Congresswoman Susan W. Brooks

Representing the 5th District of Indiana
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Federal Emergency Management Agency COVID-19 Info


FEMA Releases Updated Preliminary Damage Assessment Guide

Updated Guide Is Effective June 8, 2020

FEMA announces the release of the agency’s updated Preliminary Damage Assessment Guide (PDA Guide) and its accompanying Preliminary Damage Assessment Pocket Guide (PDA Pocket Guide). The PDA Guide will be effective on June 8, 2020 and will have a one-year public comment period until June 8, 2021. The purpose of the public comment period is to give state, local, tribal, and territorial government partners and stakeholders who participate in preliminary damage assessments (PDAs) an opportunity to provide feedback to FEMA on the PDA process.

The PDA Guide and its accompanying PDA Pocket Guide establish a framework for how emergency management officials, at every level of government, document and validate details of damage following a disaster. The guide includes a concept of operations, defined roles and responsibilities, recommended methodologies and the documentation and data required to validate damage. The PDA Guide supersedes FEMA’s 2016 Damage Assessment Operations Manual.

Find the PDA Guide and PDA Pocket Guide and comment matrices on the FEMA website: Preliminary Damage Assessment Guide | Use the appropriate comment matrix and submit comments to



National Emergency Declaration
  • All 50 states, the District of Columbia, five territories and two tribes are working directly with FEMA under the nationwide emergency declaration for COVID-19.
    • States, tribal and territorial governments do not need to request separate emergency declarations to receive FEMA assistance under this nationwide declaration. A tribal government may choose to be a subrecipient under a state that has chosen to be a recipient of FEMA assistance, or choose to be a direct recipient of FEMA.
    • Since February, FEMA has worked directly with the White House Task Force and HHS to provide situational awareness, planning, logistics and supply chain support.
  • FEMA activated all 10 Regional Response Coordination Centers to support ongoing response efforts across the country. Emergency operations centers in 48 states, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are at full or partial activation.
  • It is important that requests for assistance, especially for critical supplies, get routed through the proper channels as soon as possible. The most efficient way to identify critical gaps and get results:
  • Consistent with the principle of locally executed, state managed, and federally supported response, requests for assistance at the local and county levels should first be routed to their respective state.
  • Any needs that cannot be met by the state or tribe should then be sent to the respective FEMA regional office. FEMA regions will direct requests to FEMA NRCC in Washington, D.C. for fulfillment.
  • FEMA is working with HHS to deliver additional supplies and ventilators. This includes using its Logistics Supply Chain Management System to procure and track commodities to supplement state and tribal purchases.
  • Federal agencies working to meet demands for personal protective equipment (PPE) through new acquisition, DOD allocation and the Strategic National Stockpile.
  • On March 23, FEMA obligated $31 million to the state of Louisiana to reimburse expenses for the response to COVID-19. > On March 22, FEMA obligated $32 million to the state of California to reimburse costs related to the COVID-19 response.
  • The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) also has funding available, including $40 million dollars specifically identified for tribes, tribal organizations, and tribal health service providers.
  • National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases mobilized a rapid research response to quickly develop effective countermeasures for COVID- 19, including diagnostics, vaccines, and treatments.


Additional Resources: 

  • FEMA compiled the best practices and lessons learned that communities have already faced fighting COVID-19. FEMA will continue to add content and highlight key areas where communities can benefit from learning. To learn more about Coronavirus Emergency Management Best Practices, click here
  • For a FEMA Fact Sheet focused on Public Assistance, click PDF iconhere
  • For a FEMA Fact Sheet focused on Eligible Emergency Protective Measures, click PDF iconhere


Emergency Food and Shelter Program  
FEMA announced that the Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) National Board will allocate $200 million to communities across the country to assist organizations providing critical resources to people with economic emergencies, including our nation's hungry and homeless populations.

These funds were appropriated in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act to ease financial hardship caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Funding will go to organizations dedicated to feeding, sheltering, and providing critical resources to people experiencing, or at-risk of experiencing, hunger and homelessness.  In addition to the $200 million supplemental funding from the CARES Act, Congress also appropriated $120 million in FY 2019 annual funding to the EFSP. The funding, totaling $320 million, will be distributed beginning in early June 2020 to human service organizations assisting those in need throughout the country.

The National Board is chaired by FEMA with representatives from American Red Cross, Catholic Charities USA, The Jewish Federations of North America, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA, The Salvation Army, and United Way Worldwide. The National Board administers the program, establishing its policies, procedures, and guidelines. United Way Worldwide, selected by the National Board to serve as its Secretariat and Fiscal Agent, carries out the work of the EFSP daily.

EFSP funding is allocated to qualifying local jurisdictions (counties and cities) based on a formula using the most recent national population, unemployment, and poverty data. Each funded jurisdiction establishes a Local Board that awards the grant funds to local social service organizations, both nonprofit and governmental, that can best address the identified needs of the community. With the FY 2019 and CARES Act funding, and the FY 2020 funding of $125 million that is to be allocated to jurisdictions a couple months later, the total aid disbursed in the EFSP’s 38-year history will be more than $5 billion.

A state-by-state list of the eligible jurisdictions and allocation amounts is available on the EFSP Website.