Purchase and Distribution of Ice

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Joint Policy 9523.20

  1. TITLE: Purchase and Distribution of Ice

  2. DATE: August 26, 2009


    To establish FEMA policy regarding the purchase and distribution of ice in support of States, territories, Tribal governments and/or other eligible applicants before, during, and after a major disaster or emergency declaration.


    This policy is applicable to all major disaster and emergency declarations by the President, on or after the date of publication of this policy. It is intended for all personnel involved in the management and/or reimbursement of commodities to meet identified critical needs before, during, and after events that result in an emergency or major disaster declaration.


    Section 403 and 502 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5121, et seq.


In April of 2007, FEMA announced it would no longer purchase, distribute, or store ice as one of the basic initial response commodities such as water, emergency meals, blankets and cots that FEMA traditionally provides pre-landfall or in the immediate aftermath of a disaster. This decision was based on lessons learned from past hurricane response operations, and reflects FEMAs™ transition in 2007 towards a logistics management capability that relies on enhanced relationships with logistics partners at the Federal, State, and local levels. This enhancement of FEMAs™ coordination role was specifically recognized in both the House and Senate Hurricane Katrina reports.

  1. POLICY:

Planning and preparing for disasters is a shared responsibility among Federal, Tribal, State, and local governments and the private sector, as well as individual citizens.

When the President declares a major disaster or emergency at the request of a Governor, and authorizes essential or emergency assistance (Sections 403 and 502 of the Stafford Act), FEMA supports the State in meeting the immediate, emergency health and safety needs of residents of designated communities affected by the declared event. In meeting these needs in priority order, with regard to ice, FEMA will:

  • Reimburse (under the FEMA Public Assistance Program), States, territories, Tribal governments, and other eligible applicants for the eligible costs associated with purchasing and distributing ice as an emergency protective measure.

  • Direct a mission assignment to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers or use agreements with other entities, as required, to augment States, territories, Tribal governments and/or other eligible applicants' local purchasing capability.

  1. RESPONSIBLE OFFICE: Logistics Management Directorate and Disaster Assistance Directorate (Public Assistance Division).

  2. SUPERSESSION: This policy supersedes FEMA Disaster Support Ice Policy dated July 3, 2008.

  3. REVIEW DATE: This policy does not automatically expire, but will be reviewed 3 years from the date of publication.

     Elizabeth A. Zimmerman
     Assistant Administrator
     Disaster Assistance Directorate

      Eric Smith
     Assistant Administrator
     Logistics Management Directorate

      William L. Carwile, III
     Assistant Administrator
     Disaster Operations Directorate

Joint Policy 9523.20 - Purchase and Distribution of Ice (PDF 519KB)


Last Updated: 
07/24/2014 - 16:00
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