OpenFEMA Dataset: Disaster Declarations Summaries - V1

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This page lists the metadata about our Disaster Declarations Summary API data feed.

Entity Name



FEMA Disaster Declarations Summary is a summarized dataset describing all federally declared disasters. This dataset lists all official FEMA Disaster Declarations, beginning with the first disaster declaration in 1953 and features all three disaster declaration types: major disaster, emergency, and fire management assistance. The dataset includes declared recovery programs and geographic areas (county not available before 1964; Fire Management records are considered partial due to historical nature of the dataset).

Please note the unique structure of the disaster sequencing (due to a numbering system that originated in the 1950's-1970's):
0001-1999     Major Disaster Declaration
2000-2999     Fire Management
3000-3999     Emergency Declaration (Special Emergency)
4000-             Major Disaster Declaration

A Major Disaster can be a result of hurricanes, earthquakes, flood, tornados or major fires; the President then determines warrants supplemental federal aid. The event must be clearly more than state or local governments can handle alone. If declared, funding comes from the President's Disaster Relief Fund, managed by FEMA and disaster aid programs of other participating federal agencies. A Presidential Major Disaster Declaration puts into motion long-term federal recovery programs, some of which are matched by state programs and designed to help disaster victims, businesses and public entities. An Emergency Declaration is more limited in scope and without the long-term federal recovery programs of a Major Disaster Declaration. Generally, federal assistance and funding are provided to meet a specific emergency need or to help prevent a major disaster from occurring.

This is raw, unedited data from FEMA's National Emergency Management Information System (NEMIS) and as such is subject to a small percentage of human error. The dataset is primarily composed of historical data that was manually entered into NEMIS. The NEMIS system started in 1998. The financial information is derived from NEMIS and not FEMA's official financial systems.

Due to differences in reporting periods, status of obligations, and how business rules are applied, this financial information may differ slightly from official publication on public websites such as This dataset is not intended to be used for any official federal financial reporting.



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OpenFEMA -

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disaster, declaration, fema, nemis, emergency

Data Fields

idIDstringUnique ID assigned to the record
declarationDateDeclaration DatedateDate the disaster was declared.
declaredCountyAreaDeclared County AreastringThe name or phrase describing the U.S. county that was included in the declaration.
disasterCloseOutDateDisaster Close Out DatedateDate all financial transactions for all programs are completed.
disasterNumberDisaster NumbernumberSequentially assigned number used to designate an event or incident declared as a disaster. For more information on the disaster process,
disasterTypeDisaster TypestringTwo character code that defines if this is a major disaster, fire management or emergency declaration. For more information on the disaster process, please visit:
hmProgramDeclaredHM Program DeclaredbooleanDenotes whether the Hazard Mitigation program was declared for this disaster. For more information on the program, please visit:
iaProgramDeclaredIA Program DeclaredbooleanDenotes whether the Individual Assistance program was declared for this disaster. For more information on the program, please visit:
ihProgramDeclaredIH Program DeclaredbooleanDenotes whether the Individuals and Households program was declared for this disaster. For more information on the program, please visit:
incidentBeginDateIncident Begin DatedateDate the incident itself began.
incidentEndDateIncident End DatedateDate the incident itself ended.
incidentTypeIncident TypestringType of incident such as fire or flood. The incident type will affect the types of assistance available. For more information on incident types, please visit:
paProgramDeclaredPA Program DeclaredbooleanDenotes whether the Public Assistance program was declared for this disaster. For more information on the program, please visit:
stateStatestringThe name or phrase describing the U.S. state, district, or territory.
titleTitlestringTitle for the disaster.
placeCodePlace CodedatePlace Code: Is a unique code system FEMA uses internally to recognize locations that takes the numbers “99” + the 3-digit county FIPS code. There are some declared locations that don’t have recognized FIPS county codes in which case we assigned a unique identifier.
lastRefreshLast RefreshdateDate the record was last updated in the API data store
hashHashstringA MD5 Hash of fields and values of the record.


Last Updated: 
02/26/2015 - 11:24
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