Page images

existing policies, practices, and statutory authority, under circumstances which will not permit delay and pending the determination of the President as to whether there is a "major disaster," as defined in Public Law 875.

There is attached hereto as appendix A a statement of the resources and services available through the Department in disaster situations, together with additional resources and services which might be utilized under Public Law 875 and Executive Order 10427 in major disasters.


(a) Departmental planning.

Under section 2 of Executive Order 10427, Federal agencies are directed to make suitable plans and preparations in anticipation of their responsibilities in the event of a major disaster. It is further provided that the Federal Civil Defense Administrator shall coordinate such advance plans and preparations on behalf of the President.

Pursuant thereto, plans and procedures will be developed by the Department and FCDA:

(1) To provide for interchange of information and continuing liaison between the Department and FCDA, both in Washington and in the field; (2) To insure that accurate and complete information relative to a disaster insofar as it affects the activities of the Department reaches the public promptly.

(3) To arrange an orderly means for coordination by FCDA of the Department's disaster activities with State and local efforts and those of other departments and agencies; and

(4) To provide, when required, for the delegation of authority by FCDA to the Department to undertake specified disaster operations, and for reimbursement by FCDA of services and facilities provided by the Department under such delegations.

Additional plans and procedures will be developed by the Department for its internal use to assure necessary regional and field coordination and coordination among organizational units at the departmental level.

(b) Regional planning

Regional offices of the Department will be authorized to prepare plans and procedures to insure maximum benefit at minimum cost in the utilization of available resources and services of the Department in disaster situations occurring within their respective geographical areas.

It is recognized that the Food and Drug Administration of the Department operates under Federal law and utilizes "district" boundaries which are not coterminous with the normal regional boundaries of the Department. In any matter which requires direct negotiation between the regional director of FCDA and the regional director of the Department, the facilities and services of the Food and Drug Administration will not be committed without prior consultation with the appropriate FDA district chief.

Plans and procedures developed in the regions will include, but are not limited to

(1) Arrangements for interchange of information with the appropriate regional FCDA office regarding existing or threatened disasters, including requests received from the States through appropriate channels (e. g., from a State department of health to a regional medical director);

(2) Preparation of inventories of manpower, equipment, and material available for use in disasters. Such inventories should be compiled at the regional offices of the Department with summaries by types or classes to be furnished to the regional FCDA office;

(3) Exchange of directories of key regional and field personnel of the Department and FCDA;

(4) Statements of geographical and functional areas of responsibility;


(5) Operating procedures having sufficient flexibility to cover varying types of disasters.

All regional plans will be subject to departmental review.


(a) Advance plans and preparations

(See above.)

(b) Federal disaster assistance in general

Public Law 875 and Executive Order 10427 reiterate the policy of utilizing any and all authority available to Federal agencies to assist States and local governments in the alleviation of damage, hardship, and suffering occasioned by disasters. Section 4 of Executive Order 10427 provides that such assistance shall be subject to coordination by the Federal Civil Defense Administrator acting on behalf of the President.

Coordination by FCDA will consist of the evaluation of requests received and total assistance needed, and the facilitation of necessary action by various Federal agencies to meet problems involved. FCDA will make necessary decisions regarding assistance to be furnished in cases where two or more Federal agencies have conflicting or overlapping interests or authorities. FCDA will not supervise or direct the operations of the various Federal agencies.

Responsibility for field coordination (as above defined) has been delegated by FCDA to its regional directors.

(c) Federal assistance in major disasters

Disasters determined to be, or threatening to be, "major disasters," as defined in Public Law 875, will be coordinated by FCDA to insure adequate and economical operation in furnishing Federal assistance.

When necessary assistance is immediately required, the regional director, or other appropriate official, of the Department will, upon request of the State, or where required by Federal law, act promptly. The FCDA regional director will be notified of action taken at the earliest opportunity subsequent thereto. Instances where the furnishing of assistance will not be delayed, the FCDA regional director should be notified of the request for assistance prior to such action being taken.

(d) Federal assistance in nonmajor disasters

Disasters not declared by the President to be major disasters may require Federal assistance entirely within the scope of authority and customary practice of the Department. In such instances, FCDA coordination is not normally anticipated, but pertinent information should be furnished to FCDA upon request.


(a) Providing such assistance

When the President has determined that a major disaster exists, the Federal Civil Defense Administrator is authorized, within the scope of the President's determination, to direct Federal agencies to provide assistance in conformity with section 33 of Public Law 875. The Administrator has delegated this authority to each FCDA regional director for his region.

Upon written request and authorization by an FCDA regional director to a regional director of the Department, appropriate regional or field officials of the Department are authorized to furnish personnel, equipment, or other resources which can be made available within that region, in accordance with the provisions outlined in the request.

(b) Reimbursement for such assistance

The additional cost to the Department in furnishing assistance requested and authorized by FCDA under the provisions of section 3 of Public Law 875 may be subject to reimbursement. Such reimbursement will generally be from a specific allotment of funds available to the President under Public Law 875 and will cover expenses incurred by the Department in furnishing assistance which is over and above the normal day-to-day operating expenses of the Department. These additional expenses may include, but are not necssarily limited to, pay of additional personnel; overtime pay of all personnel; per diem expenses and transportation of personnel; materials and supplies; cost of operating equipment and processing equipment in and out of storage; packing and crating; costs of materials, equipment, and supplies furnished and not returned; and, in certain cases, replacing major items of equipment lost or damaged beyond economical repair.

69096-56-pt. 1—8

Requests for reimbursement must be fully documented. Records of the Department pertinent thereto will be open for examination by authorized FCDA representatives.

Reimbursement will not be requested for any obligation incurred prior to the Presidential declaration of the existence of a major disaster. It is further understood that expenses of the Department incident to predisaster planning and expenses of operation in disasters other than major disasters are not reimbursable from Public Law 875 funds.


This memorandum of understanding will be circulated within the Department and FCDA at both departmental and field levels, and to State governors, heads of appropriate State departments, and to State and local civil-defense offices. Whenever a question of interpretation relative to this agreement cannot be resolved at the regional level, the matter shall be referred by the regional director for decision at higher headquarters.

This agreement is separate from, and does not affect, other agreements pursuant to Public Law 920, 81st Congress, covering disasters induced by enemy attack.


Secretary, Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.

[blocks in formation]

To accompany memorandum of understanding between the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, and the Federal Civil Defense Administration concerning responsibilities in disaster operations other than those induced by enemy attack


The purpose of appendix A is to outline briefly the resources and services of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare which may be made available on request to meet situations caused by disasters, and the additional departmental resources and services which might be utilized under reimbursement procedures in event of a "major disaster," as defined in Public Law 875.

The descriptions which follow are arranged by organizational units of the Department.


The Department maintains regional offices located in Boston; New York; Washington, D. C.; Cleveland; Chicago; Atlanta; Kansas City (Mo.); Dallas; Denver; and San Francisco. These offices provide the States comprising each region with technical and other services related to the programs for which the Department has responsibiliy.

The director of each regional office represents the Secretary in exercising leadership and general administrative supervision of the regional staff and in maintaining liaison with Federal and State officials within the region. In the event of a disaster, and upon request, the Regional Director will take prompt action to make available the resources and services of the Department and its constituents to assist the State (or States) and the affected communities therein.


The Public Health Service assists the States in preventing and controlling communicable and chronic diseases, and in providing, through the Hill-Burton program, a stimulus to the development of hospitals and related medical care facilities. It maintains a national quarantine system for preventing the entrance of exotic diseases, operates hospitals and clinics for merchant seamen and other Federal beneficiaries, and conducts a large-scale program of medical research.

Regional medical directors of the Public Health Service, located in the regional offices of the Department, supervise public health assistance to States located within their regions. Such assistance is customarily provided in the form of grants of funds, as authorized under section 314 of the Public Health Service Act (Public Law 410, 78th Cong.) and by detail of professional personnel on State request under section 214. More generally, section 311 of the Public Health Service Act directs the Surgeon General to assist States and their political subdivision in prevention and suppression of communicable diseases and in enforcement of local health regulations; also the interstate quarantine regulations of the Service, issued under section 361 of the act, authorize the Surgeon General to take special measures to prevent the interstate spread of communicable diseases.

In the event of emergency or disaster, the President, under section 216 of the act, may direct the utilization of the administrative organization of the Public Health Service and of its specialized personnel, equipment, and other facilities.

Disasters cause a breakdown of public health safeguards resulting from damage to, and failure of, certain public works, public services, and other facilities upon which present-day urban communities have become almost totally dependent. Familiar examples are: Facilities for maintaining a safe and adequate supply of water; facilities for collecting, treating, and disposing of sewage, garbage, and other community wastes; measures for controlling and protecting against rodents and insects which transmit disease; procedures for maintaining food and milk free from contamination; and adequate shelter.

Unless protective measures are promptly taken following a disaster (i. e., emergency medical measures, such as immunization, together with emergency sanitation procedures and emergency repair of the affected facilities), there is the hazard of large-scale epidemics of communicable diseases. The potential seriousness of such situations in time of disaster is one of the basic reasons for the unique and powerful authority of the health officer in the American State or community.

In the event of a natural disaster, the regional medical director is responsible for the coordination and management of all disaster operations of the Public Health Service in his area. He will work through appropriate State and local governmental authorities and he may call upon any component part of the Public Health Service for aid. He will also maintain close liaison with the field organization of the American Red Cross in the disaster area.

The regional medical director can assist the States and communities during disasters by providing resources of personnel, equipment, and supplies, and by mobilizing and deploying similar resources from other sources outside the affected area. He can negotiate on behalf of the States for the procurement of personnel, transportation, equipment, and supplies from any source in the country. Through the Public Health Service reserve corps, the regional medical director can arrange to have specialists called to active duty and assigned where needed regardless of State boundaries and other legal limitations and difficulties.

Public Health Service Resources.-The Public Health Service has available for emergency assignment to affected areas members of its staff located throughout the country. Such professional personnel include:

(1) Medical and nursing personnel to assist in emergency medical care and control of communicable diseases;

(2) Engineers, entomologists, sanitarians, laboratory technicians, and related personnel to assist in maintaining an adequate and safe supply of water, safe food supplies, sanitary waste disposal, adequate refuse disposal facilities, and control of insects and rodents;

(3) Epidemiologists and laboratory specialists to investigate epidemics and determine procedures for curtailing them; and

(4) Public Health veterinarians to investigate and curtail diseases of animals which may be transmitted to man.

The Public Health Service maintains a system of hospitals and outpatient clinics located throughout the country. These can be made available when local hospital and medical care facilities are overtaxed.

The Public Health Service also maintains in reserve readiness certain disaster aid equipment and materials to assist in protecting the health of disaster victims. These facilities are dispersed throughout the country at five key points: Atlanta, Ga.; Boston, Mass.; Dallas, Tex.; San Francisco, Calif.; and Topeka, Kans. They include the following:

(1) For emergency water treatment.-Purification units, storage tanks, main sterilizers, dewatering pumps, hypochlorinators, power generators, motor drying equipment, and disinfecting chemicals;

(2) For controlling insects and rodents.-Equipment for dispersing insecticides including aircraft, and, when they cannot be obtained from commercial sources, insecticides, and rodenticides;

(3) For transportation.-A number of trucks, passenger vehicles, and other field vehicles can be made available from regular Public Health Service operating units; and

(4) For emergency immunizations.—Certain immunizing agents.


The Food and Drug Administration has responsibility for consumer protection under Federal Law (Public Law 717, 75th Cong.). This involves controlling the purity, safety, and honest labeling of foods, drugs, devices, and cosmetics which are in interstate commerce.

It is the policy of the Food and Drug Administration to pool its forces with those of cooperating State, county, and city food and drug enforcement officials in time of disaster, such as hurricane or flood, in order to assure that:

(1) All damaged stocks of food and drugs are impounded;

(2) Impounded lots are rendered fit for human consumption under supervision of a competent inspector or are destroyed under such supervision; (3) All damaged food and drug manufacturing and warehousing establishments are closed; and

(4) Closed factories and equipment and raw materials therein are restored to proper operating condition before resumption of manufacturing operations is permitted.

The forces available to the Food and Drug Administration for this work are: 225 food and drug inspectors and 155 food and drug chemists located at 16 field districts. In emergencies, personnel may be shifted into an affected area from their regular stations elsewhere.

In a major disaster (such as the Kansas floods of 1951), the following procedures are typical of Federal, State, and local food and drug cooperation:

(1) Agreement with civil and military authorities that food and drug inspectors shall have access to disaster areas at the earliest possible time; (2) Cooperative enforcement and inspection arrangements among local, State, and Federal food and drug agencies;

(3) Conferences with trade groups and transportation agencies to plan the handling of damaged foods and drugs;

(4) Invocation of State quarantine or embargo powers to prevent movement of damaged commodities, supplemented by local municipal regulation; (5) Notification to the trade and to the public of proper methods for handling contaminated, spoiled, or suspect foods and drugs;

(6) Arrangements for voluntary destruction of contaminated goods without prior inspection;

(7) Permission for movement of foods and drugs elsewhere for salvage or destruction-with prior consent of Federal agency if goods are to move interstate, or of State authorities if movement is intrastate;

(8) Provision for adequate means of disposal of condemned goods;
(9) No summary destruction without due process of law; and

(10) Temporary suspension of operating permits of food manufacturing and handling establishments until inspection and assurance of proper cleanliness.


(1) Old-age and survivors insurance. The principal service available through this program in disaster areas is the provision of prompt assistance to the survivors of victims of the disaster in obtaining settlement of the claims of such survivors for OASI benefits. Processing of such claims is expedited by the use of teletype lists of victims, together with identifying information. These are prepared by the nearest OASI field office for the purpose of obtaining the wage data required for benefit computation. If necessary, a temporary field office is established in the disaster area. These benefit payments constitute a financial resource to the survivors and are consequently related to the restoration of the community economy.

« PreviousContinue »