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10 U.S. Code § 404 - Foreign disaster assistance

(a) In General.—
The President may direct the Secretary of Defense to provide disaster assistance outside the United States to respond to manmade or natural disasters when necessary to prevent loss of lives or serious harm to the environment.
(b) Forms of Assistance.—
Assistance provided under this section may include transportation, supplies, services, and equipment.
(c) Notification Required.—Not later than 48 hours after the commencement of disaster assistance activities to provide assistance under this section, the President shall transmit to Congress a report containing notification of the assistance provided, and proposed to be provided, under this section and a description of so much of the following as is then available:
The manmade or natural disaster for which disaster assistance is necessary.
The threat to human lives or the environment presented by the disaster.
The United States military personnel and material resources that are involved or expected to be involved.
The disaster assistance that is being provided or is expected to be provided by other nations or public or private relief organizations.
The anticipated duration of the disaster assistance activities.
(d) Organizing Policies and Programs.—
Amounts appropriated to the Department of Defense for any fiscal year for Overseas Humanitarian, Disaster, and Civic Aid (OHDACA) programs of the Department shall be available for organizing general policies and programs for disaster relief programs for disasters occurring outside the United States.
(e) Limitation on Transportation Assistance.—
Transportation services authorized under subsection (b) may be provided in response to a manmade or natural disaster to prevent serious harm to the environment, when human lives are not at risk, only if other sources to provide such transportation are not readily available.
Editorial Notes
Prior Provisions

A prior section 404 was renumbered section 401(d) of this title.


2003—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 108–136, § 312(c)(1), inserted “or serious harm to the environment” after “loss of lives”.

Subsec. (c)(2). Pub. L. 108–136, § 312(c)(2), inserted “or the environment” after “human lives”.

Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 108–136, § 312(c)(3), added subsec. (e).

Executive Documents
Ex. Ord. No. 12966. Foreign Disaster Assistance

Ex. Ord. No. 12966, July 14, 1995, 60 F.R. 36949, provided:

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1995, Public Law 103–337 (the “Act”) [see Tables for classification] and section 301 of title 3, United States Code, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. This order governs the implementation of section 404 of title 10, United States Code, as added by amendment set forth in section 1412(a) of the Act. Pursuant to 10 U.S.C. 404(a), the Secretary of Defense is hereby directed to provide disaster assistance outside the United States to respond to manmade or natural disasters when the Secretary of Defense determines that such assistance is necessary to prevent loss of lives. The Secretary of Defense shall exercise the notification functions required of the President by 10 U.S.C. 404(c).

Sec. 2. The Secretary of Defense shall provide disaster assistance only: (a) at the direction of the President; or

(b) with the concurrence of the Secretary of State; or

(c) in emergency situations in order to save human lives, where there is not sufficient time to seek the prior initial concurrence of the Secretary of State, in which case the Secretary of Defense shall advise, and seek the concurrence of, the Secretary of State as soon as practicable thereafter.

For the purpose of section 2(b) of this order, only the Secretary of State, or the Deputy Secretary of State, or persons acting in those capacities, shall have the authority to withhold concurrence. Concurrence of the Secretary of State is not required for the execution of military operations undertaken pursuant to, and consistent with, assistance provided in accordance with parts (b) and (c) of this section, or with respect to matters relating to the internal financial processes of the Department of Defense.

Sec. 3. In providing assistance covered by this order, the Secretary of Defense shall consult with the Administrator of the Agency for International Development, in the Administrator’s capacity as the President’s Special Coordinator for International Disaster Assistance.

Sec. 4. This order does not affect any activity or program authorized under any other provision of law, except that referred to in section 1 of this order.

Sec. 5. This order is effective at 12:01 a.m., e.d.t. on July 15, 1995.

William J. Clinton.