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ernment which enabled them to arrange a $10 million loan for rebuilding that railroad up the Naugatuck Valley.

So when we talk about $6 million, it gives an entirely erroneous picture of what kind of Federal funds have been put to work in this. Am I not correct in that?

Mr. AITKEN. Yes, sir, Senator, you are correct.

Senator Bush. I wanted to bring out the point that this $6 million should not be looked at as what the Government has contributed in this situation.

Mr. AITKEN. Yes, sir.

Senator Bush. Because in my judgment when we get through it will be many times that. That figure itself will go way up.

I think of one company, the Hershey Co. in the Naugatuck Valley, which got flooded twice. The first time they arranged a disaster loan of $1,800,000 from the Federal Government, and they had to supplement that 2 months later with another loan of $400,000. Now, think of that.

There is just one individual in the person of a corporation which in order to keep people working got that much assistance from the Federal Government—a 3 percent loan for a period of 10 years.

I want to have the record show that these agencies did come to bat

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in a big way.

Never having had this experience before, or any marked disaster since the floods of 1911 or 1912 in Ohio when I was a schoolboy-I remember those very well—my general observation was that the disaster laws as they appear today show a great deal of foresight and the capitalization on a great deal of experience in the past. I am sure the people in my State are very grateful to those who preceded me here in drafting this disaster legislation up and down the line.

I think we all felt that, by and large, the legislation enabled the Government to come to bat in a very satisfactory way indeed.

Just one or two things more, Mr. Chairman. When the debrisclearing job is done by a private company, can it be reimbursed? Can that company be reimbursed under Public Law 875 ?

Mr. AITKEN. They can, Senator, if that debris would otherwise constitute a health problem.

Senator Bush. Or a safety problem?
Mr. AITKEN. Or a safety problem; yes, sir.

Senator Bush. Why cannot the public park and recreation grounds be cleared of debris under Public Law 875?

Mr. AITKEN. They can be if they constitute a health or safety problem. Otherwise

Senator Bush. They are public property?

Mr. AITKEN. But the enactment clause of this legislation says “to repair essential public facilities in major disasters," and a park usually is not considered, while it is desirable and meritorious, essential like a waterworks or a street, highway or school, some such thing as that.

Senator Bush. Well, we are going to propose an amendment to make that an essential thing, too. I think they are, especially where those are located that I have seen.

Will you supply for our record here a copy of the Federal Civil Defense Administration regulations issued to implement Public Law 875? I ask the chairman if they may be inserted at this point in the record.

Senator LEHMAN. Yes.
Senator Bush. Will you furnish that?
Mr. AITKEN. Yes, sir.
(The regulations referred to follow :)


In all disasters, whether major or minor, FCDA is coordinator of all Federal relief by authority of Executive Order 10427. This coordination includes other Federal agencies having statutory authority to relieve disaster in their own specialized fields with their own funds for such special purposes. On top of other agency resources, FCDA has authority, when the President declares a major disaster, to direct any agency to go beyond its statutory responsibility and to reimburse it for such extra activity from the Federal disaster fund.

During August and October 1955 the damages faced by the disaster States, according to latest estimates, amounted to $145 million for public property and $145 million for private property-a grand total of property damage of $590 million.

In view of the magnitude the damage in August Octo and the inadequacy of the Federal disaster fund, the various agencies were authorized by the President to expend their own available funds under FCDA direction and to adjust their accounts later.

The process of bringing natural disasters under emergency control now takes bours where it used to take days.

The process has been developed by the Federal Civil Defense Administration (FCDA) since January 1953, when it was given the dual responsibility, not only of dealing with enemy attacks on this Nation, but also of dealing with natural disasters.

By order of the President all Federal agencies are now keyed into a disasterpreparedness system which looks for trouble instead of waiting to be surprised by it.

When the Hurricane Diane broke up in the Northeastern States, FCDA had been following its behavior for days and had representatives in the field evaluating the situation. When 12 inches of rain fell in a day, they knew the floods would follow. That is why relief was so immediate.

The Federal Disaster Act, which is administered by FCDA, goes into effect when the Governor of a State applies directly to the President, certifying that the damage outruns the resources of the State and when the President declares that it is indeed a “major disaster."

The President is guided in this declaration by a formal recommendation which he requests from the Federal Civil Defense Administrator, who is also his chief of staff for disaster relief. In this capacity, Governor Val Peterson of FCDA was installed in the President's Office during the crucial period of the northeastern flood relief.

In general, disaster to a limited area or a single establishment, such as the destruction of a school or powerhouse, is not rated a “major disaster.” In a year there are 400 to 500 ordinary disasters which bring in the local civil defense forces but only 10 to 25 are declared "major disasters” and bring in FCDA as well.

Even before relief is officially requested by a State, FCDA is at work finding out what will be needed and getting it underway. In each Federal agency, FCDA knows what resources are available and the phone number of the person directly responsible for action at any hour of the day or night.

Orders moving masses of equipment, supplies, and personnel are passed by telephone. Official papers to cover the action will follow when there is time. Redtape is cut as a matter of course. FCDA is no more impeded by it than a fire engine is by traffic regulations.

The Federal Disaster Act has contributed several elements which were conspicuously missing when natural disasters struck this Nation in the past. During the past 2 years, FCDA has developed organized preparedness, rapid information as to the extent of the disaster, authority to act and channels of immediate action. That is the system on which the President now relies.

That is why there was no fumbling of relief in the northeastern floods. The disaster relief which followed the recent hurricane Diane in the six Northeastern States, brought into concerted action the major departments of the Federal Government under the direction of the Federal Civil Defense Administration


The statutory authority for this is the Federal Disaster Act, which declares it to be the intention of Congres to "provide a continuing and orderly means of assistance” to States and local governments, in disasters which the President declares to be “major disasters."

In the past, Federal relief was thrown together after a disaster struck, and it was not orderly. Between disasters it has no continuity. Now it represents foresight and planning which bring together the resources of every department of the Federal Government,

In a developing disaster, such as the floods of hurricane Diane, FCDA follows the situation and alerts the Federal Departments likely to be called to aid. They cooperate in evaluating the situation so that FCDA may prepare to advise the President immediately whether or not a governor is correct in asking for a declaration that it is a major disaster.

The declaration of a major disaster puts FCDA in command of all the extensive resources of the Federal Government in skilled personnel, equipment, and supplies.

Many of the Federal agencies have fragmentary authority to conduct relief in their own specific fields, conferred by Congress from time to time; but FCDA has general power in an emergency to enlarge such departmental authority to fit any situation, and to coordinate any and all of the diverse emergency operations which any agency has been authorized to undertake independently.

In advance of any emergency the groundwork for immediate and effective action has been laid in Washington by the exchange of memorandums of general understanding between each department and the FCDA. In the field, regional offices of FCDA and regional offices of the various Federal agencies exchange detailed information as to resources available and the steps which must be taken to move them to the scene whenever a disaster strikes.

The first memorandum of understanding negotiated after FCDA was put at the head of major Federal disaster relief was with the American National Red Cross. Congress, in the Disaster Act, had specifically confirmed the Red Cross in its historic role as the Nation's quasi-official humanitarian organization. The first memorandum of understanding detailed the meaning of this. The Administrator of FCDA summarized it: “The Red Cross takes care of people, our Federal disaster forces take care of things.”

The things that are taken care of directly by Federal relief are discovered to be vital after a disaster strikes. They are the public utilities, the public facilities, and the governmental services which are taken for granted until something interrupts them—as when the floods of hurricane Diane lifted the water level of streams 30 feet in 15 minutes and swept away things that had required a lifetime to install.

To deal with such situations, the Federal delegation of disaster authority to the FCDA has been followed during the past 2 years in most of the States by a similar delegation of the disaster authority of the State to their civil defense offices. In disaster Diane, these local civil defense forces swung into immediate action, together with the Red Cross, while FCDA mobilized the resources and activities of the following:

Department of Defense (notably the Corps of Engineers), Agriculture (with surplus food acquired in crop-support programs), Commerce (particularly the Bureau of Public Roads), Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, as well as Labor, Treasury, together with the Federal Housing and Home Finance Agency. General Services Administration, Small Business Administration, the Office of Defense Mobilization, and the Bureau of the Budget. In some of these maior departments, more than one subordinate office was involved.

During the past 2 years this system has been tested by disasters in States that now number three-quarters of the Nation. Floods, tornadoes, forest fires, and drought have struck one State after another, often at the same time in different States. While FCDA' was supervising disaster relief after the Diane floods in the Northeast, it was also dealing with the forest fire in California.

The purpose of the Federal disaster assistance which FCDA now heads is to supplement but not to supplant the State and local effort for the protection of life and property. Federal assistance is limited by Congress to operations that are emergency and temporary. The Federal assistance is intended only to permit the stricken area to pick itself up and begin to take the real measure of the upset. For permanent restoration, special legislation at Federal and State and local levels must be enacted to fit each disaster after it is first brought under emergency control.


ADMINISTATION OF DISASTER RELIEF By virtue of the authority vested in me by the act of September 30, 1950, entitled “An act to authorize Federal assistance to States and local governments in major disasters, and for other purposes," volume 64, Statutes, page 1109, as amended (42 U. S. C. 1855 ff.), hereinafter referred to as the act, and as President of the United States, it is hereby ordered as follows:

SECTION 1. The following-described authority and functions shall be exercised or performed by the Federal Civil Defense Administrator :

(a) The authority conferred upon the President by section 3 of the act to direct Federal agencies to provide assistance in major disasters.

(b) The authority conferred upon the President by section 5 (a) of the act to coordinate the activities of Federal agencies in providing disaster assistance, and to direct any Federal agency to utilize its available personnel, equipment, supplies, facilities, and other resources, in accordance with the authority contained in the act.

(c) The preparation of proposed rules and regulations for the consideration of the President and issuance by him under section 5 (b) of the act.

(d) The preparation of the annual and supplemental reports provided for by section 8 of the act for the consideration of the President and transmittal by him to the Congress.

SEC. 2. In order to further the most effective utilization of the personnel, equipment, supplies, facilities, and other resources of Federal agencies pursuant to the act during a major disaster, such agencies shall from time to time make suitable plans and preparations in anticipation of their responsibilities in the event of a major disaster. The Federal Civil Defense Administrator shall coordinate on behalf of the President such plans and preparations.

SEC. 3. To the extent authorized by the act, the Federal Civil Defense Administrator shall foster the development of such State and local organizations and plans as may be necessary to cope with major disasters.

Sec. 4. Nothing in this order shall be constructed to prevent any Federal agency from affording such assistance and taking such other action as may accord with the existing policies, practices, or statutory authority of such agency in the event of any disaster which will not permit delay in the commencement of Federal assistance or other Federal action, and pending the determination of the President whether the disaster is a major disaster: Provided, That such assistance and such other action shall be subject to coordination by the Federal Civil Defense Administrator, acting on behalf of the President.

Sec. 5. The Federal Civil Defense Administrator may delegate any authority or function delegated or assigned to him by the provisions of this order to any other officer or officers of the Federal Civil Defense Administration or, with the consent of the head thereof, to any other Federal agency.

Sec. 6. Federal disaster relief provided under the act shall be deemed to be supplementary to relief afforded by State, local, or private agencies and not in substitution therefor; Federal financial contributions for disaster relief shall be conditioned upon reasonable State and local expenditures for such relief; the limited responsibility of the Federal Government for disaster relief shall be made clear to State and local agencies concerned; and the States shall be encouraged to provide funds which will be available for disaster relief purposes.

SEC. 7. As used herein, the terms “major disaster” and “Federal agency” shall have the meanings ascribed to them in the act.

Sec. 8. So much of the records of the Housing and Home Finance Agency relating to the activities delegated by Executive Order No. 10221 as the Housing and Home Finance Administrator and the Federal Civil Defense Administrator shall jointly determine shall be transferred to the Federal Civil Defense Administration.

Sec. 9. Executive Order No. 10221 of March 2, 1951 (16 F. R. 2051), is hereby revoked: Prorided, That the Housing and Home Finance Administrator is hereby authorized and directed to carry out and complete all activities, including reports thereon, provided for by that order in connection with any disaster determined, in accordance with the provisions of the act and prior to the effective date of this order, to be a major disaster: And provided further, That the Housing and Home Finance Administrator shall prepare the annual and supplemental reports provided for by section 8 of the act for the calendar year 1952 for the consideration of the President and transmittal by him to the Congress. SEC. 10. This order shall become effective January 16, 1953.



Washington, D. C.


February 2, 1953


Section Purpose Organization implications

II Assignment of functions.

III Delegation of authority.

IV Effective date


The purpose of this general order is to state the organization implications, define the functions of the various organization components of FCDA to the extent possible in connection with the natural disaster responsibility and delegate to regional directors certain natural disaster authority and functions under Public Law 875, 81st Congress, as amended, transferred to the Administrator by Executive Order 10427, dated January 16, 1953.


No new organization unit will be established in the Washington headquarters or in any field station to carry out the responsibilities transferred to FCDA by Executive Order 10427.


A. Natural disaster operations will be directed by the Office of the Administrator.

B. As directed by the Office of the Administrator, each office of FCDA and each of its field stations will perform pertinent natural disaster functions in the same areas they now perform civil defense functions or as otherwise directed.

C. Communications channels established for use in civil defense emergencies will be used to the maximum extent possible in connection with natural disasters.


A. There is hereby delegated to the regional directors, to be exercised or performed by them within their respective regions, the authority and functions transferred to the Administrator by Executive Order 10427, except those enumerated in subsections (c) and (d) of section 1, section 5, and section 8 of said order.

B. In exerising and performing the authority and functions herein delegated, the regional directors shall give maximum consideration to the existing responsibilities, authorities, practices, customs, and arrangements of the other Federal agencies, States, local governments, and the American National Red Cross with respect to natural disasters.

C. The authority and functions hereby delegated to the regional director shall be exercised and performed by them in accordance with Public Law 875, 81st Congress, as amended, and such rules, regulations, and instructions as the Administrator may hereafter issue.

D. The authority and fuctions hereby delegated may not be redelegated, but shall be exercised and performed by the regional (lirector, or in his absence, disability, or death, by the person designated to carry out the responsibilities of the regional director.


This general order is effective the date of issuance.

Acting Administrator.

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