9523.15 Eligible Costs Related to Evacuations & Sheltering

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  1. TITLE: Eligible Costs Related to Evacuations and Sheltering

  2. DATE: April 6, 2007

  3. PURPOSE: This policy identifies the expenses related to State and local emergency evacuation and sheltering activities that are eligible for reimbursement under the Category B, Emergency Protective Measures provisions of FEMA's Public Assistance program, following an emergency or major disaster declaration.

  4. SCOPE AND AUDIENCE: This policy applies to all emergencies and major disasters declared on or after the publication date of this document.

  5. AUTHORITY: Sections 403 and 502 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5121-5206 (Stafford Act) and implementing regulations at 44 CFR Part 206.

  6. BACKGROUND: States and local governments that receive evacuees from areas declared an emergency or major disaster may seek reimbursement for eligible sheltering and evacuation-support costs in accordance with mutual aid reimbursement protocols, through the affected and supported state(s). See 44 CFR § 206.223(a)(2).

  7. POLICY:

    1. State and local governments may conduct sheltering operations directly, or may contract with other sheltering providers for such services, including mutual aid agreements. Eligible costs may be reimbursed for the time the facility is actively used to shelter disaster victims.

    2. This policy recognizes two distinct forms of sheltering, as follows:

      1. Congregate Shelter. Any private or public facility that provides contingency congregate refuge to evacuees, but that day-to-day serves a non-refuge function. Examples include schools, stadiums, and churches.

      2. Transitional Shelter. Any private or public facility that, by design, provides a short-term lodging function and an increased degree of privacy over a congregate shelter. Examples include hotels, motels, and cruise/berthing ships.

    3. Congregate Sheltering. Eligible Category B congregate sheltering costs may include, but are not limited to, the reasonable costs for:

      1. Facilities.

        • Minor modifications to buildings used for congregate sheltering, if necessary to make the facility habitable.

        • Facility lease or rent (at the market rate; loss of revenue is not eligible).

        • Utilities, such as power, water, and telephone.

        • Generator operation (but not purchase).

        • Shelter safety and security.

        • Shelter management.

        • Phone banks for disaster victims, if essential and necessary.

      2. Supplies and Commodities. Eligible items are those needed for, and used directly on, the declared disaster, and are reasonable in both cost and need. Examples include:

        • Cots.

        • Food and water.

        • Linens/blankets/pillows.

        • Personal comfort kits (e.g., shampoo, soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, etc.).

        • Towels/washcloths.

        • Televisions or radios (1 per 50 shelterees; basic CATV service is eligible).

        • Washers/dryers (1 each per 50 shelterees).

      3. Pay for Regular Employees. If the regular employees of an applicant perform duties in direct support of congregate sheltering operations, any overtime pay related to such duties is eligible for reimbursement. However, the straight-time pay of these employees is not eligible.

      4. Applicant-Owned Equipment. The use of applicant-owned equipment (such as buses or other vehicles) to provide eligible evacuation or sheltering support will generally be reimbursed according to the FEMA Schedule of Equipment Rates (does not include operator labor).

      5. Emergency Medical Services.

        1. For the purposes of screening the health of shelter residents, assessing and treating minor illnesses and injuries, and making referrals (e.g., calling 911), congregate shelters may be staffed with emergency medical technicians, paramedics, nurses, or physicians. The number of medical staff will vary according to the size and type of shelter population. Special needs shelters will require higher-skilled medical staff (e.g., registered nurses) than a general population shelter.

        2. The following costs related to the provision of emergency medical services in a congregate sheltering environment may be eligible for reimbursement:

          • First aid assessment.

          • Provision of first aid, including materials (bandages, etc.).

          • Provision of health information.

          • Special costs of caring for individuals with chronic conditions.

          • Supervision of paid and volunteer medical staff.

          • Prescriptions required for stabilizing the life of an evacuee/shelteree (supply not to exceed 30 days).

          • Medical staff for emergency and immediate life stabilizing care, including mental health and special needs evacuee populations.

          • Public Information Officer.

          • Social Worker.

        3. The costs of triage, medically necessary tests, and medications required to stabilize an evacuee/shelteree patient for transportation to a hospital or other medical facility may be eligible. The PA applicant should not seek reimbursement for these costs if underwritten by private insurance, Medicare, Medicaid or a pre-existing private payment agreement. Long-term treatments are not eligible, in accordance with FEMA Recovery Policy 9525.4.

        4. The costs of transporting an evacuee/shelteree patient to a hospital or other medical facility may be eligible.

        5. If congregate shelter medical staff determine that an evacuee/shelteree requires immediate medical or surgical attention, and requires transportation to a hospital or other medical facility for necessary and emergency life sustaining treatment not available at the shelter, the costs associated with such evacuee/shelteree transportation, diagnosis, testing and initial treatment are eligible. Eligible outpatient costs are limited to:

          1. Local professional ambulance transport services to and from the nearest hospital equipped to adequately treat the medical emergency.

          2. Physician services in a hospital outpatient department, urgent care center, or physician's office, and related outpatient hospital services and supplies, including X-rays, laboratory and pathology services, and machine diagnostic tests for the period of time that the evacuee/shelteree is housed in congregate sheltering.

        6. Vaccinations administered to protect the health and safety of congregate shelterees and supporting emergency workers are, for transmissible or contagious diseases, an eligible expense.

      6. Transportation. Transportation of evacuees to congregate shelters is an eligible expense when the means of transportation is the most cost-effective available. Other transportation services may be provided pursuant to Section 419 of the Stafford Act.

      7. Shelter Safety and Security. Additional reimbursable safety and security services may be provided at congregate shelters, based upon need. Police overtime costs - associated with providing necessary, additional services at congregate shelters - are eligible for reimbursement.

      8. Cleaning and Restoration. The costs (to the Applicant) to clean, maintain, and restore a facility to pre-congregate shelter condition are eligible.

      9. Animal Shelters. Generally, congregate sheltering facilities do not allow household pets (except service animals assisting people with disabilities), due to health and safety regulations. Eligible animal shelter costs include costs associated with the provisions of rescue, shelter, care, and essential needs (e.g., inoculations) for evacuee and rescued household pets and service animals, to include veterinary staff for emergency and immediate life-stabilizing care. Exhibition or livestock animals are not eligible for animal sheltering.

    4. Transitional Sheltering. Transitional sheltering, if authorized, will be implemented and managed directly by FEMA, through a contract agent. FEMA will not reimburse State or local governments for providing transitional sheltering to displaced disaster victims. Accordingly, eligible Category B transitional sheltering costs are limited to the following:

      1. Transportation. The following transportation costs are eligible for reimbursement:

        • One-time transportation of evacuees from congregate sheltering to transitional shelters is an eligible expense, when the means of transportation available is the most cost-effective.

        • Other transportation services will be provided pursuant to Section 419 of the Stafford Act.

      2. Pay for Regular Employees. If the regular employees of an applicant perform duties related to provision 1 above, any overtime pay related to such duties is eligible for reimbursement. However, the straight-time pay of these employees is not eligible.

  8. ORIGINATING OFFICE: Disaster Assistance Directorate (Public Assistance Division).

  9. SUPERSESSION: This policy supersedes all previous policy and guidance on this subject.

  10. REVIEW DATE: Three years from date of publication.

     David Garratt
     Acting Assistant Administrator
     Disaster Assistant Directorate

Disaster Assistance Policy 9523.15 - Eligible Costs Related to Evacuations and Sheltering (PDF 549KB)

Last Updated: 
07/24/2014 - 16:00
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