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City Hall
P.O. Box 2315
480 East Ave. N.
Ketchum, ID  83340
Ph: 208.726.3841
Fax: 208.726.8234
Flood and Natural Disaster Information
As a formal responsibility of government in the United States, emergency management began with efforts to address growing threats of fire and disease in large cities and towns in the 19th century.  Government's were limited to minimal social services, churches, and other non-governmental services.  In 1803, after an extensive fire swept through Portsmouth, New Hampshire, American responses to a disaster took a significant turn, beginning a pattern of federal involvement that continues to this day. 

In the 1930’s the federal government began to be even more involved in disaster assistance with formation of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, which made disaster loans, by giving authority to the Bureau of Public Roads to provide funding for highways and bridges damaged by natural disasters and by passage of the Flood Control Act, which gave the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers greater authority to implement flood control projects.

A number of massive disasters in the 1960’s and 1970’s, including four huge hurricanes and large earthquakes in Alaska and southern California, required federal response and recovery operations, handled by the Federal Disaster Assistance Administration within the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  Awareness of the need for disaster response and preparedness was increased, and, in 1968, the National Flood Insurance Act was enacted to offer flood insurance to homeowners and, in 1974, the Disaster Relief Act established the process for Presidential disaster declarations.

In 1979, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was established by an executive order, making federal resources available to assist state and local governments. 
FEMA dedicates itself to the mission of helping communities nationwide prepare for, respond to and recover from natural and man-made disasters.  The agency is now part of the Department of Homeland Security as of 2003.  As of November 2007, FEMA has responded to more than 2,700 president-declared disasters.