(Editor’s note: The following is excerpts from the email that went to Robin Finegan from Mayor Jim Thernes, used with permission:)
Following are citations from the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, as amended (Stafford Act) and Title 44 of the Code of Federal Regulations (44 CFR), which address the eligibility of immediate threats that can reasonably be expected to occur within a five year period.
Title IV, Section 403 (a) (3) (I) of the Stafford Act, establish that, “(a) In general – Federal agencies may on the direction of the President, provide assistance essential to meeting immediate threats to life and property resulting from a major disaster, as follows: (emphasis added).
(3) Work and services to save lives and protect property – Performing on public or private lands or waters any work or services essential to saving lives and protecting and preserving property or public health and safety, including a** (emphasis added).
(I) reduction of immediate threats to life, property, and public health and safety” (emphasis added).
Please note that the Stafford Act does not define an immediate threat. However, an immediate threat is defined in 44 CFR AS: 206.221 (c) under Definitions, “Immediate threat means the threat of additional damage or destruction from an event which can reasonably be expected to occur within five years” (emphasis added).
It must be assumed that the “immediate threat” defined in the 44 CFR is the same as the “immediate threat” cited in the Stafford Act. Hence, the regulations and the Stafford Act support essential work and services necessary to reduce immediate threats which can reasonably be expected to occur within five years.
Further, 44 CFR AS: 206.225 Emergency work, establishes that, “(a) General. (1) Emergency protective measures to save lives, to protect public health and safety, and to protect improved property are eligible.
(2) In determining whether emergency work is required, the Regional Administrator may require certification by local State, and/or Federal officials that a threat exists, including identification and evaluation of the threat and recommendations of the emergency work necessary to cope with the threat.
(3) In order to be eligible, emergency protective measures must:
(i) Eliminate or lessen immediate threats to live, public health or safety; or
(ii) Eliminate or lessen immediate threats of significant additional damage to improved public or private property through measures which are cost effective” (emphasis added).