declaration. 
FEMA did not quantify the impacts of the alternative considering 
business losses separately from business impacts to disaster survivors.
e. Linking Individual Assistance Cost Factor With Public Assistance 
Cost Factor
    FEMA considered aligning the financial indicators for IA and PA 
major disaster declarations based on stakeholder recommendations. 
Currently, FEMA evaluates the need for a Public Assistance major 
disaster declaration by reviewing the estimated cost of Federal and 
non-federal public assistance against the statewide population to give 
a measure of the per capita impact within the State. 44 CFR 
206.48(a)(1). That factor also establishes a $1 million threshold, 
based on the proposition that even the smallest population States have 
the capability to cover that level of public assistance infrastructure 
damage. Under FEMA's current regulations, there is no corresponding IA 
single indicator designed to evaluate the total cost of the disaster 
against the capability of a requesting State.
    FEMA chose not to use the Public Assistance per capita indicator 
measure and instead choose to utilize the fiscal capacity factor as 
indicators of a State's fiscal capability to meet the needs of 
individuals after an event. FEMA considers multiple factors and does 
not believe a set limit, even based on estimated damages and 
population, is an appropriate indicator due to the varying needs and 
circumstances of disaster survivors. FEMA did not quantify the impact 
of this alternative but does assume that it could have an impact on 
transfer payments due to changes to the number of major disaster 
declarations that authorize IA.
f. Use of Factor Thresholds
    Some stakeholders indicated that they would prefer specific 
``hard'' thresholds that indicate whether a State would be eligible to 
receive a major disaster declaration authorizing IA. The stakeholders 
felt that established thresholds would give States a clear idea of what 
level of damage and need the State must have before requesting 
assistance. The stakeholders believed that this would prevent States 
from spending the time compiling the data and requesting a declaration 
when they have not sustained enough damage to qualify for a major 
disaster declaration that authorizes IA. FEMA rejected a threshold 
indicator because it would be

[[Page 70138]]

inconsistent with the principles of Section 320. FEMA also decided to 
not pursue using thresholds because they would be too restrictive, and 
would not be appropriately flexible to assess the various scenarios 
that demonstrate the State's need for a declaration authorizing IA. 
FEMA assumes this alternative could have an impact on transfer payments 
due to changes in the number of declarations and could reduce State 
costs if they chose not to pursue a declaration request for IA.
g. Homes in Foreclosure
    Some stakeholders stated that if an area with a high foreclosure 
rate is affected by a disaster, then these homes without an owner would 
be a greater burden to the State during the recovery process. FEMA's IA 
programs do not provide any form of assistance for foreclosed homes, 
and repair assistance is available only for owner-occupied primary 
residences. FEMA recognizes that high levels of foreclosure may be 
associated with economic difficulties in the affected area which could 
negatively impact a community's ability to recover. If a State believes 
that homes in foreclosure will impact their capability to respond to 
the disaster, then the State may articulate this concern in the 
narrative portion of their declaration request. FEMA considers all 
relevant information provided in a State's request. See 44 CFR 206.48. 
However, FEMA believes other factors including poverty level, pre-
disaster unemployment, and per capita personal income will be adequate 
indicators of economic health, and has chosen to not include home 
foreclosure rates in the proposed evaluation factors.
h. Do Not Include Fiscal Capacity Indicators
    FEMA considered the alternative of not including fiscal capacity 
indicators. This option would leave discretion on how to assess State 
capabilities up to FEMA and the White House without identifying 
quantified data utilized or encouraging States to provide more 
information on their fiscal capacity. FEMA chose to include the fiscal 
capacity indicators because they provide objective quantified data for 
FEMA and the White House to assess the capabilities of a State. The 
factor also provides notice to the State on what will be used to 
evaluate it and that the State can provide additional information 
describing their fiscal capabilities. In this alternative, the Federal 
cost of the proposed rule would decrease by a small amount, 
approximately $40 a year, based on FEMA no longer having to retrieve 
BEA and Treasury data. Considering the low cost and potentially useful 
information this factor could provide, FEMA chose to maintain fiscal 
capacity information in the proposed rule.
i. Do Not Include State Resources Indicators
    FEMA considered the alternative of not including State resource 
indicators. If this factor was not included, FEMA and the White House's 
ability to assess if States have programs suitable to respond to and 
recover from the disaster and if the States have prepared or improved 
their programs after recent disasters would not be improved. The State 
cost of the proposed rule would decrease, approximately $1,570 annually 
for all State's major disaster declaration requests that include IA. 
Considering the low cost, approximately $38 per request, and the 
potentially useful information this factor information could provide, 
FEMA chose not to use this alternative.

B. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., 
as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 
1996 (Pub. L. 104-121, 110 Stat. 857), FEMA must consider the impact of 
this proposed regulation on small entities. The term ``small entities'' 
comprises small businesses, not-for-profit organizations that are 
independently owned and operated and are not dominant in their fields, 
and governmental jurisdictions with populations of less than 50,000. 
When the Administrative Procedure Act requires an agency to publish a 
notice of proposed rulemaking under 5 U.S.C. 553, the RFA requires a 
regulatory flexibility analysis for both the proposed rule and the 
final rule if the rulemaking could ``have a significant economic impact 
on a substantial number of small entities.'' The RFA also provides that 
if a regulatory flexibility analysis is not required for this reason, 
the agency must certify in the rulemaking document that the rulemaking 
will not ``have a significant economic impact on a substantial number 
of small entities'' and must include a statement providing the factual 
basis for such certification.
    This proposed rule provides States with factors FEMA would consider 
when making a recommendation on a major disaster declaration that 
authorizes IA and codifies many factors that are currently considered 
but are not adequately captured in 44 CFR 206.48(b). This rule will not 
directly impact small businesses, small not-for-profit organizations, 
and small governmental jurisdictions. States are not considered small 
entities under the RFA since they have populations of more than 
50,000.\36\ Hence, FEMA certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this 
proposed rule would not, if promulgated, have a significant economic 
impact on a substantial number of small entities.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \36\ The District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, 
Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana 
Islands, which are considered States under 44 CFR 206.2(a)(22), all 
have populations greater than 50,000.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

C. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995, 2 U.S.C. 658, 1501-1504, 
1531-1536, 1571, pertains to any notice of proposed rulemaking which 
implements any rule that includes a Federal mandate that may result in 
the expenditure by State, local, and Tribal governments, in the 
aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million (adjusted annually 
for inflation) or more in any one year. If the rulemaking includes a 
Federal mandate, the Act requires an agency to prepare an assessment of 
the anticipated costs and benefits of the Federal mandate. FEMA has 
determined that this proposed rule can be excluded from this assessment 
as the proposed rule meets the criteria set forth in 2 U.S.C. 1503(4), 
which states, ``This chapter shall not apply to . . . any provision in 
a proposed or final Federal regulation that--. . . (4) provides for 
emergency assistance or relief at the request of any State, local, or 
tribal government or any official of a State, local, or tribal 
government.'' Therefore, no actions are deemed necessary under the 
provisions of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995.

D. National Environmental Policy Act

    Under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), as 
amended, 42 U.S.C. 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq., an agency must prepare an 
environmental assessment or environmental impact statement for any 
rulemaking that significantly affects the quality of the human 
environment. As explained below, FEMA has determined that this 
rulemaking does not significantly affect the quality of the human 
environment and consequently has not prepared an environmental 
assessment or environmental impact statement.
    NEPA implementing regulations governing FEMA activities at 44 CFR 
10.8(d)(2)(ii) categorically exclude the preparation, revision, and 
adoption of regulations from the preparation of an EA or EIS, where the 
rule relates to actions that qualify for categorical

[[Page 70139]]

exclusions. Most activities under Section 408 and prior Section 411 of 
the Stafford Act pertaining to temporary housing and financial 
assistance are categorically excluded from NEPA review under 44 CFR 
10.8(d)(2)(xix)(D) and (F). Before undertaking other activities that 
are not categorically excluded (e.g., placement of manufactured 
temporary housing units on FEMA-constructed group sites; permanent or 
semi-permanent housing construction), FEMA follows the procedures set 
forth in 44 CFR part 10 to assure NEPA compliance.
    In addition, this proposed rule revises the criteria that FEMA 
considers when recommending an area eligible for IA under a major 
disaster declaration. A major disaster declaration recommendation to 
the President is falls into information and data gathering and 
reporting efforts in support of emergency and disaster response and 
recovery and hazard mitigation. Therefore, the activity this rule 
applies to meets FEMA's Categorical Exclusion in 44 CFR 
10.8(d)(2)(xviii)(E). Because no other extraordinary circumstances have 
been identified, this rule does not require the preparation of either 
an EA or an EIS as defined by NEPA.

E. Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), Public 
Law 104-13, 109 Stat. 163, (May 22, 1995) (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), an 
agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to 
respond to, a collection of information unless the collection of 
information displays a valid control number.
    In this proposed rule, FEMA is seeking a revision to the already 
existing collection of information, OMB Control Number 1660-0009, 
because FEMA has refined our estimates related to 1660-0009. This 
proposed rule serves as the 60-day comment period for this proposed 
change pursuant to 5 CFR 1320.12. FEMA invites the general public to 
comment on the proposed collection of information.
Collection of Information
    Title: The Declaration Process: Requests for Preliminary Damage 
Assessment (PDA), Requests for Supplemental Federal Disaster 
Assistance, Appeals, and Requests for Cost Share Adjustments.
    Type of information collection: Revision of a currently approved 
collection.
    OMB Number: 1660-0009.
    Form Titles and Numbers: FEMA Form 010-0-13, Request for 
Presidential Disaster Declaration Major Disaster or Emergency.
    Abstract: When a disaster occurs in a State, the Governor of the 
State or the Acting Governor in his/her absence, may request a major 
disaster declaration or an emergency declaration. The Governor should 
submit the request to the President through the appropriate Regional 
Administrator to ensure prompt acknowledgement and processing. The 
information obtained by joint Federal, State, and local preliminary 
damage assessments will be analyzed by FEMA regional senior level 
staff. The regional summary and the regional analysis and 
recommendation will include a discussion of State and local resources 
and capabilities, and other assistance available to meet the disaster 
related needs. The Administrator of FEMA provides a recommendation to 
the President and also provides a copy of the Governor's request. In 
the event the information required by law is not contained in the 
request, the Governor's request cannot be processed and forwarded to 
the White House. In the event the Governor's request for a major 
disaster declaration or an emergency declaration is not granted, the 
Governor may appeal the decision.
    Affected Public: State, local, or Tribal Government.
    Estimated Number of Respondents: 622.
    Estimated Number of Responses: 355.
    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 11,737.
    The previously approved Total Annual Burden Hours was 11,715 hours. 
Based on the proposed rule's minor increase in burden, the new 
estimated Total Annual Burden Hours is 11,737 hours. This increase of 
22 hours is attributed to the additional information FEMA requests in 
order to evaluate the need for a major disaster declaration that 
authorizes IA, specifically requesting a narrative discussion on 
improvements to State services provided to individuals in response to a 
disaster.
    Table A.12 provides estimates of annualized cost to respondents for 
the hour burdens for the collection of information.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \37\ Note: Numbers rounded due to rounding in ROCIS.
    \38\ Note: The number of responses per respondent for entering 
in Request for Presidential Disaster Declaration Major Disaster or 
Emergency/FEMA Form 010-0-13 has been updated to 0.5707. FEMA 
reanalyzed this number to more accurately reflect the change in the 
proposed rule. FEMA calculated 0.5707 based on the previous 
supporting statement's total number of response hours, 3,195 divided 
by the number of hours, 9, resulting in 355, and then divided by 
622.
    \39\ Note: The ``Avg. Hourly Wage Rate'' for each respondent 
includes a 1.4 multiplier to reflect a fully-loaded wage rate.

                                              Table A.12--Estimated Annualized Burden Hours and Costs \37\
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                             Number of        Average
                                                             Number of     responses per    burden per     Total annual       Average      Total annual
        Type of respondent           Form name/form No.     respondents     respondent     response  (in    burden  (in     hourly wage     respondent
                                                                               \38\           hours)          hours)         rate \39\         cost
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
State, Local or Tribal Government.  Request for                      622           .5707           9.062           3,217          $76.52     $246,164.84
                                     Presidential
                                     Disaster
                                     Declaration Major
                                     Disaster or
                                     Emergency/FEMA Form
                                     010-0-13.
State, Local or Tribal Government.  Initial Data                     622             .57              24           8,520           33.10      282,012.00
                                     Gathering for
                                     Governor's Request/
                                     No Form.
                                                         -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total.........................  ....................             622  ..............  ..............          11,737  ..............      528,176.84
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Estimated Cost: $3,480,709.36.
    The estimated annual cost to respondents for the hour burden is 
$528,176.84. FEMA describes cost increases specifically for the 
proposed rule in the previous Regulatory Analysis Section. There are no 
annual costs to respondents operations and maintenance costs for 
technical services. There is no annual start-up or capital costs. The 
cost to the Federal government is unchanged at $3,038,639.60.

[[Page 70140]]

Comments
    Comments may be submitted as indicated in the ADDRESSES caption 
above. Comments are solicited to (a) evaluate whether the proposed data 
collection is necessary for the proper performance of the agency, 
including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) 
evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the 
proposed collection of information, including the validity of the 
methodology and assumptions used; (c) enhance the quality, utility, and 
clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) minimize the burden 
of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including 
through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or 
other technological collection techniques or other forms of information 
technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

F. Privacy Act

    Under the Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. 552a, an agency must 
determine whether implementation of a proposed regulation will result 
in a system of records. A ``record'' is any item, collection, or 
grouping of information about an individual that is maintained by an 
agency, including, but not limited to, his/her education, financial 
transactions, medical history, and criminal or employment history and 
that contains his/her name, or the identifying number, symbol, or other 
identifying particular assigned to the individual, such as a finger or 
voice print or a photograph. See 5 U.S.C. 552a(a)(4). A ``system of 
records'' is a group of records under the control of an agency from 
which information is retrieved by the name of the individual or by some 
identifying number, symbol, or other identifying particular assigned to 
the individual. An agency cannot disclose any record which is contained 
in a system of records except by following specific procedures.
    FEMA completed a Privacy Threshold Analysis for this proposed rule. 
Any information will be collected in existing FEMA Form 010-0-13 and 
will still only include the Governor's point of contact and general 
office phone number as well as other State specific and disaster 
specific information of a non-personally[hyphen]identifiable nature. 
The information received through the form is neither retrieved nor 
retrievable by personally identifiable information (PII). Any retrieval 
would be done by utilizing State specific or disaster specific 
information of a non[hyphen]identifiable nature. This rulemaking does 
not impact FEMA's collection of PII in the disaster declarations 
process and form and no Privacy Impact Assessment or System of Records 
Notice is required at this time.

G. Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination With Indian 
Tribal Governments

    Executive Order 13175, ``Consultation and Coordination with Indian 
Tribal Governments,'' 65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000, applies to agency 
regulations that have Tribal implications, that is, regulations that 
have substantial direct effects on one or more Indian tribes, on the 
relationship between the Federal Government and Indian Tribes, or on 
the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal 
Government and Indian Tribes. Under this Executive Order, to the extent 
practicable and permitted by law, no agency shall promulgate any 
regulation that has Tribal implications, that imposes substantial 
direct compliance costs on Indian Tribal governments, and that is not 
required by statute, unless funds necessary to pay the direct costs 
incurred by the Indian Tribal government or the Tribe in complying with 
the regulation are provided by the Federal Government, or the agency 
consults with Tribal officials.
    FEMA has reviewed this proposed rule under Executive Order 13132 
and has determined that this rule does not have a substantial direct 
effect on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the 
Federal Government and Indian Tribes, or on the distribution of power 
and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian Tribes. 
The disaster assistance granted by a major disaster declaration 
addressed by this proposed rule is provided to individuals and 
families, and would not have tribal implications.
    Moreover, this rule proposes to revise regulations intended to 
address a State's request for an IA declaration. Although Section 1110 
of SRIA authorizes Indian Tribal governments to request a declaration 
directly, SRIA charged FEMA to implement that authority separately by 
rulemaking. Although FEMA is currently evaluating tribal declaration 
requests using its existing regulations, FEMA is implementing Section 
1110 through a separate process, which will involve extensive 
consultation with Tribes, issuance of forthcoming pilot guidance, and 
eventually, regulations.
    FEMA notes that Section 1109 of SRIA requires FEMA to develop this 
rulemaking ``in cooperation with State, local, and Tribal emergency 
management agencies.'' To that end, FEMA sought input from State, local 
and Tribal stakeholders at the Spring 2013 NEMA conference. In 
addition, in conjunction with the effort to initiate development of 
Section 1110 of SRIA, FEMA sought input from Tribal and other 
stakeholders via a Federal Register notice requesting comments on, 
among other things, the IA criteria that FEMA uses to make 
recommendations to the President for major disaster declarations in 44 
CFR 206.48(b). 78 FR 15026, 15028-15029 (March 8, 2013). In addition, 
throughout March and April 2013, FEMA held listening sessions \40\ with 
tribal leadership, their organizations and stakeholders to present 
information regarding FEMA programs, the Stafford Act and its 
amendment, and the declarations process.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \40\ Please refer to the following Web site for further 
information on FEMA's listening sessions as well FEMA's consultation 
efforts: https://www.fema.gov/fema-tribal-affairs/consultation-archive-procedures-request-emergency-or-major-disaster-declarations.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    FEMA received input that many members of Tribes do not have 
insurance and are not homeowners. Data regarding whether a home has 
insurance and is rented or owned is typically gathered during the PDA 
process. In addition, Tribes were concerned with the use of 
unemployment data at a county level because the Tribal unemployment 
level could be much higher. FEMA will always consider relevant 
information when evaluating the requests for a major disaster 
declaration that authorizes IA. If the county level unemployment level 
is inaccurate because Tribal unemployment is higher, then FEMA 
encourages Tribes to provide data that is more accurate to the State or 
FEMA in their disaster request. FEMA considered this input in the 
development of this rule, and welcomes additional comments on this 
matter.

H. Executive Order 13132, Federalism

    Executive Order 13132, ``Federalism,'' 64 FR 43255, August 10, 
1999, sets forth principles and criteria that agencies must adhere to 
in formulating and implementing policies that have federalism 
implications, that is, regulations that have ``substantial direct 
effects on the States, on the relationship between the national 
government and the States, or on the distribution of power and 
responsibilities among the various levels of government.'' Federal 
agencies must closely examine the statutory authority supporting any 
action that would limit the policymaking discretion of the States, and 
to the extent practicable, must

[[Page 70141]]

consult with State and local officials before implementing any such 
action.
    FEMA has reviewed this proposed rule under Executive Order 13132 
and has determined that this rule does not have a substantial direct 
effects on the States, on the relationship between the national 
government and the States, or on the distribution of power and 
responsibilities among the various levels of government, and therefore 
does not have federalism implications as defined by the Executive 
Order. The disaster assistance granted by a major disaster declaration 
addressed by this proposed rule is provided to individuals and 
families, and would not have federalism implications.

I. Executive Orders 11988, Floodplain Management

    Executive Order 11988, ``Floodplain Management,'' 42 FR 26951, May 
24, 1977, sets forth that each agency is required to provide leadership 
and take action to reduce the risk of flood loss, to minimize the 
impact of floods on human safety, health and welfare, and to restore 
and preserve the natural and beneficial values served by floodplains in 
carrying out its responsibilities for (1) acquiring, managing, and 
disposing of Federal lands and facilities; (2) providing Federally 
undertaken, financed, or assisted construction and improvements; and 
(3) conducting Federal activities and programs affecting land use, 
including but not limited to water and related land resources planning, 
regulating, and licensing activities. In carrying out these 
responsibilities, each agency must evaluate the potential effects of 
any actions it may take in a floodplain; ensure that its planning 
programs and budget requests reflect consideration of flood hazards and 
floodplain management; and prescribe procedures to implement the 
policies and requirements of the Executive Order.
    Before promulgating any regulation, an agency must determine 
whether the proposed regulations will affect a floodplain(s), and if 
so, the agency must consider alternatives to avoid adverse effects and 
incompatible development in the floodplain(s). If the head of the 
agency finds that the only practicable alternative consistent with the 
law and with the policy set forth in Executive Order 11988 is to 
promulgate a regulation that affects a floodplain(s), the agency must, 
prior to promulgating the regulation, design or modify the regulation 
in order to minimize potential harm to or within the floodplain, 
consistent with the agency's floodplain management regulations and 
prepare and circulate a notice containing an explanation of why the 
action is proposed to be located in the floodplain.
    The requirements of Executive Order 11988 apply in the context of 
the provision of Federal financial assistance relating to, among other 
things, construction and property improvement activities, as well as 
conducting Federal programs affecting a floodplain(s). The changes 
proposed in this rule would not have an effect on floodplain 
management. This proposed rule revises the criteria that FEMA considers 
when recommending an area eligible for IA under a major disaster 
declaration. A major disaster declaration recommendation to the 
President is an administrative action for FEMA's IA Program. When FEMA 
undertakes specific actions in administering IA that may have effects 
on floodplain management (e.g., placement of manufactured housing units 
on FEMA-constructed group sites; permanent or semi-permanent housing 
construction), FEMA follows the procedures set forth in 44 CFR part 9 
to assure compliance with this Executive Order. This serves as the 
notice that is required by the EO.

J. Executive Order 11990, Protection of Wetlands

    Executive Order 11990, ``Protection of Wetlands,'' 42 FR 26961, May 
24, 1977, sets forth that each agency must provide leadership and take 
action to minimize the destruction, loss or degradation of wetlands, 
and to preserve and enhance the natural and beneficial values of 
wetlands in carrying out the agency's responsibilities for (1) 
acquiring, managing, and disposing of Federal lands and facilities; and 
(2) providing Federally undertaken, financed, or assisted construction 
and improvements; and (3) conducting Federal activities and programs 
affecting land use, including but not limited to water and related land 
resources planning, regulating, and licensing activities. Each agency, 
to the extent permitted by law, must avoid undertaking or providing 
assistance for new construction located in wetlands unless the head of 
the agency finds (1) that there is no practicable alternative to such 
construction, and (2) that the proposed action includes all practicable 
measures to minimize harm to wetlands which may result from such use. 
In making this finding the head of the agency may take into account 
economic, environmental and other pertinent factors.
    In carrying out the activities described in Executive Order 11990, 
each agency must consider factors relevant to a proposal's effect on 
the survival and quality of the wetlands. Among these factors are: 
Public health, safety, and welfare, including water supply, quality, 
recharge and discharge; pollution; flood and storm hazards; and 
sediment and erosion; maintenance of natural systems, including 
conservation and long term productivity of existing flora and fauna, 
species and habitat diversity and stability, hydrologic utility, fish, 
wildlife, timber, and food and fiber resources; and other uses of 
wetlands in the public interest, including recreational, scientific, 
and cultural uses.
    The requirements of Executive Order 11990 apply in the context of 
the provision of Federal financial assistance relating to, among other 
things, construction and property improvement activities, as well as 
conducting Federal programs affecting land use. The changes proposed in 
this rule would not have an effect on land use or wetlands. This 
proposed rule revises the criteria that FEMA considers when 
recommending an area eligible for IA under a major disaster 
declaration. A major disaster declaration recommendation to the 
President is an administrative action for FEMA's IA Program. When FEMA 
undertakes specific actions in administering IA that may have such 
effects (e.g., placement of manufactured housing units on FEMA-
constructed group sites; permanent or semi-permanent housing 
construction), FEMA follows the procedures set forth in 44 CFR part 9 
to assure compliance with this Executive Order.

K. Executive Order 12898, Environmental Justice

    Under Executive Order 12898, ``Federal Actions to Address 
Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income 
Populations,'' 59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994, as amended by Executive 
Order 12948, 60 FR 6381, February 1, 1995, FEMA incorporates 
environmental justice into its policies and programs. The Executive 
Order requires each Federal agency to conduct its programs, policies, 
and activities that substantially affect human health or the 
environment in a manner that ensures that those programs, policies, and 
activities do not have the effect of excluding persons from 
participation in programs, denying persons the benefits of programs, or 
subjecting persons to discrimination because of race, color, or 
national origin. FEMA has incorporated environmental justice into its 
programs, policies, and activities, as well as this proposed 
rulemaking. This proposed rulemaking contains provisions that ensure 
that

[[Page 70142]]

FEMA's activities will not have a disproportionately high or adverse 
effect on human health or the environment or subject persons to 
discrimination because of race, color, or national origin. This 
proposed rule adds a provision specifically related to the demographics 
of a disaster impacted population. FEMA is requesting the demographics 
of a disaster impacted area because the demographics may identify 
additional needs that require a more robust community response and 
might otherwise delay a community's ability to recover from a disaster.
    No action that FEMA can anticipate under this rule will have a 
disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental 
effect on any segment of the population.

L. Congressional Review of Agency Rulemaking

    Under the Congressional Review of Agency Rulemaking Act (CRA), 5 
U.S.C. 801-808, before a rule can take effect, the Federal agency 
promulgating the rule must submit to Congress and to the Government 
Accountability Office (GAO) a copy of the rule, a concise general 
statement relating to the rule, including whether it is a major rule, 
the proposed effective date of the rule, a copy of any cost-benefit 
analysis, descriptions of the agency's actions under the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act and the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act, and any other 
information or statements required by relevant executive orders.
    FEMA will send this rule to the Congress and to GAO pursuant to the 
CRA if the rule is finalized. The rule is not a ``major rule'' within 
the meaning of the CRA. It will not have an annual effect on the 
economy of $100,000,000 or more, it will not result in a major increase 
in costs or prices for consumers, individual industries, Federal, 
State, or local government agencies, or geographic regions, and it will 
not have significant adverse effects on competition, employment, 
investment, productivity, innovation, or on the ability of United 
States-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises in 
domestic and export markets.

List of Subjects in 44 CFR Part 206GG

    Administrative practice and procedure, Coastal zone, Community 
facilities, Disaster assistance, Fire prevention, Grant programs--
housing and community development, Housing, Insurance, 
Intergovernmental relations, Loan programs--housing and community 
development, Natural resources, Penalties, and Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements.
    For the reasons stated in the preamble, the Federal Emergency 
Management Agency proposes to amend 44 CFR part 206, subpart B, as 
follows:

PART 206--FEDERAL DISASTER ASSISTANCE

0
1. The authority citation for part 206 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency 
Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5121 through 5207; Homeland Security Act 
of 2002, 6 U.S.C. 101 et seq.; Department of Homeland Security 
Delegation 9001.1; sec. 1105, Pub. L. 113-2, 127 Stat. 43 (42 U.S.C. 
5189a note).

0
2. Revise Sec.  206.48(b) to read as follows:


Sec.  206.48  Factors considered when evaluating a Governor's request 
for a major disaster declaration.

* * * * *
    (b) Factors for the Individual Assistance Program. The following 
factors are used to evaluate the need for supplemental Federal 
assistance to individuals under the Stafford Act, as Federal assistance 
may not supplant the combined capabilities of a State, Tribal, or local 
government. Federal Individual Assistance, if authorized, is intended 
to assist eligible individuals and families when State, Tribal, and 
local government resources and assistance programs are overwhelmed. 
State fiscal capacity (44 CFR 206.48(b)(1)(i)) and uninsured home and 
personal property losses (44 CFR 206.48(b)(2)) are the principal 
factors that FEMA will consider when evaluating the need for 
supplemental Federal assistance under the Individuals and Households 
Program. If the need for supplemental Federal assistance under the 
Individuals and Households Program is not clear from the evaluation of 
the principal factors, FEMA will turn to the other factors to determine 
the level of need.
    (1) State fiscal capacity and resource availability. FEMA will 
evaluate the availability of State resources, and where appropriate, 
any extraordinary circumstances that contributed to the absence of 
sufficient resources.
    (i) Fiscal capacity (Principal Factor for Individuals and 
Households Program). Fiscal capacity is a State's potential ability to 
raise revenue from its own sources to respond to and recover from a 
disaster. The following data points are indicators of fiscal capacity.
    (A) Total Taxable Resources (TTR) of the State. TTR is the U.S. 
Department of Treasury's annual estimate of the relative fiscal 
capacity of a State. A low TTR may indicate a greater need for 
supplemental Federal assistance than a high TTR.
    (B) Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by State. GDP by State is 
calculated by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. GDP by State may be used 
as an alternative or supplemental evaluation method to TTR.
    (C) Per capita personal income by local area. Per capita personal 
income by local area is calculated by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. 
A low per capita personal income by local area may indicate a greater 
need for supplemental Federal assistance than a high per capita 
personal income by local area.
    (D) Other factors. Other limits on a State's treasury or ability to 
collect funds may be considered.
    (ii) Resource availability. Federal disaster assistance under the 
Stafford Act is intended to be supplemental in nature, and is not a 
replacement for State emergency relief programs, services, and funds. 
FEMA evaluates the availability of resources from State, Tribal, and 
local governments as well as non-governmental organizations and the 
private sector.
    (A) State, Tribal, and local government; Non-Governmental 
Organizations (NGO); and private sector activity. State, Tribal, and 
local government, Non-Governmental Organizations, and private sector 
resources may offset the need for or reveal an increased need for 
supplemental Federal assistance. The State may provide information 
regarding the resources that have been and will be committed to meet 
the needs of disaster survivors such as housing programs, resources 
provided through financial and in-kind donations, and the availability 
of affordable (as determined by the U.S. Department of Urban and 
Housing Development's fair market rent standards) rental housing within 
a reasonable commuting distance of the impacted area.
    (B) Cumulative effect of recent disasters. The cumulative effect of 
recent disasters may affect the availability of State, Tribal, local 
government, NGO, and private sector disaster recovery resources. The 
State should provide information regarding the disaster history within 
the last 24-month period, particularly those occurring within the 
current fiscal cycle, including both Presidential (public and 
individual assistance) and gubernatorial disaster declarations.
    (C) State services. The State may provide information regarding the 
circumstances causing the State to lack the resources to provide 
sufficient services to its citizens.

[[Page 70143]]

    (D) Planning after prior disasters. States are encouraged to 
develop and continuously improve their own disaster assistance 
programs. States should identify new and existing individual assistance 
programs as well as improvements to existing individuals assistance 
programs made as a result of previous disasters. A State's failure to 
address limitations and shortfalls identified by FEMA or the State 
after previous events will also be considered.
    (2) Uninsured home and personal property losses (Principal Factor 
for Individuals and Households Program). Uninsured home and personal 
property losses may suggest a need for supplemental Federal assistance. 
The State may provide the following preliminary damage assessment data:
    (i) The cause of damage.
    (ii) The jurisdictions impacted and concentration of damage.
    (iii) The number of homes impacted and degree of damage.
    (iv) The estimated cost of assistance.
    (v) The homeownership rate of impacted homes.
    (vi) The percentage of affected households with sufficient 
insurance coverage appropriate to the peril.
    (vii) Other relevant preliminary damage assessment data.
    (3) Disaster impacted population profile. The demographics of a 
disaster impacted population may identify additional needs that require 
a more robust community response and delay a community's ability to 
recover from a disaster. FEMA will consider demographics of the 
impacted communities for the following data points as reported by the 
U.S. Census Bureau or other Federal agencies:
    (i) The percentage of the population for whom poverty status is 
determined.
    (ii) The percentage of the population already receiving government 
assistance such as Supplemental Security Income and Supplemental 
Nutrition Assistance Program benefits.
    (iii) The pre-disaster unemployment rate.
    (iv) The percentage of the population that is 65 years old and 
older.
    (v) The percentage of the population 18 years old and younger.
    (vi) The percentage of the population with a disability.
    (vii) The percentage of the population who speak a language other 
than English and speak English less than ``very well.''
    (viii) Any unique considerations regarding American Indian and 
Alaskan Native Tribal populations raised in the State's request for a 
major disaster declaration that may not be reflected in the data points 
referenced in paragraphs (b)(3)(i)-(vii) of this section.
    (4) Impact to community infrastructure. The following impacts to a 
community's infrastructure may adversely affect a population's ability 
to safely and securely reside within the community.
    (i) Lifesaving and life-sustaining services. The effects of a 
disaster may cause disruptions to or increase the demand for lifesaving 
and life-sustaining services, necessitate a more robust response, and 
may delay a community's ability to recover from a disaster. The State 
may provide information regarding the impact on life saving and life 
sustaining services for a period of greater than 72 hours. Such 
services include but are not limited to police, fire/EMS, hospital/
medical, sewage, and water treatment services.
    (ii) Essential community services. The effects of a disaster may 
cause disruptions to or increase the demand for essential community 
services and delay a community's ability to recover from a disaster. 
The State may provide information regarding the impact on essential 
community services for a period greater than 72 hours. Such services 
include but are not limited to schools, social services programs and 
providers, child care, and eldercare.
    (iii) Transportation infrastructure and utilities. Transportation 
infrastructure or utility disruptions may render housing uninhabitable 
or inaccessible. Such conditions may also affect the delivery of life 
sustaining commodities, provision of emergency services, ability to 
shelter in place, and efforts to rebuild. The State may provide 
information regarding the impact on transportation infrastructure and 
utilities for a period of greater than 72 hours.
    (5) Casualties. The number of individuals who are missing, injured, 
or deceased due to a disaster may indicate a heightened need for 
supplemental Federal disaster assistance. The State may report the 
number of missing, injured, or deceased individuals.
    (6) Disaster related unemployment. The number of disaster survivors 
who lost work or became unemployed due to a disaster and who do not 
qualify for standard unemployment insurance may indicate a heightened 
need for supplemental Federal assistance. This usually includes the 
self-employed, service industry workers, and seasonal workers such as 
those employed in tourism, fishing, or agriculture industries. The 
State may provide an estimate of the number of disaster survivors 
impacted under this paragraph as well as information regarding major 
employers affected.

    Dated: October 29, 2015.
W. Craig Fugate,
Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency.
[FR Doc. 2015-28570 Filed 11-10-15; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 9111-23-P