National Disasters and Emergencies: Federal Response Authority
Terry Matthewson (Editor)
Series: Natural Disaster Research, Prediction and Mitigation
When there is a catastrophe in the United States, state and local governments lead response activities, invoking state and local legal authorities to support them. When state and local response capabilities are overwhelmed, the President, acting through the Secretary of Homeland Security, can provide assistance to stricken communities, individuals, governments, and not-for-profit groups to assist in response and recovery. Aid is provided under the authority of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (the Stafford Act) upon a presidential declaration.
The Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) also has both standing and emergency authorities in the Public Health Service Act, by which he or she can provide assistance in response to public health and medical emergencies. This book examines, with respect to public health and medical incidents, the authorities and coordinating mechanisms of the President and the Secretary of HHS in providing routine assistance, and assistance pursuant to the Stafford Act and/or the Public Health Service Act; mechanisms to assure a coordinated federal response to these incidents, and overlaps or gaps in agency responsibilities; and existing mechanisms, potential gaps, and proposals to fund the costs of a response to public health and medical incidents. (Imprint: Nova)