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Emergency management issues before Congress and the Administration have been elevated in importance since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and 2005's Hurricane Katrina.  NEMA’s active role in the legislative process has helped to strengthen the national emergency management system through greater recognition by Congress of the importance of emergency management and increased funding for state and local programs. In recent years NEMA has facilitated such key legislative victories as increasing the Emergency Management Performance Grant (EMPG) program in appropriations, strengthening FEMA, providing more support for emergency management through the 2006 Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act, and continuing to advocate for a truly all-hazards doctrine to emergencies, disasters, and threats to the homeland.

NEMA provides a critical link to members of Congress and senior leaders in the federal government who make key decisions on important emergency management and homeland security issues.  As an association, NEMA also provides a unified voice and a common message on behalf of state emergency management agencies.  NEMA is recognized as a credible resource and routinely invited to testify before Congress and provide input on legislation and national policy development. 

Working in concert with the National Governors Association, International Association of Emergency Managers, the private sector, and other partner organizations NEMA is able to continue promoting strong emergency management and homeland security policy throughout the nation.


Some of the key measures of NEMA’s success include:

  • Encouraging Congress to increase EMPG from just over $165 million shortly after September 11 to $340 million in Fiscal Year 2011.
  • Maintain EMPG as a separate budget line item in the FEMA budget to maintain the distinct identity of the program.
  • Strengthening emergency management in the 9/11 Commission Implementation Act of 2007 through an authorization for the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), a larger federal cost share for EOC improvements, protection of EMPG through authorization language, and establishment of minimum baseline funding for states through the State Homeland Security Grant Program.
  • Reauthorizing EMPG in 2007 and protect the historical intent of the program when some were seeking to refocus the funds predominantly on terrorism.
  • Passing the Post Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act of 2006, which represents more than seven years of emergency management priorities including EMAC and EMPG authorization, restoring the 15 percent sliding scale for the post-disaster Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, and authorization of grant funding for communications interoperability programs.
  • Leading and coordinating the emergency management-related legislative activities of more than 13 national associations’ activities through the Stafford Act Coalition.
  • Providing leadership and technical assistance to Congress on the reauthorization of such vital programs as the Predisaster Mitigation Grant Program, the Severe Repetitive Loss Program, and the National Earthquake Hazard Reduction Program, and NEMA has provided input to Congress on other legislation concerning such issues as tornado shelters, tsunami preparedness, public health preparedness, intelligence reform, and first responders health monitoring legislation.
  • Helping pass legislation to ensure that mitigation assistance remains non-taxable, despite attempts by the Internal Revenue Service to require disaster victims to pay taxes on the assistance.

Contact the NEMA DC Office

NEMA Washington, DC

Hall of the States Building
444 North Capitol Street NW, Suite 401
Washington, DC 20001

Director of Government Relations:


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