Page images
PDF
EPUB

In disaster situations, OASI field offices are permitted, under regulations dealing with confidentiality of official information, to disclose information concerning the victims for the purpose of locating relatives and identifying persons who are dead, unconscious, or suffering from shock. Such information should be requested in writing by a Federal, State, or municipal official.

(2) Publio assistance.-In event of a major disaster, regional staff of the Bureau of Public Assistance will, upon request, cooperate with their State agency counterparts in planning and special welfare and consultative services which these agencies may be called upon to render in the disaster area.

(3) Children's Bureau.—In the event of a major disaster, regional medical directors and child-welfare representatives of this Bureau will, upon request, cooperate with their State agency counterparts in planning the health and welfare services for children which these agencies may be called upon to render in the disaster area.

VI, OFFICE OF EDUCATION In event of a major disaster, the Office of Education, as the agency of Federal Government most directly concerned with the well-being of the American educational system, could undertake the following:

(1) Advise and assist State and local officials in the establishment of improvised schools (in churches, etc.) and in the reestablishment of educational facilities, including the erection of temporary school buildings;

(2) To the extent permitted by appropriations, provide financial assistance to local educational agencies for maintenance and operation of schools in federally affected areas under Public Law 874, 81st Congress, and for construction of school facilities under title II, Public Law 815, 81st Congress; and

(3) Advise and assist higher education authorities of the State in the reestablishment of colleges and university facilities in the disaster area.

VII. OFFICE OF VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION

The Office of Vocational Rehabilitation and the system of State vocational rehabilitation agencies can aid adult disaster victims who sustain disabling injuries which prevent them from returning to suitable employment. Subsequent to the disaster, State agencies, through their rehabilitation counselors, may be called upon to provide an organized program of rehabilitative services including, where applicable, restorative medical and surgical service, training and preparation for employment, prosthetic aids, maintenance while undergoing medical care or job training, placement and followup.

Familiarity with and use of the resources available through the State vocational rehabilitation agency will enable officials, particularly health authorities, and hospital directors, to move disabled victims from acute care facilities as promptly as possible, thereby easing the pressure upon urgently needed hospital facilities and restoring the community and its members to self-sufficiency as early as possible.

Where disasters involve more than one State within a region, the regional OVR representative is in a position to estimate promptly the resources of the individual States and to expedite plans for their cooperation.

VIII. OFFICE OF FIELD SERVICES (SURPLUS PROPERTY UTILIZATION)

Public Law 152, 81st Congress, authorizes the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare to allocate Federal surplus personal property and to arrange for the transfer of surplus real property for health and educational purposes.

The Surplus Property Utilization Division has representatives assigned to most of the Department's regional offices. In event of a disaster, the representative in the affected region could authorize the agency for surplus property in the affected State to utilize for disaster relief any surplus Government property warehoused in the vicinity. For example, a State agency for surplus property might help out with reserve stocks of beds, blankets, clothing, and like material. The extent of such assistance would depend on the location of the disaster, since a number of States do not maintain surplus property warehouses and, therefore, would not have any reserve stocks.

Portions of real property facilities (buildings) in some areas might also be made available for temporary use as shelter for disaster victims. Regional property coordinators of the Department would have knowledge as to the facilities obtainable in disaster situations.

MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE AND FED

ERAL CIVIL DEFENSE ADMINISTRATION CONCERNING RESPONSIBILITIES IN DISASTER

OPERATIONS
Section 1. Purpose
The purpose of this memorandum is to-

1. Describe responsibilities and functions of the Department of Commerce established by law or custom for providing assistance to States, local governing bodies, and individuals in the alleviation of damage, bardship, or suffering attending disasters ;

2. Arrange for development of suitable plans and preparations to insure maximum utilization of resources of the Department of Commerce in disasters;

3. Describe responsibilities of FCDA in the coordination of Federal assistance in disasters and in plans and preparations therefor; and

4. Outline procedures for providing assistance by the Department under authorization from FCDA pursuant to Executive Order 10427 and Public Law 875 and for reimbursement of authorized expenses incurred in connec

tion with providing such assistance. Section 2. Disaster responsibilities and functions of the Department of Commerce

established by law or custom .01 Pursuant to) Public Law 390, 81st Congress (5 U. S. C. 596a) the primary organization units of the Department of Commerce are authorized to reimburse froin regular appropriations their officers and employees for food, clothing, medicines, and other supplies furnished by them in emergencies for the temporary relief of distressed persons in remote localities.

.02 The Coast and Geodetic Survey is authorized (33 U. S. C. 874b) to reimburse from regular appropriations its commissioned officers for food, clothing, medicines, and other supplies furnished by thein to shipwrecked persons temporarily provided for by them irrespective of the location where such temporary relief may be provided.

.03 The Bureau of Public Roads is authorized (23 U. S. C. 13a) to extend aid for the repair or reconstruction of highways and bridges on the primary or secondary Federal-aid highway systems, after receipt of an application therefor from the highway department of any State, when such highways or bridges have been found to have suffered serious damage as the result of disaster over a wide area, such as floods, hurricanes, tidal waves, earthquakes, severe storms, landslides or other catastrophe in any part of the United States; provided, that no expenditures shall be made with respect to any such catastrophe in any State unless an emergency has been declared by the governor of such State and concurred in by the Secretary of Commerce ; provided further, that the Federal share payable on account of any repair or reconstruction poject provided for by funds made available under this law shall not exceed 50 percent of the costs thereof.

.04 Through established custom the Civil Aeronautics Administration's air traffic control and aeronautical communications systems, as well as the services of the technical operating and maintenance personnel, may be used when appropriate, on a suitable priority basis, for the transmission of essential information, the coordination of emergency search and rescue operations and such other assistance as may be required in major disasters.

.05 Under the provisions of the 1948 Convention on Safety of Life at Sea the master of a ship at sea (which includes vessels under the jurisdiction of the Coast and Geodetic Survey and the Maritime Administration) on receiving a signal from any source that a ship or aircraft or survival craft thereof is in distress, is bound to proceed with all speed to the assistance of the persons in distress.

.06 The Weather Bureau is charged with the responsibility of forecasting the weather including the issue of storm warnings (including tornado, hurricane, cold wave, heavy snow, and blizzards) and the forecasting of floods and the issue of flood warnings. Section 3. Planning for disaster assistance

.01 Section 2 of Executive Order 10427 stipulates that Federal agencies shall make suitable plans and preparations in anticipation of their responsibilities in the event of a major disaster.

.02 Plans and procedures will be developed jointly by the Department of Commerce and Federal Civil Defense Administration to:

1. Provide for the interchange of information regarding existing or threatened disasters, including Weather Bureau storm and flood warnings;

2. Provide for continuing liaison between the Department and FCDA, both at the headquarters offices and in the field, with respect to disaster assistance activities;

3. Arrange an orderly means for coordination of the Department's disaster activities with those of other agencies by FCDA;

4. Provide for the delegation of authority by FCDA to the Department to provide disaster assistance and to utilize in connection therewith the necessary available resources of the Department;

5. Arrange for the orderly and quick utilization of the Department's available personnel, equipment, supplies, facilities and other resources when required by FCDA in providing disaster assistance; and

6. Insure that accurate and complete information relative to disasters

reaches the public promptly. Section 4. Coordination

.01 The FCDA has been delegated a twofold coordinating responsibility: (1) The coordination, on behalf of the President, of the activities of Federal agencies in providing disaster assistance whether such activities be performed pursuant to authority delegated by the FCDA or within the existing policies, regulations, or statutory authority of a Federal agency; and (2) coordination, on behalf of the President, of the development of suitable plans and preparations by Federal agencies in anticipation of their responsibilities in the event of a major disaster.

.02 Responsibility for coordination of Federal assistance within the various regions of FCDA has been delegated to the regional directors by the Administrator.

.03 FCDA's coordination of Federal disaster assistance will consist of determining the total assistance needed and facilitating agreement of necessary action to be taken by various agencies to meet the overall problems involved. It will make necessary decisions regarding assistance to be furnished in cases where two or more Federal agencies have conflicting or overlapping interests or authorities. In major disasters the FCDA will determine the Federal financial contribution for disaster relief and will, when necessary, direct and authorize the Secretary of Commerce or his designee to utilize its available personnel, equip ment, supplies, facilities, and other resources in accordance with the authority contained in Public Law 875.

.04 The FCDA will not supervise or direct the disaster operations of the Department of Commerce.

.05 When necessary assistance is immediately required and such assistance can be provided within the existing policies, regulations, or statutory authority of the Department, the appropriate officials of the Department will act promptly and notify the appropriate FCDA regional director of action taken at the earliest opportunity. When the exigency of the situation permits, the appropriate FCDA regional director will be notified of the request for assistance prior to taking action to provide such assistance even though the necessary assistance can be supplied within the existing policies, regulations or statutory authority of the Department.

06 Suitable plans and preparations for providing disaster assistance in major disasters involving the utilization of personnel, equipment, supplies, facilities, and other resources of the Department shall be developed jointly by designated officials of FCDA and the Department of Commerce. Section 5. Disaster assistance authorized by FCDA

.01 The heads of the primary organization units of the Department of Commerce will be delegated authority, with power to redelegate, to utilize personnel, supplies, equipment, facilities, and other resources in providing disaster assistance upon request and authorization of the FCDA.

.02 The additional cost to the Department of Commerce of assistance requested and authorized by FCDA to be furnished under the provisions of section 3 of Public Law 875 are subject to reimbursement. Such reimbursement will generally be from a specific allotment from the funds made available to the President under Public Law 875 and will ordinarily cover expenses incurred by the Department in furnishing the assistance in addition to the normal day-to-day operating expenses of the Department. Additional expenses may include, but are not necessarily limited to, salaries of additional personnel; overtime pay of all personnel ; per diem and travel expenses of employees; cost of materials,

equipment, and supplies; equipment storage costs, packing and crating; and, in certain cases, replacing major items of equipment lost or damaged beyond economical repair.

.03 Reimbursement will not be made for any obligation incurred prior to the Presidential declaration of the existence of a major disaster.

.04 All requests for reimbursement will be fully documented so as to permit accurate and sufficient audit. The records of the Department pertinent to assistance activities performed under authorization received from FCDA will be open for examination by the FCDA or its authorized representatives.

SINCLAIR WEEKS, Secretary of Commerce.

VAL PETERSON, Administrator, Federal Civil Defense Administration.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

Department Order No. 149

MANUAL OF ORDERS-PART 1

Date of issuance: July 16, 1953.
Effective date: July 16, 1953.
Subject: Department Assistance in Major Disasters.
Section 1. Purpose

The purpose of this order is to outline the responsibilities of the Department in connection with major disasters, and to delegate authority to carry out these responsibilities. Section 2. General

.01 Public Law 875, 81st Congress, authorizes Federal assistance to States (including the District of Columbia, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands) and local governments in major disasters as defined therein.

.02 Executive Order 10427 of January 16, 1953 (18 F. R. 407), confers authority upon the Federal Civil Defense Administrator to direct Federal agencies to provide assistance in major disasters and to coordinate activities of Federal agencies in (a) making suitable plans and preparations in anticipation of their responsibilities in the event of a major disaster, and (b) providing disaster assistance,

.03 When directed by the Federal Civil Defense Administrator, Federal agencies are authorized to provide assistance in a major disaster:

1. By utilizing or lending, with or without compensation therefor, to States and local governments their equipment, supplies, facilities, personnel, and other resources, other than the extension of credit under the authority of any act;

2. By distributing, through the American National Red Cross or otherwise, medicine, food, and other consumable supplies;

3. By donating to States and local governments equipment and supplies determined under then existing law to be surplus to the needs and responsibilities of the Federal Government; and

4. By performing on public or private lands protective and other work essential for the preservation of life and property, clearing debris and wreckage, making emergency repairs to and temporary replacements of public facilities of local governments damaged or destroyed in such major disaster, and making contributions to States and local governments for pur

poses stated in this item. .04 The Federal Civil Defense Administrator has delegated to the regional directors of the Federal Civil Defense Administration (a) authority to direct Federal agencies to provide disaster assistance, and (b) responsibility for coordination of Federal assistance.

.05 The authority conferred on the Federal Civil Defense Administrator by Executive Order 10427 does not affect the authority of any primary organization unit to provide emergency assistance under existing policies, regulations, or statutes, except that assistance or other action under such authority is subject to coordination by the Federal Civil Defense Administration. This includes authority of the primary organization units under Public Law 390, 81st Congress

(5 U. S. C. 596a), authority of the Coast and Geodetic Survey under 33 United
States Code 874b, and the Bureau of Public Roads' authority under 23 United
States Code 13a.
Section 3. Delegations of authority and responsibility

.01 The Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Administration shall as he deems necessary coordinate and take such other action in the behalf of the Secretary to assure that in any major disaster the Department's resources are promptly mobilized to furnish disaster assistance in accordance with requests and authorizations from FCDA.

.02 In addition to such authorities as may be vested in the primary organization units to provide emergency assistance under existing policies and regulations of the Department or statutes pertaining to the Department, the head of each primary organizaion unit is hereby delegated the authority and responsibiliy to utilize the resources at his disposal in providing disaster assistance upon request and authorization of the Federal Civil Defense Administrator. This authority may be redelegated.

.03 In the interest of facilitating cooperation with Federal Civil Defense Administration regional directors and assuring rapid mobilization of the Department's resources in providing disaster assistance, it shall be the policy of the Department to delegate authority and responsibility with respect to disaster assistance to appropriate officials in the field whenever feasible. Section 4. Disaster plans and preparations

Primary organization units shall make suitable plans and preparations in anticipation of their responsibilities in the event of a major disaster. These plans and preparations, which will involve principally the field resources of the Department, should be developed and planned in cooperation with the appropriate Federal Civil Defense Administration regional director and should satisfy the provision of section 3.02 of the memorandum of understanding between the Department of Commerce and the Federal Civil Defense Administration concerning responsibilities in disaster operations (see attachment A). The geographical boundaries of the Federal Civil Defense Administration regions are shown in attachment B to this order. Section 5. Assistance under Department authority

When assistance is immediately required and such assistance can be provided within the existing policies, regulations or statutory authority of the Department, the appropriate officials of the Department will act promptly and notify the appropriate Federal Civil Defense Administration regional director of the action taken at the earliest opportunity. When the exigency of the situation permits, the appropriate Federal Civil Defense Administration regional director will be notified of the request for assistance prior to taking action to provide assistance even though the necessary assistance can be supplied within the existing policies, regulations, or statutory authorities of the Department. Section 6. Reimbursement

.01 Public Law 875 provides that additional costs to any agency resulting from disaster assistance furnished under authority of that law are subject to reimbursement. However, reimbursement will not be allowed for any obligation incurred prior to the Presidential declaration of the existence of a major disaster.

.02 Additional expenses are those expenses incurred in furnishing assistance pursuant to Public Law 875 and which are in addition to the normal day-to-day operating expenses of the Department. These additional expenses may include, but are not necessarily limited to, salaries of additional personnel; overtime pay of all personnel ; per diem and travel expenses of employees; cost of materials and supplies; packing and crating costs; in certain cases, replacing major items of Department-owned equipment lost or damaged beyond economical repair used in disaster assistance; and equipment storage costs.

.03 Requests for reimbursement for additional expenses in furnishing assistance pursuant to Public Law 875 will be submitted to the appropriate Federal Civil Defense Administration regional director on voucher forms SF-1034 or SF-1080. Requests for reimbursements must be fully documented.

.04 Any funds received by primary organization units as reimbursement for services or supplies furnished under the authority of Public Law 875 shall be deposited to the credit of the appropriation(s) currently available for such services or supplies.

« PreviousContinue »