Coronavirus Pandemic Response: FEMA Releases New Policy for Declarations
Today, 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.
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