Public Assistance Program

The Public Assistance Program provides grants to state, local, and federally recognized tribal governments and certain private non-profit entities to assist them with the response to and recovery from disasters. Specifically, the program provides assistance for debris removal, emergency protective measures, and permanent restoration of infrastructure.

Eligible Applicants: Eligible applicants include state,  local, and federally recognized tribal governments and any other political subdivision of the state. Certain private non-profit (PNP) organizations may also receive assistance. Eligible PNPs include educational, utility, emergency, medical, temporary or permanent custodial care facilities (including those for the aged and disabled), irrigation, museums, zoos, community centers, libraries, homeless shelters, senior citizen centers, rehabilitation facilities, shelter workshops and health and safety services and other PNP facilities that provide essential services of a governmental nature to the general public. PNPs that provide “critical services” (power, water – including water provided by an irrigation organization or facility, sewer, wastewater treatment, communications and emergency medical care) may apply directly to FEMA for a disaster grant. All other PNPs must first apply to the Small Business Administration (SBA) for a disaster loan. If the PNP is declined for a SBA loan or the loan does not cover all eligible damages, the applicant may reapply for FEMA assistance.

Public Assistance Process: As soon as practicable after the declaration, the grantee (state, territory, or tribe), assisted by FEMA, conducts the Applicant Briefings for state, territorial, local, tribal and PNP officials to inform them of the assistance available and how to apply for it. A Request for Public Assistance must be filed by the grantee within 30 days after the area is designated eligible for assistance. Following the Applicant’s Briefing, a Kickoff Meeting is conducted where damages will be discussed, needs assessed, and a plan of action put in place. A combined federal/state/territorial/tribal/local team proceeds with Project Formulation, which is the process of documenting the eligible facility, the eligible work, and the eligible cost for fixing the damages to every public or PNP facility identified by State, territorial, tribal, or local representatives. The team prepares a Project Worksheet (PW) based on actual costs or on the basis of an estimate for each project.

Public Assistance Projects Categories:

• Category A: Debris removal
• Category B: Emergency protective measures
• Category C: Roads and bridges
• Category D: Water control facilities
• Category E: Public buildings and contents
• Category F: Public utilities
• Category G: Parks, recreational, and other facilities
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Brocato and Associates has extensive experience in working with Public Assistance grant guidance to assist local, tribal and state governments with the grant application process. Let us help you nav igate the Public Assistance process.