Monday, October 24, 2011


Okay the Official Hurricane Season ends November 1st although I think should run until December 1st. And now for the snow season.

FEMA and its predecessor organizations had never declared a snow disaster until 1979. President James Earl Carter sent his son "Chip" to Buffalo to determine whether a disaster should be declared. FEMA recommended against declaration for fear of setting a precedent. "CHIP" growing up on a peanut farm in Georgia had never seen snow. Buffalo had 19 feet, yes repeat not an error 19 feet of snow. "CHIP" talked to his dad and recommended a declaration.

Today snow declarations are almost routine. Presidents of both parties have declared them. Another example where the STATES and their local governments are subsidized for activity once theirs to fund.

So as we enter that fun time of year in the Norther Latitudes (and sometimes Southern) in the USA what does FEMA say of this history. See Below!

U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Federal Emergency Management Agency
Legislative Affairs Division
Telephone: 202-646-4500
Fax: 202-646-3600

Congressional Advisory
November 3, 2009


FEMA has released its final Snow Assistance and Severe Winter Storm Policy effective November 2, 2009. After the public comment period ended on Aug. 25, 2008, FEMA evaluated the potential impact of each comment on the policy, and responded to comments in the Federal Register Notice for the final policy.

Under the policy, snowstorm events will be evaluated by FEMA using the indicators identified in the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, as amended, for major disaster declarations. FEMA uses these indicators to make recommendations to the President, but it does not bind the ability of the President, in his discretion, to declare emergencies or major disasters.

The policy maintains the present criteria that a county experience a record, or near record, snowfall, but updates the methodology used by FEMA to determine whether a snowfall qualifies as a record or near record snowfall. Under the policy, FEMA will compare the highest National Climatic Data Center historical record in a county (rather than the lowest as currently used) to the National Weather Service (NWS) station with the highest current event snowfall within a county to determine if the snowfall event exceeds or is near a true record for a county.

The final revision made to the policy requires states to submit an estimate of eligible Public Assistance costs, including snow assistance costs for a 48 hour period that meet or exceed the county and statewide per capita cost threshold. Although this requirement is new to FEMA’s Snow Assistance and Severe Winter Storm Policy, an estimate of damages is a normal requirement for all states requesting a major disaster declaration.

The policy, formally titled The Disaster Assistance Directorate Policy Numbers 9100.1 and 9523.1 “Snow Assistance and Severe Winter Storm Policy,” will publish in the Federal Register. The policy supersedes the following:

• The Response and Recovery Policy RR9523.1, “Snow Assistance Policy,” dated Dec. 28, 1999,
• “The Response and Recovery Policy 9523.1, Snow Assistance Policy Procedures for Determining Record or Near-Record Snowfall” Memorandum issued by Carlos J. Castillo on June 30, 2008,
• The Snow Removal section on page 76 of the “Public Assistance Guide FEMA 322/June 2007,” and
• Page 122 of the “Public Assistance Policy Digest FEMA 321/January 2008.”