42 U.S. Code § 5133. Predisaster hazard mitigation

(a) Definition of small impoverished community

In this section, the term “small impoverished community means a community of 3,000 or fewer individuals that is economically disadvantaged, as determined by the State in which the community is located and based on criteria established by the President.

(b) Establishment of program

The President may establish a program to provide technical and financial assistance to States and local governments to assist in the implementation of predisaster hazard mitigation measures that are cost-effective and are designed to reduce injuries, loss of life, and damage and destruction of property, including damage to critical services and facilities under the jurisdiction of the States or local governments.

(c) Approval by President

If the President determines that a State or local government has identified natural disaster hazards in areas under its jurisdiction and has demonstrated the ability to form effective public-private natural disaster hazard mitigation partnerships, the President, using amounts in the National Public Infrastructure Predisaster Mitigation Fund established under subsection (i) (referred to in this section as the “Fund”), may provide technical and financial assistance to the State or local government to be used in accordance with subsection (e).

(d) State recommendations
(1) In general
(A) Recommendations

The Governor of each State may recommend to the President not fewer than five local governments to receive assistance under this section.

(B) Deadline for submission

The recommendations under subparagraph (A) shall be submitted to the President not later than October 1, 2001, and each October 1st thereafter or such later date in the year as the President may establish.

(C) Criteria

In making recommendations under subparagraph (A), a Governor shall consider the criteria specified in subsection (g).

(2) Use
(A) In general

Except as provided in subparagraph (B), in providing assistance to local governments under this section, the President shall select from local governments recommended by the Governors under this subsection.

(B) Extraordinary circumstances

In providing assistance to local governments under this section, the President may select a local government that has not been recommended by a Governor under this subsection if the President determines that extraordinary circumstances justify the selection and that making the selection will further the purpose of this section.

(3) Effect of failure to nominate

If a Governor of a State fails to submit recommendations under this subsection in a timely manner, the President may select, subject to the criteria specified in subsection (g), any local governments of the State to receive assistance under this section.

(e) Uses of technical and financial assistance
(1) In generalTechnical and financial assistance provided under this section—
(A)
shall be used by States and local governments principally to implement predisaster hazard mitigation measures that are cost-effective and are described in proposals approved by the President under this section; and
(B) may be used—
(i)
to support effective public-private natural disaster hazard mitigation partnerships;
(ii)
to improve the assessment of a community’s vulnerability to natural hazards;
(iii)
to establish hazard mitigation priorities, and an appropriate hazard mitigation plan, for a community; or
(iv)
to establish and carry out enforcement activities and implement the latest published editions of relevant consensus-based codes, specifications, and standards that incorporate the latest hazard-resistant designs and establish minimum acceptable criteria for the design, construction, and maintenance of residential structures and facilities that may be eligible for assistance under this chapter for the purpose of protecting the health, safety, and general welfare of the buildings’ users against disasters.
(2) Dissemination

A State or local government may use not more than 10 percent of the financial assistance received by the State or local government under this section for a fiscal year to fund activities to disseminate information regarding cost-effective mitigation technologies.

(f) Allocation of funds
(1) In general

The President shall award financial assistance under this section on a competitive basis for mitigation activities that are cost effective and in accordance with the criteria in subsection (g).

(2) Minimum and maximum amountsIn providing financial assistance under this section, the President shall ensure that the amount of financial assistance made available to a State (including amounts made available to local governments of the State) for a fiscal year—
(A) is not less than the lesser of—
(i)
$575,000; or
(ii)
the amount that is equal to 1 percent of the total funds appropriated to carry out this section for the fiscal year; and
(B)
does not exceed the amount that is equal to 15 percent of the total funds appropriated to carry out this section for the fiscal year.
(3) Redistribution of unobligated amountsThe President may—
(A)
withdraw amounts of financial assistance made available to a State (including amounts made available to local governments of a State) under this subsection that remain unobligated by the end of the third fiscal year after the fiscal year for which the amounts were allocated; and
(B)
in the fiscal year following a fiscal year in which amounts were withdrawn under subparagraph (A), add the amounts to any other amounts available to be awarded on a competitive basis pursuant to paragraph (1).
(g) Criteria for assistance awardsIn determining whether to provide technical and financial assistance to a State or local government under this section, the President shall provide financial assistance only in States that have received a major disaster declaration in the previous 7 years, or to any Indian tribal government located partially or entirely within the boundaries of such States, and take into account—
(1)
the extent and nature of the hazards to be mitigated;
(2)
the degree of commitment of the State or local government to reduce damages from future natural disasters;
(3)
the degree of commitment by the State or local government to support ongoing non-Federal support for the hazard mitigation measures to be carried out using the technical and financial assistance;
(4)
the extent to which the hazard mitigation measures to be carried out using the technical and financial assistance contribute to the mitigation goals and priorities established by the State;
(5)
the extent to which the technical and financial assistance is consistent with other assistance provided under this chapter;
(6)
the extent to which prioritized, cost-effective mitigation activities that produce meaningful and definable outcomes are clearly identified;
(7)
if the State or local government has submitted a mitigation plan under section 5165 of this title, the extent to which the activities identified under paragraph (6) are consistent with the mitigation plan;
(8)
the opportunity to fund activities that maximize net benefits to society;
(9)
the extent to which assistance will fund mitigation activities in small impoverished communities;
(10)
the extent to which the State, local, Indian tribal, or territorial government has facilitated the adoption and enforcement of the latest published editions of relevant consensus-based codes, specifications, and standards, including amendments made by State, local, Indian tribal, or territorial governments during the adoption process that incorporate the latest hazard-resistant designs and establish criteria for the design, construction, and maintenance of residential structures and facilities that may be eligible for assistance under this chapter for the purpose of protecting the health, safety, and general welfare of the buildings’ users against disasters;
(11)
the extent to which the assistance will fund activities that increase the level of resiliency; and
(12)
such other criteria as the President establishes in consultation with State and local governments.
(h) Federal share
(1) In general

Financial assistance provided under this section may contribute up to 75 percent of the total cost of mitigation activities approved by the President.

(2) Small impoverished communities

Notwithstanding paragraph (1), the President may contribute up to 90 percent of the total cost of a mitigation activity carried out in a small impoverished community.

(i) National public infrastructure predisaster mitigation assistance
(1) In general

The President may set aside from the Disaster Relief Fund, with respect to each major disaster, an amount equal to 6 percent of the estimated aggregate amount of the grants to be made pursuant to sections 5170b, 5172, 5173, 5174, 5177, 5183, and 5189f of this title for the major disaster in order to provide technical and financial assistance under this section and such set aside shall be deemed to be related to activities carried out pursuant to major disasters under this chapter.

(2) Estimated aggregate amount

Not later than 180 days after each major disaster declaration pursuant to this chapter, the estimated aggregate amount of grants for purposes of paragraph (1) shall be determined by the President and such estimated amount need not be reduced, increased, or changed due to variations in estimates.

(3) No reduction in amounts

The amount set aside pursuant to paragraph (1) shall not reduce the amounts otherwise made available for sections 5170b, 5170c, 5172, 5173, 5174, 5177, 5183, and 5189f of this title under this chapter.

(j) Multihazard advisory maps
(1) Definition of multihazard advisory map

In this subsection, the term “multihazard advisory map means a map on which hazard data concerning each type of natural disaster is identified simultaneously for the purpose of showing areas of hazard overlap.

(2) Development of maps

In consultation with States, local governments, and appropriate Federal agencies, the President shall develop multihazard advisory maps for areas, in not fewer than five States, that are subject to commonly recurring natural hazards (including flooding, hurricanes and severe winds, and seismic events).

(3) Use of technology

In developing multihazard advisory maps under this subsection, the President shall use, to the maximum extent practicable, the most cost-effective and efficient technology available.

(4) Use of maps
(A) Advisory nature

The multihazard advisory maps shall be considered to be advisory and shall not require the development of any new policy by, or impose any new policy on, any government or private entity.

(B) Availability of mapsThe multihazard advisory maps shall be made available to the appropriate State and local governments for the purposes of—
(i)
informing the general public about the risks of natural hazards in the areas described in paragraph (2);
(ii)
supporting the activities described in subsection (e); and
(iii)
other public uses.
(k) Report on Federal and State administration

Not later than 18 months after October 30, 2000, the President, in consultation with State and local governments, shall submit to Congress a report evaluating efforts to implement this section and recommending a process for transferring greater authority and responsibility for administering the assistance program established under this section to capable States.

(l) Prohibition on earmarks
(1) Definition

In this subsection, the term “congressionally directed spending means a statutory provision or report language included primarily at the request of a Senator or a Member, Delegate or Resident Commissioner of the House of Representatives providing, authorizing, or recommending a specific amount of discretionary budget authority, credit authority, or other spending authority for a contract, loan, loan guarantee, grant, loan authority, or other expenditure with or to an entity, or targeted to a specific State, locality, or Congressional district, other than through a statutory or administrative formula-driven or competitive award process.

(2) Prohibition

None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available to carry out this section may be used for congressionally directed spending.

(3) Certification to Congress

The Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency shall submit to Congress a certification regarding whether all financial assistance under this section was awarded in accordance with this section.

(m) Latest Published Editions

For purposes of subsections (e)(1)(B)(iv) and (g)(10), the term “latest published editions means, with respect to relevant consensus-based codes, specifications, and standards, the 2 most recently published editions.

(Pub. L. 93–288, title II, § 203, as added Pub. L. 106–390, title I, § 102(a), Oct. 30, 2000, 114 Stat. 1553; amended Pub. L. 108–199, div. H, § 135, Jan. 23, 2004, 118 Stat. 441; Pub. L. 108–447, div. J, title I, § 105, Dec. 8, 2004, 118 Stat. 3343; Pub. L. 109–139, § 2, Dec. 22, 2005, 119 Stat. 2649; Pub. L. 110–329, div. D, title V, § 553, Sept. 30, 2008, 122 Stat. 3690; Pub. L. 111–83, title V, § 543, Oct. 28, 2009, 123 Stat. 2176; Pub. L. 111–351, §§ 3(a), (b), 4, Jan. 4, 2011, 124 Stat. 3864; Pub. L. 115–254, div. D, § 1234(a), (d), Oct. 5, 2018, 132 Stat. 3461, 3463.)
Amendment of Section

For termination of amendment by section 1234(a)(8) of Pub. L. 115–254, see Termination Date of 2018 Amendment note below.

References in Text

This chapter, referred to in subsecs. (e)(1)(B)(iv), (g)(5), (10), and (i), 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.

Amendments

2018—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 115–254, § 1234(a)(1), inserted “Public Infrastructure” after “National”.

Subsec. (e)(1)(B)(iv). Pub. L. 115–254, § 1234(a)(2), added cl. (iv).

Subsec. (f)(1). Pub. L. 115–254, § 1234(a)(3)(A), inserted “for mitigation activities that are cost effective” after “competitive basis”.

Subsec. (f)(3). Pub. L. 115–254, § 1234(a)(3)(B), added par. (3).

Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 115–254, § 1234(a)(4)(A), in introductory provisions, inserted “provide financial assistance only in States that have received a major disaster declaration in the previous 7 years, or to any Indian tribal government located partially or entirely within the boundaries of such States, and” after “the President shall”.

Subsec. (g)(10) to (12). Pub. L. 115–254, § 1234(a)(4)(B)–(D), added pars. (10) and (11), and redesignated former par. (10) as (12).

Subsec. (i). Pub. L. 115–254, § 1234(a)(5), added subsec. (i) and struck out former subsec. (i) which related to National Predisaster Mitigation Fund.

Subsecs. (j) to (l). Pub. L. 115–254, § 1234(a)(6), (7), redesignated subsecs. (k), (l), and (n) as (j), (k), and (l), respectively, and struck out former subsec. (j) which related to limitation on total amount of financial assistance.

Subsec. (m). Pub. L. 115–254, § 1234(d), struck out subsec. (m) which defined the term “latest published editions” for subsecs. (e)(1)(B)(iv) and (g)(10).

Pub. L. 115–254, § 1234(a)(6), (8), added subsec. (m) and struck out former subsec. (m) which related to authorization of appropriations.

Subsec. (n). Pub. L. 115–254, § 1234(a)(7), redesignated subsec. (n) as (l).

2011—Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 111–351, § 3(a), amended subsec. (f) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (f) related to a different allocation of funds.

Subsec. (m). Pub. L. 111–351, § 3(b), amended subsec. (m) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (m) related to the termination of this section on Sept. 30, 2010.

Subsec. (n). Pub. L. 111–351, § 4, added subsec. (n).

2009—Subsec. (m). Pub. L. 111–83 substituted “September 30, 2010” for “September 30, 2009”.

2008—Subsec. (m). Pub. L. 110–329 substituted “September 30, 2009” for “September 30, 2008”.

2005—Subsec. (m). Pub. L. 109–139 substituted “September 30, 2008” for “December 31, 2005”.

2004—Subsec. (m). Pub. L. 108–447 substituted “2005” for “2004”.

Pub. L. 108–199 substituted “2004” for “2003”.

Effective Date of 2018 Amendment

Pub. L. 115–254, div. D, § 1234(b), Oct. 5, 2018, 132 Stat. 3462, provided that:

“The amendments made to section 203 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5133) by paragraphs (3) and (5) of subsection (a) shall apply to funds appropriated on or after the date of enactment of this Act [Oct. 5, 2018].”

Amendment by Pub. L. 115–254 applicable to each major disaster and emergency declared by the President on or after Aug. 1, 2017, and authorities provided under div. D of Pub. L. 115–254 applicable to each major disaster and emergency declared by the President on or after Jan. 1, 2016, except as otherwise provided, see section 1202 of Pub. L. 115–254, set out as a note under section 5121 of this title.

Termination Date of 2018 Amendment

Pub. L. 115–254, div. D, § 1234(d), Oct. 5, 2018, 132 Stat. 3463, provided that:

“On the date that is 5 years after the date of enactment of this Act [Oct. 5, 2018], section 203 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5133) is amended by striking subsection (m), as added by subsection (a)(8) of this section.”
Findings

Pub. L. 111–351, § 2, Jan. 4, 2011, 124 Stat. 3863, provided that:

Congress finds the following:
“(1)
The predisaster hazard mitigation program has been successful and cost-effective. Funding from the predisaster hazard mitigation program has successfully reduced loss of life, personal injuries, damage to and destruction of property, and disruption of communities from disasters.
“(2)
The predisaster hazard mitigation program has saved Federal taxpayers from spending significant sums on disaster recovery and relief that would have been otherwise incurred had communities not successfully applied mitigation techniques.
“(3)
A 2007 Congressional Budget Office report found that the predisaster hazard mitigation program reduced losses by roughly $3 (measured in 2007 dollars) for each dollar invested in mitigation efforts funded under the predisaster hazard mitigation program. Moreover, the Congressional Budget Office found that projects funded under the predisaster hazard mitigation program could lower the need for post-disaster assistance from the Federal Government so that the predisaster hazard mitigation investment by the Federal Government would actually save taxpayer funds.
“(4)
A 2005 report by the Multihazard Mitigation Council showed substantial benefits and cost savings from the hazard mitigation programs of the Federal Emergency Management Agency generally. Looking at a range of hazard mitigation programs of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the study found that, on average, $1 invested by the Federal Emergency Management Agency in hazard mitigation provided the Nation with roughly $4 in benefits. Moreover, the report projected that the mitigation grants awarded between 1993 and 2003 would save more than 220 lives and prevent nearly 4,700 injuries over approximately 50 years.
“(5)
Given the substantial savings generated from the predisaster hazard mitigation program in the years following the provision of assistance under the program, increasing funds appropriated for the program would be a wise investment.”
Findings and Purpose

Pub. L. 106–390, title I, § 101, Oct. 30, 2000, 114 Stat. 1552, provided that:

“(a)Findings.—Congress finds that—
“(1)
natural disasters, including earthquakes, tsunamis, tornadoes, hurricanes, flooding, and wildfires, pose great danger to human life and to property throughout the United States;
“(2) greater emphasis needs to be placed on—
“(A)
identifying and assessing the risks to States and local governments (including Indian tribes) from natural disasters;
“(B)
implementing adequate measures to reduce losses from natural disasters; and
“(C)
ensuring that the critical services and facilities of communities will continue to function after a natural disaster;
“(3)
expenditures for postdisaster assistance are increasing without commensurate reductions in the likelihood of future losses from natural disasters;
“(4)
in the expenditure of Federal funds under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq.), high priority should be given to mitigation of hazards at the local level; and
“(5) with a unified effort of economic incentives, awareness and education, technical assistance, and demonstrated Federal support, States and local governments (including Indian tribes) will be able to—
“(A)
form effective community-based partnerships for hazard mitigation purposes;
“(B)
implement effective hazard mitigation measures that reduce the potential damage from natural disasters;
“(C)
ensure continued functionality of critical services;
“(D)
leverage additional non-Federal resources in meeting natural disaster resistance goals; and
“(E)
make commitments to long-term hazard mitigation efforts to be applied to new and existing structures.
“(b)Purpose.—The purpose of this title [enacting this section and sections 5134, 5165 and 5165a of this title, amending section 5170c of this title, and repealing section 5176 of this title] is to establish a national disaster hazard mitigation program—
“(1)
to reduce the loss of life and property, human suffering, economic disruption, and disaster assistance costs resulting from natural disasters; and
“(2)
to provide a source of predisaster hazard mitigation funding that will assist States and local governments (including Indian tribes) in implementing effective hazard mitigation measures that are designed to ensure the continued functionality of critical services and facilities after a natural disaster.”