44 CFR § 206.36 - Requests for major disaster declarations.
(a) When a catastrophe occurs in a State, the Governor of a State, or the Acting Governor in his/her absence, may request a major disaster declaration. The Governor should submit the request to the President through the appropriate Regional Administrator to ensure prompt acknowledgment and processing. The request must be submitted within 30 days of the occurrence of the incident in order to be considered. The 30-day period may be extended by the Assistant Administrator for the Disaster Assistance Directorate, provided that a written request for an extension is submitted by the Governor, or Acting Governor, during this 30-day period. The extension request will stipulate reasons for the delay.
(b) The basis for the request shall be a finding that:
(1) The situation is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the State and affected local governments; and
(2) Federal assistance under the 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.
(c) In addition to the above findings, the complete request shall include:
(1) Confirmation that the Governor has taken appropriate action under State law and directed the execution of the State emergency plan;
(2) An estimate of the amount and severity of damages and losses stating the impact of the disaster on the public and private sector;
(3) 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;
(4) Preliminary estimates of the types and amount of supplementary Federal disaster assistance needed under the Stafford Act; and
(5) 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.
(d) For those catastrophes of unusual severity and magnitude when field damage assessments are not necessary to determine the requirement for supplemental Federal assistance, the Governor or Acting Governor may send an abbreviated written request through the Regional Administrator for a declaration of a major disaster. This may be transmitted in the most expeditious manner available. In the event the FEMA Regional Office is severely impacted by the catastrophe, the request may be addressed to the Administrator of FEMA. The request must indicate a finding in accordance with § 206.36(b), and must include as a minimum the information requested by § 206.36 (c)(1), (c)(3), and (c)(5). Upon receipt of the request, FEMA shall expedite the processing of reports and recommendations to the President. Notification to the Governor of the Presidential declaration shall be in accordance with 44 CFR 206.39. The Assistant Administrator for the Disaster Assistance Directorateshall assure that documentation of the declaration is later assembled to comply fully with these regulations.