Public Assistance

Under the Public Assistance (PA) Program, which is authorized by the Stafford Act, FEMA awards grants to assist State and local governments and certain Private Nonprofit (PNP) entities with the response to and recovery from disasters. Specifically, the program provides assistance for debris removal, emergency protective measures, and permanent restoration of infrastructure. The Federal share of these expenses typically cannot be less than 75 percent of eligible costs. The program also encourages protection from future damage by providing assistance for hazard mitigation measures during the recovery process. The PA Program encourages planning for disaster recovery, but PA Program funds may not be used for the costs of planning. The costs incurred implementing the plans are eligible for reimbursement only if they meet PA Program eligibility criteria.

The PA Program is based on a partnership of FEMA, State, and local officials.
FEMA is responsible for managing the program, approving grants, and providing technical assistance to the State and applicants.

The State, in most cases, acts as the Grantee for the PA Program. FEMA, the State, and the Applicant are all responsible for grants awarded under the PA program. The State educates potential applicants, works with FEMA to manage the program, and is responsible for implementing and monitoring the grants awarded under the program. In some instances, the State may take a more active role in overall management of certain disasters, as discussed later in this chapter under State Management of Disasters. Some State regulations prohibit the State from acting as Grantee for an Indian Tribe. In such cases, or upon the Tribe’s choice, a Tribal government may act as its own Grantee.

Local officials are responsible for identifying damage, providing sufficient data for FEMA to develop an accurate scope and cost estimate for doing the work and approving grants, and managing the projects funded under the PA Program.

The Stafford Act Consultants are experienced in all phases of the PA program. We have written project worksheets (PWs), engaged A/E services, performed eligibility analysis, written winning appeals and drafted contracts for over $100M in PA projects over five Presidentially-declared events.