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Disaster Declarations Summaries


Version 1                                                                                      Last Refresh 06-30-2020[lql3] 

Entity NameDisasterDeclarationSummaries[lql4] 
API Endpoint[lql5] 
Update Frequency[lql6] R/PT20M
Program URL[lql7] 
Category[LL(8] Disaster Information
Keywordsdisaster, declaration, fema, nemis, emergency
Deprecation Date 
Deprecation Message 
Deprecation New URL[LL(9]  


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

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 after it launched 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.

Full Data[lql10] 

Format[LL(11] Address/URLRecord Count[LL(12] Approximate File Size[LL(13] 

Data Fields[lql14] 

NameTitleTypeDescriptionIs Searchable[LL(15] 
disasterNumberDisaster NumbernumberSequentially assigned number used to designate an event or incident declared as a disaster. For more information on the disaster process, // 
ihProgramDeclaredIH Program DeclaredbooleanDenotes whether the Individuals and Households 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: // 
paProgramDeclaredPA Program DeclaredbooleanDenotes whether the Public Assistance program was declared for this disaster. For more information on the program, please visit: // 
hmProgramDeclaredHM Program DeclaredbooleanDenotes whether the Hazard Mitigation 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. 
declarationDateDeclaration DatedateDate the disaster was declared. 
fyDeclaredFiscal Year DeclareddateThe fiscal year the disaster was declared. 
disasterTypeDisaster TypestringTwo character code that defines if the disaster is a Major Disaster Declaration (DR), Emergency Declaration (EM), Fire Management Assistance Declaration (FM), or Fire Suppression Authorization (FS). For more information on the disaster process, please visit: // 
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: // 
titleTitlestringTitle for the disaster. 
incidentBeginDateIncident Begin DatedateDate the incident itself began. 
incidentEndDateIncident End DatedateDate the incident itself ended. 
disasterCloseOutDateDisaster Close Out DatedateDate all financial transactions for all programs are completed. 
placeCodePlace CodestringA 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. 
declaredCountyAreaDeclared County AreastringThe name or phrase describing the U.S. county that was included in the declaration. 
lastRefreshLast RefreshdateDate the record was last updated in the API data store 
hashHashstringMD5 Hash of the fields and values of the record 
idIDstringUnique ID assigned to the record 

See Also

Access the metadata API calls for additional information:


 [lql1]Overall Comments:

  1.  No accordion or collapsing sections.
  2.  The “contact” value displayed on the current pages is our openfema email address. This is always included at the end of the description anyway, so I think we can eliminate a section for it.
  3.  The “updated date” (on beta site) or “Last Updated” date on the current site seem to represent the last date the page was updated. This is always misunderstood by users who think it means last data refresh. I recommend removing this date. If you must show it, do so at bottom of the page clearly described as “Last webpage update”. We would prefer to exclude it however.

 [lql2]“title” Do not include the prefix “OpenFEMA Dataset:” for any of them.

 [lql3]From “lastRefresh” field. Date only.


 [lql5]“webService” – this is a link

 [lql6]This is a new element called accrualPeriodicity. It is an ISO 8601 Repeating Duration. We would like to mention the format somehow here. Ideas? As a footnote? As a link to a Wikipedia page?

 [lql7]“landingPage” this is a link

 [LL(8]This is a new metadata item:  theme

 [LL(9]These 3 items are new to the metadata:  depDate, depWebMessage, depNewURL. We only want these rows to appear if the deprecation date is not null. The entire dataset page will not appear if the date has passed.

 [lql10]simple table without all stuff.

 [LL(11]We do not want a double line border. I couldn’t get word to work.

 [LL(12]New metadata item: recordCount. Right aligned.

 [LL(13]New metadata item: dataset Size. This is a string. Can be centered aligned.

 [lql14]Like above, simple table.

 [LL(15]New metadata item: isSearchable

 [LL(16]This can easily be generated dynamically. Just replace the dataset name and it will work.