United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: Apr 17, 2024

§ 5170.
Procedure for declaration
In general

All requests for a declaration by the President that a major disaster exists shall be made by the Governor of the affected State. Such a request shall be based on a finding that the disaster is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the State and the affected local governments and that Federal assistance is necessary. As part of such request, and as a prerequisite to major disaster assistance under this chapter, the Governor shall take appropriate response action under State law and direct execution of the State’s emergency plan. The Governor shall furnish information on the nature and amount of State and local resources which have been or will be committed to alleviating the results of the disaster, and shall certify that, for the current disaster, State and local government obligations and expenditures (of which State commitments must be a significant proportion) will comply with all applicable cost-sharing requirements of this chapter. Based on the request of a Governor under this section, the President may declare under this chapter that a major disaster or emergency exists.

Indian tribal government requests
In general

The Chief Executive of an affected Indian tribal government may submit a request for a declaration by the President that a major disaster exists consistent with the requirements of subsection (a).


In implementing assistance authorized by the President under this chapter in response to a request of the Chief Executive of an affected Indian tribal government for a major disaster declaration, any reference in this subchapter or subchapter III (except sections 5153 and 5165d of this title) to a State or the Governor of a State is deemed to refer to an affected Indian tribal government or the Chief Executive of an affected Indian tribal government, as appropriate.

Savings provision

Nothing in this subsection shall prohibit an Indian tribal government from receiving assistance under this subchapter through a declaration made by the President at the request of a State under subsection (a) if the President does not make a declaration under this subsection for the same incident.

Cost share adjustments for Indian tribal governments
In general
In providing assistance to an Indian tribal government under this subchapter, the President may waive or adjust any payment of a non-Federal contribution with respect to the assistance if—
the President has the authority to waive or adjust the payment under another provision of this subchapter; and
the President determines that the waiver or adjustment is necessary and appropriate.
Criteria for making determinations

The President shall establish criteria for making determinations under paragraph (1)(B).

(Pub. L. 93–288, title IV, § 401, as added Pub. L. 100–707, title I, § 106(a)(3), Nov. 23, 1988, 102 Stat. 4696; amended Pub. L. 113–2, div. B, § 1110(a), Jan. 29, 2013, 127 Stat. 47.)
cite as: 42 USC 5170