42 U.S.C.
United States Code, 2017 Edition
Sec. 5170 - Procedure for declaration
From the U.S. Government Publishing Office, www.gpo.gov

§5170. Procedure for declaration

(a) In general

All requests for a declaration by the President that a major disaster exists shall be made by the Governor of the affected State. Such a request shall be based on a finding that the disaster is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the State and the affected local governments and that Federal assistance is necessary. As part of such request, and as a prerequisite to major disaster assistance under this chapter, the Governor shall take appropriate response action under State law and direct execution of the State's emergency plan. The Governor shall furnish information on the nature and amount of State and local resources which have been or will be committed to alleviating the results of the disaster, and shall certify that, for the current disaster, State and local government obligations and expenditures (of which State commitments must be a significant proportion) will comply with all applicable cost-sharing requirements of this chapter. Based on the request of a Governor under this section, the President may declare under this chapter that a major disaster or emergency exists.

(b) Indian tribal government requests

(1) In general

The Chief Executive of an affected Indian tribal government may submit a request for a declaration by the President that a major disaster exists consistent with the requirements of subsection (a).

(2) References

In implementing assistance authorized by the President under this chapter in response to a request of the Chief Executive of an affected Indian tribal government for a major disaster declaration, any reference in this subchapter or subchapter III (except sections 5153 and 5165d of this title) to a State or the Governor of a State is deemed to refer to an affected Indian tribal government or the Chief Executive of an affected Indian tribal government, as appropriate.

(3) Savings provision

Nothing in this subsection shall prohibit an Indian tribal government from receiving assistance under this subchapter through a declaration made by the President at the request of a State under subsection (a) if the President does not make a declaration under this subsection for the same incident.

(c) Cost share adjustments for Indian tribal governments

(1) In general

In providing assistance to an Indian tribal government under this subchapter, the President may waive or adjust any payment of a non-Federal contribution with respect to the assistance if—

(A) the President has the authority to waive or adjust the payment under another provision of this subchapter; and

(B) the President determines that the waiver or adjustment is necessary and appropriate.

(2) Criteria for making determinations

The President shall establish criteria for making determinations under paragraph (1)(B).

(Pub. L. 93–288, title IV, §401, as added Pub. L. 100–707, title I, §106(a)(3), Nov. 23, 1988, 102 Stat. 4696; amended Pub. L. 113–2, div. B, §1110(a), Jan. 29, 2013, 127 Stat. 47.)

References in Text

This chapter, referred to in subsecs. (a) and (b)(2), was in the original "this Act", meaning Pub. L. 93–288, May 22, 1974, 88 Stat. 143. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 5121 of this title and Tables.

Prior Provisions

A prior section 401 of Pub. L. 93–288 was renumbered section 405 by Pub. L. 100–707 and is classified to section 5171 of this title.


2013—Pub. L. 113–2 designated existing provisions as subsec. (a), inserted heading, and added subsecs. (b) and (c).

Individual Assistance Factors

Pub. L. 113–2, div. B, §1109, Jan. 29, 2013, 127 Stat. 47, provided that: "In order 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 under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq.), not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this division [Jan. 29, 2013], the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, in cooperation with representatives of State, tribal, and local emergency management agencies, shall review, update, and revise through rulemaking the factors considered under section 206.48 of title 44, Code of Federal Regulations (including section 206.48(b)(2) of such title relating to trauma and the specific conditions or losses that contribute to trauma), to measure the severity, magnitude, and impact of a disaster."