Federal Emergency Management Agency System

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Allison Taggart Federal Emergency Management Agency SEMT335-E1WW January 31, 2015 Federal Emergency Management Agency Creation The Federal Emergency Management Agency can be traced back to the Congressional Act of 1803. This act was the result of an extensive fire in a New Hampshire town needing assistance, and is generally considered to be the first piece of disaster legislation (About the Agency, 2014). Over the next century or so, disaster legislation was put to use in response to natural disasters including hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, tornados, etc. approximately 100 times. The Disaster Relief Act of 1950 gave the President authority to issue disaster declarations that allowed Federal agencies to provide direct assistance to State and local governments (IS-230, 2014). This creation of legislation led to a complex system of agencies, programs, policies which often overlapped between state and local governments. Because of this, the National Governor’s Association asked President Carter to centralize federal emergency functions. FEMA was signed into law on April 1, 1979 by President Carter through Executive Order 12127 (IS-230, 2014). However, during the 1980’s there were not many large scale disasters in which the agency needed to respond and it became a quiet administrative department. Then, in 1992 Hurricane Andrew, a category 5 hurricane, struck Florida leaving thousands of citizens without food or water. Local agencies had to wait five days
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