When an emergency exists that the Federal government must act under, the President may declare an emergency. The President can declare a major disaster for any natural event, including any hurricane, tornado, storm, high water, wind-driven water, tidal wave, tsunami, earthquake, volcanic eruption, landslide, mudslide, snowstorm, or drought. The President determines the damage and severity of damage caused by the disaster requiring the capabilities of the state and local governments to respond. A major disaster declaration provides a wide range of federal assistance programs for individuals and public infrastructure, including funds for both emergency and permanent work.
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