Disaster Relief Act

DEFINITION of 'Disaster Relief Act'

A United States federal law passed in 1974 that laid down the process through which the president's declaration of a disaster triggers a system of financial and other assistance by the federal government to state and local governments. It was amended in 1988 by the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, which activates federal assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

BREAKING DOWN 'Disaster Relief Act'

Disasters often cause loss of life and property, loss of income and human suffering; they also disrupt the normal functioning of governments and communities. The Disaster Relief Act provided an orderly and continuing means of assistance by the federal government to state and local governments, which enables them to fulfill their responsibilities to alleviate the suffering and damage caused by disasters such as floods, earthquakes and hurricanes.

It should be noted that activation of disaster relief is not restricted only to natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and other major disasters. It may also be triggered in the event of any emergency, as determined by the U.S. president, in which federal assistance is needed to supplement state and local governments to save lives and protect property, or to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in any part of the U.S.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Disaster Loss

    A special type of tax-deductible loss, similar to a casualty ...
  2. Catastrophe Loss Index - CLI

    An index used in the insurance industry to quantify the magnitude ...
  3. Catalog Of Federal Domestic Assistance ...

    A compendium of Federal assistance programs, which are administered ...
  4. Act Of God Bond

    A bond issued by an insurance company, linking principal and ...
  5. Coastal Barrier Improvement (CBI) ...

    A federal law that makes federal disaster relief and federal ...
  6. Federal Debt

    The total amount of money that the United States federal government ...
Related Articles
  1. Economics

    The Financial Effects of a Natural Disaster

    We're all subject to Mother Nature's whims - and the damage can have far-reaching effects.
  2. Budgeting

    Building An Emergency Fund

    An emergency fund can mean the difference between tough times and a total financial disaster. Find out how an emergency fund works and why you need one now.
  3. Home & Auto

    Prepare Your Finances to Handle Natural Disasters

    The Fort McMurray, Canada, fire is a reminder to take these easy steps to protect your financial interests from natural disasters.
  4. Forex Education

    How Global Events Affect The Forex Market

    Learn how politics, war and natural disasters move the forex market, and how you should respond.
  5. Insurance

    How to Financially Prepare for a Hurricane

    Insurance isn't enough: How to ensure that you're ready financially for a natural disaster.
  6. Personal Finance

    Eight Financial Safeguards If Disaster Strikes

    In an emergency like a fire, hurricane, flood, tornado or earthquake, you may not be able to protect your home. But you can take steps to avoid financial disaster.
  7. Economics

    Explaining Limited Government

    Limited government is a political viewpoint that favors few, if any, government controls on individuals and the economy.
  8. Economics

    What's the 1913 Federal Reserve Act?

    The 1913 Federal Reserve Act was a pivotal congressional act that helped establish the Federal Reserve System as it exists today. It is one of the United States financial system’s most influential ...
  9. Credit & Loans

    Getting Government Loans For Your Small Business

    Would a government loan provide a more cost-effective way to finance your business? See whether your company qualifies for a government loan.
  10. Economics

    Regional Banks Give The Fed A National Perspective

    We all know that the Federal Reserve utilizes monetary policy to control the economy, but what do the 12 regional Federal Reserve Banks do?
RELATED FAQS
  1. Can state and local governments in the US run fiscal deficits?

    Discover why most state and local governments do not – or cannot – run fiscal deficits in the same manner as the U.S. federal ... Read Answer >>
  2. How do open market operations affect the money supply of an economy?

    Understand how open market operation affect the supply of money in the economy and learn the specific ways the Federal Reserve ... Read Answer >>
  3. Where can I buy government bonds?

    The type of bond determines where you can purchase it, so you need to decide which type of bond you would like to purchase ... Read Answer >>
  4. When was the last time the Federal Reserve hiked interest rates?

    Learn about when the U.S. Federal Reserve last increased the federal funds target rate, which was in June 2006 after the ... Read Answer >>
  5. What are some different kinds of expansionary policy?

    Learn the most popular types of expansionary policy used by the federal government and the Federal Reserve to increase the ... Read Answer >>
  6. If the government was considering a change in the federal policy on taxation of ...

    The correct answer is d): Regulatory risk refers to the financial uncertainty surrounding legislative changes at the federal, ... Read Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Labor Market

    The labor market refers to the supply and demand for labor, in which employees provide the supply and employers the demand. ...
  2. Demand Curve

    The demand curve is a graphical representation of the relationship between the price of a good or service and the quantity ...
  3. Goldilocks Economy

    An economy that is not so hot that it causes inflation, and not so cold that it causes a recession. This term is used to ...
  4. White Squire

    Very similar to a "white knight", but instead of purchasing a majority interest, the squire purchases a lesser interest in ...
  5. MACD Technical Indicator

    Moving Average Convergence Divergence (or MACD) is a trend-following momentum indicator that shows the relationship between ...
  6. Over-The-Counter - OTC

    Over-The-Counter (or OTC) is a security traded in some context other than on a formal exchange such as the NYSE, TSX, AMEX, ...
Trading Center