The Post Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act (PKEMRA) of 2006 clarified and modified the Homeland Security Act with respect to the organizational structure, authorities, and responsibilities of FEMA and the FEMA Administrator. It enhanced FEMA's responsibilities and its authority within DHS and transferred many functions of DHS's former Preparedness Directorate to FEMA. Per PKEMRA, FEMA leads and supports the Nation in a risk-based, comprehensive emergency management system of preparedness, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation. Under the act, the FEMA Administrator reports directly to the Secretary of Homeland Security, and FEMA is a distinct entity within DHS.
Some of the major provisions that PKEMRA has provided are:
- Requirements for the development of pre-scripted mission assignments as part of the planning efforts for Emergency Support Functions (ESFs) response efforts
- NIMS and the National Response Framework as the framework for emergency response and domestic incident management
- Direction for the development of a National Disaster Recovery Strategy and National Disaster Housing Strategy
- Amendment to the Stafford Act to direct FEMA to appoint a Disability Coordinator to ensure that the needs of individuals with disabilities are being addressed in emergency preparedness and disaster relief
- FEMA Qualification System