The Sandy Recovery Improvement Act of 2013 (SRIA) amended the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §§ 5121 et seq. (Stafford Act), to provide federally recognized Indian tribal governments (tribal governments) the option to request a Presidential emergency or major disaster declaration. FEMA is implementing this authority in three phases:
- Use of state regulations (January 29, 2013 - January 9, 2017): To provide tribal governments the choice to use the authority provided by SRIA immediately following its enactment, FEMA began processing tribal declaration requests using state declaration regulations.
- Pilot period (January 10, 2017 – TBD): The release of the Tribal Declarations Pilot Guidance marks the official beginning of the pilot period for tribal declarations utilizing the guidance.
- Rulemaking: Following the pilot period, FEMA will implement this authority through notice and comment rulemaking.