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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Nov 28, 2017.
Disaster Recovery Reform Act
This bill amends the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (Stafford Act) to modify the Predisaster Hazard Mitigation Grant Program to:
permit the use of technical and financial assistance to establish and carry out enforcement activities to implement codes, specifications, and standards that incorporate the latest hazard-resistant designs; direct the President to establish a National Public Infrastructure Predisaster Mitigation Fund; authorize the President's contribution to the cost of hazard mitigation measures to be used to increase resilience in any area affected by a major disaster; and direct the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to issue a final rulemaking that defines the terms "resilient" and "resiliency." The bill authorizes the President to: (1) provide hazard mitigation assistance in any area affected by a wildfire for which assistance was provided; (2) provide incentives to invest in measures that increase readiness for, and resilience from, a future major disaster; and (3) waive Stafford Act provisions regarding duplication of benefits.
The bill amends the Stafford Act to: (1) authorize states to use federal disaster assistance to directly administer temporary and permanent housing for disaster victims, (2) increase assistance to individuals with disabilities, and (3) establish fixed rates for reimbursing states and localities for costs incurred to implement disaster recovery projects.
FEMA shall: (1) provide annual guidance and training for the prioritization of assistance to hospitals and nursing homes during a disaster; (2) issue guidance for the identification of evacuation routes; and (3) review the Unified Federal Environmental and Historic Preservation review process, improve closeout practices, and publish on its website specified information for grant awards and contracts in excess of $1 million. FEMA may establish one or more national veterinary emergency teams at accredited veterinary schools.