United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: Apr 17, 2024

§ 5191.
Procedure for declaration
Request and declaration

All requests for a declaration by the President that an emergency exists shall be made by the Governor of the affected State. Such a request shall be based on a finding that the situation 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 a part of such request, and as a prerequisite to emergency assistance under this chapter, the Governor shall take appropriate action under State law and direct execution of the State’s emergency plan. The Governor shall furnish information describing the State and local efforts and resources which have been or will be used to alleviate the emergency, and will define the type and extent of Federal aid required. Based upon such Governor’s request, the President may declare that an emergency exists.

Certain emergencies involving Federal primary responsibility

The President may exercise any authority vested in him by section 5192 of this title or section 5193 of this title with respect to an emergency when he determines that an emergency exists for which the primary responsibility for response rests with the United States because the emergency involves a subject area for which, under the Constitution or laws of the United States, the United States exercises exclusive or preeminent responsibility and authority. In determining whether or not such an emergency exists, the President shall consult the Governor of any affected State, if practicable. The President’s determination may be made without regard to subsection (a).

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 an emergency exists consistent with the requirements of subsection (a).


In implementing assistance authorized by the President under this subchapter in response to a request of the Chief Executive of an affected Indian tribal government for an emergency 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.

(Pub. L. 93–288, title V, § 501, as added Pub. L. 100–707, title I, § 107(a), Nov. 23, 1988, 102 Stat. 4706; amended Pub. L. 113–2, div. B, § 1110(b), Jan. 29, 2013, 127 Stat. 48.)
cite as: 42 USC 5191