FEMA released an interim policy to clarify eligible work under the Public Assistance program as part of the response to coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The interim policy “COVID-19 Pandemic: Work Eligible for Public Assistance” is applicable to eligible applicants only and is exclusive to emergency and major disaster declarations for the COVID-19 pandemic. This policy applies to work performed on or after September 15, 2020.
FEMA releases this interim policy as part of the President’s March 13 nationwide emergency declaration and subsequent major disaster declarations for COVID-19. Because of these declarations, state, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) government entities and certain private non-profit (PNP) organizations are eligible to apply for assistance under the FEMA Public Assistance program.
The interim policy defines the framework, details and requirements for eligibility of work and costs under the Public Assistance Program to ensure consistent and appropriate implementation across all COVID-19 emergency and major disaster declarations. Only work associated with the performance of emergency protective measures specifically listed in this policy is eligible for Public Assistance in COVID-19-declared events.
Under the new policy, FEMA provides assistance for emergency protective measures in response to COVID-19 declared events, to include the following:
- Purchase and distribution of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that is directly related to the performance of otherwise eligible emergency work, or is provided to healthcare workers, patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 infection, and first responders.
- Funding for stockpiling a supply of eligible PPE is limited to a 60-day supply from date of purchase.
- Funding for storing eligible PPE is limited to what is necessary to store 60-day PPE supply.
- Medical care, in accordance with COVID-19 specific policy – “COVID-19 Pandemic: Medical Care Costs Eligible for Public Assistance, Version 2 (Interim)” policy – being concurrently released or subsequent updates.
- Purchase and distribution of food, in accordance with COVID-19 specific policy or subsequent updates.
- Non-congregate medical sheltering, in accordance with COVID-19 specific policy or subsequent updates.
- Operation of Emergency Operations Centers to direct and coordinate resources and response activities for COVID-19 declarations.
- Communications to disseminate public information regarding health and safety measures and provide warnings about risks and hazards.
- Mass casualty management, including the storage of human remains and mass mortuary services needed to manage mass fatalities caused by COVID-19.
- Assistance for other activities may be eligible when necessary to perform otherwise eligible emergency work listed in the policy; for example, the purchase and distribution of face masks, temperature screening, disinfecting in accordance with CDC guidance, and temporary physical barriers.
FEMA may provide Public Assistance funding to applicants for eligible work under the COVID-19 declarations that may also be eligible for funding under another federal agency’s authorities. Potential Public Assistance applicants may have the flexibility to determine which source of funding to use for their costs, subject to the purpose and eligibility requirements of each of the federal programs and funding sources.
The “COVID-19 Resource Summary Report” is a list of resources provided by the federal government since the start of the response to COVID and is designed to assist with recovery efforts. Partners should directly consult each agency’s program information to verify the applicability of a resource.
FEMA Releases Revised Transitional Sheltering Assistance Policy
FEMA releases a revised Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) policy. TSA is a short-term, non-congregate sheltering form of assistance for displaced disaster survivors taking refuge in emergency shelter locations. The intent of TSA is to provide temporary sheltering for survivors as they transition from emergency shelters to temporary or permanent housing.
FEMA authorizes TSA when a state, local, tribal or territorial (SLTT) government requests assistance supporting the emergency needs of survivors in the area of the Presidentially declared disaster for Individual Assistance. The SLTT government must submit the request through the Federal Coordinating Officer and Regional Administrator to FEMA Headquarters.
This Interim TSA policy supersedes previously issued Disaster Specific Guidance(s) and does the following:
- Provides specific TSA activation timeline as it relates to shelter stabilization
- Standardizes the initial and continued registrant eligibility criteria
- Simplifies the request, approval, and implementation processes of TSA
Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities Program
This update provides recent and upcoming activities to prepare prospective applicants and subapplicants to successfully apply for funding, to include resource links for upcoming webinars about the Building Resilience Infrastructure Community (BRIC) program and new grant. On August 4, 2020, FEMA posted funding notices for two non-disaster hazard mitigation grant programs for up to $660 million.
Grant Application Period and Webinar Series
Mitigation actions help to strengthen our nation’s ability to build a culture of preparedness by reducing disaster losses and protecting life and property from future disaster damage.
The non-disaster hazard mitigation grants application period opens on September 30, 2020. Eligible applicants and subapplicants must apply for funding using the FEMA Grants Outcome portal (FEMA GO), which is the new grants management system for the agency. Applications must be received in FEMA GO by 3:00 PM ET, January 29, 2021.
Beginning on August 18 and into early September, FEMA is offering six webinars to help applicants and subapplicants learn about the eligible activities for both grants and to navigate the application process to ensure a timely and successful application. For information about dates and times and how to register, visit the FEMA.gov “Notices of Funding Opportunities” page. The virtual sessions will be recorded and published online. The virtual sessions will be recorded and published online.
FEMA GO is a new grants management system on the new FEMA.gov website that streamlines the process of applying, tracking and managing FEMA grants. This system is the culmination of a multi-year effort to modernize and transform the way FEMA conducts grants management.
FEMA provided FEMA GO training in its 10 regional offices to stakeholders based in their state, local community, tribes and territories. Additional training and readily accessible program support will be published on FEMA.gov as it becomes available. A FEMA GO Help Desk offers support with creating and submitting FMA and BRIC grant applications. For additional information visit, FEMA GO.
Program Support Materials
For this year’s Hazard Mitigation Assistance non-disaster Notices of Funding Opportunities (NOFO), FEMA developed a robust collection of program support materials. For the new BRIC program, information is provided on eligible activities that support building codes, partnerships, project scoping, mitigation planning, direct technical assistance, competition criteria and more. For FMA, the program support materials will help with project scoping, community flood mitigation projects and more.
- View the Building Resilient Infrastructure Communities program support materials on FEMA's website
- View the Flood Mitigation Assistance program support materials FEMA's website
One resource that may be of particular interest to many stakeholders is the BRIC Mitigation Action Portfolio. This portfolio introduces stakeholders to the BRIC program and the array of eligible hazard mitigation activities that can benefit a community.
BRIC Summer Engagement Wrap-up
Every Wednesday through the month of July, FEMA hosted a one-hour webinar for stakeholders interested in learning about the new BRIC grant program. The Summer Engagement Series discussed key elements of the new program. Average attendance for these engagements ranged from 600-950 participants, primarily from federal, state, and local government. Additional participants included 10 tribes, up to 40 universities, and several key stakeholder organizations.
The five weekly engagements described the new program and how it relates to a variety of topics including building codes, Community Lifelines, and nature-based solutions. The sessions were recorded and are posted on the FEMA YouTube channel. To view or download a copy of the presentation, visit www.fema.gov/bric.
Also, follow Administrator Pete Gaynor on Twitter @FEMA_Pete.
FEMA Announces Fiscal Year 2020 Regional Catastrophic Preparedness Grants
On August 19, 2020, FEMA announced $10 million in competitive awards for its Fiscal Year 2020 Regional Catastrophic Preparedness Grant Program to 12 state and local governments to assist in developing innovative regional solutions to issues to catastrophic incidents, including pandemic preparedness.
The grant program supports the building of core capabilities, which address the nation’s greatest risks and are essential to achieving the National Preparedness Goal of a secure and resilient nation. Delivering core capabilities requires the combined effort of the whole community, rather than the exclusive effort of any single organization or level of government.
The 2020 grants focus on planning, organization, training and exercises to build regional capabilities in Health and Medical and Food, Water and Sheltering Community Lifelines.