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Statement Regarding FEMAs Emergency Declaration $5 Million Cap

Release date: 
January 13, 2020
Release Number: 
EM-3426-PR NR 001

In practice, the $5 million “cap” on an EM declaration limit is not a hard limit, and provides a requirement that FEMA notify Congress when an emergency goes above $5 million. In order for the cap to be exceeded, the President must determine that: continued emergency assistance is immediately required; there is a continuing and immediate risk to lives, property, public health or safety; and necessary assistance will not otherwise be provided on a timely basis. Whenever the limit is exceeded, the Stafford Act directs the President to provide a report to Congress on the nature and extent of emergency assistance requirements. It is relatively common for this “cap” to be exceeded prior to issuance of a major disaster declaration.
 

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Last Updated: 
January 13, 2020 - 18:22