I argue that presidents use unilateral powers for particularistic aims to gain electoral support. Specifically, I examine presidential disaster declarations, which allow presidents to unilaterally authorize potentially billions of dollars to specific constituencies. In an analysis extending from 1981 to 2004, I find that a state’s electoral competitiveness influences whether they receive a disaster declaration from the president. A highly competitive state can expect to receive twice as many presidential disaster declarations as an uncompetitive state. This relationship has existed since the passage of the 1988 Stafford Act, which expanded the disaster declaration powers of the president. Additionally, I find that these decisions have the intended electoral benefits—voters react and reward presidents for presidential disaster declarations. A president can expect over a one point increase in a statewide contest in return for a single presidential disaster declaration.