Disaster Relief Law and Legal Definition

Disaster relief means fast aid provided for alleviating the suffering of domestic disaster victims. Hence it aims to meet the immediate needs of the victims of a disastrous event. Usually, it includes humanitarian services and transportation, food, clothing, medicine, beds and bedding, temporary shelter and housing, medical materiel, medical and technical personnel, and repairs to essential services. From earlier times, disaster relief is considered a local responsibility of the federal government to provide assistance, when local and state relief capacities are exhausted. Generally, disaster relief is carried out under the authority of an executive official such as a city mayor, a state governor, or the nation's President. However, federal disaster legislation gives the President wide powers to decide about what situations may be declared disasters and to dictate the extent of federal assistance.