Links to FEMA Public Assistance Resources:
- How to: Request FEMA Public Assistance
- FEMA Region Contacts
- Find Declarations by State: FEMA Disaster Declarations by State
Emergency Declarations: The President can declare an emergency for any occasion or instance when the President determines federal assistance is needed. Emergency declarations supplement State and local or Indian tribal government efforts in providing emergency services, such as the protection of lives, property, public health, and safety, or to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in any part of the United States. The total amount of assistance provided for in a single emergency may not exceed $5 million. The President shall report to Congress if this amount is exceeded.
Assistance Available Under Emergency Declarations:
Public Assistance (PA) – Only Categories A (debris removal) and B (emergency protective measures) may be authorized under an emergency declaration.Categories C-G (permanent work) are not available under an emergency declaration. Emergency declarations often include only Category B and will typically be limited to DFA, absent damage assessments showing significant need for financial assistance. This assistance is generally provided on a 75% federal, 25% non-federal cost sharing basis.
Major Disaster Declarations: The President can declare a major disaster for any natural event, including any hurricane, tornado, storm, high water, wind-driven water, tidal wave, tsunami, earthquake, volcanic eruption, landslide, mudslide, snowstorm, or drought, or, regardless of cause, fire, flood, or explosion, that the President determines has caused damage of such severity that it is beyond the combined capabilities of state and local governments to respond. A major disaster declaration provides a wide range of federal assistance programs for individuals and public infrastructure, including funds for both emergency and permanent work.
Requirements: The Governor of the affected State or Tribal Chief Executive of the affected Tribe must submit the request to the President through the appropriate Regional Administrator within 30 days of the occurrence of the incident. The request must based upon a finding that the situation is beyond the capability of the State and affected local governments or Indian tribal government and that supplemental federal assistance is necessary. In addition the request must include:
Confirmation that the Governor or Tribal Chief Executive has taken appropriate action under State or Tribal law and directed execution of the State or Tribal emergency plan;
An estimate of the amount and severity of damage to the public and private sector;
A description of the State and local or Indian tribal government efforts and resources utilized to alleviate the disaster;
Preliminary estimates of the type and amount of Stafford Act assistance needed; and
Certification by the Governor or Tribal Chief Executive that the State and local governments or Indian tribal government will comply with all applicable cost sharing requirements.
Public Assistance – Assistance to State, Tribal, and local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations for emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities, which may include the following Categories:
A – Debris removal
B – Emergency protective measures
C – Roads and bridges
D – Water control facilities
E – Buildings and equipment
F – Utilities
G – Parks, recreational and other facilities
- Reference: https://www.fema.gov/disaster-declaration-process
- Public Assistance: https://www.fema.gov/public-assistance-local-state-tribal-and-non-profit