Hurricane Harvey is one of 74 disasters declared by FEMA in 2017 – Orange County Register

The effects of Hurricane Harvey led the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to issue a disaster declaration for Houston and other areas of Texas on Aug. 28.  This declaration is one of 74 in 2017 and grants wider financial support from the federal government for relief and recovery efforts.

Here’s a look what FEMA has been dealing with over the years across the nation and in California.

Across the country

There have been 3,585 federally declared disasters in the U.S. since 1953. Fires, floods and severe storms have created the most problems. Here’s a look at how and where the country has needed relief over the years.


Disaster declarations

There have been 74 disaster declarations in 2017 alone. Here’s a look at how many declarations there have been since 1953.

FEMA has spent $119.2 billion on disaster assistance since 2005.


FEMA has 10 regions across the U.S. and each require federal assistance for a variety of disasters.

Declarations by region

Dec. 24, 1964 to Dec. 31, 2014


Region 1, 158

Region 2, 138

Region 3, 183

Region 4, 355

Region 5, 241

Region 6, 283

Region 7, 195

Region 8, 146

Region 9, 197

Region 10, 123

About FEMA

FEMA’s mission: To support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from and mitigate all hazards.

The U.S. has had federal disaster relief in place since the early 1800s, but FEMA was officially created by President Jimmy Carter in 1979.

FEMA became an official part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in 2003.

In 2006, the Post-Katrina Emergency Reform Act reorganized FEMA after a lackluster response to the most devastating natural disaster in the U.S. history.


There have been 252 federally declared disasters in California since 1953.

The majority of the federal declarations were for fires.  The year 2004 had the most, with 17 emergency fire declarations…

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