Various federal laws and related regulations provide
guidance for the preservation of historic properties, objects, historic areas, and battlefields. While
many of these laws and regulations impose specific responsibilities for the preservation and
maintenance of historic properties and objects, there are often exceptions to these obligations. These
exceptions may be implemented in order to deal with emergency and/or natural disaster situations.
In the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the destruction experienced in the Gulf Region,
these preservation laws and their exceptions may provide some guidance for the recovery and
reconstruction of hurricane-impacted areas. This report summarizes relevant federal laws and
regulations related to historic preservation and the exceptions to these laws and regulations. In
addition, FEMA's Environmental, Historic Preservation, and Cultural Resources Program is outlined.