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Second Appeal Summary
PA ID# 083-00000; Santa Barbara County
DSR ID# 91728; Emergency Measures
Citation: Appeal Brief; Second Appeal; Santa Barbara County; FEMA-1046-DR-CA;
Reference: DSR 91728; Emergency Measures
Summary: Following the March 10, 1995, storm in Santa Barbara County (County), California, FEMA prepared DSR 91728 for $21,627 for emergency response efforts, including photographic expenses, meals and lodging, telephones, telephone services, mapping services, and equipment repairs. Upon review, FEMA determined each of the expenses to be ineligible because the appeal lacked sufficient documentation to support the eligibility of these costs. On October 18, 1995, the County submitted a letter of non-concurrence and supporting documentation. On August 5, 1996, the State forwarded the first appeal. The basis of this appeal was that the above items and services were necessary during emergency response operations. On November 12, 1996, the Regional Director denied the first appeal, based on a lack of adequate documentation to support the eligibility of each of the items, including: meals and lodging (receipts or documentation of a County policy were not provided); cellular telephones and services (the useful life of the equipment extends beyond the emergency period); repair cost of a crane beam damaged during the storm cleanup (a component of force account equipment rates); and mapping services used to assist in planning repair projects (covered under the applicant's statutory allowance.) On February 20, 1997, the State forwarded the second appeal, requesting a total of $12,896 for mapping services, telephone services, crane repair, and meals and lodging. The basis of this appeal is that the items were necessary during emergency operations responding to the disaster. The appeal is supported by a considerable amount of documentation, including the County's meal and lodging policy and receipts, and a spreadsheet estimation of disaster-related cellular phone expenses.
Issue: 1. Are the meals and lodgings eligible expenses? 2. Are the cellular phone services eligible expenses? 3. Is the crane repair an eligible expense? 4. Are the mapping services eligible expenses?
Findings: 1. Yes. The applicant's meals and lodging policy allows for reimbursement, however receipts for only $1,151 were provided. 2. Yes. The cellular phone services were associated with emergency response activities, were within the incident period, and were pro-rated to include only disaster-related calls. 3. No. No documentation was provided to substantiate crane repair costs. 4. No. Mapping services for project reconstruction are of a planning nature and are covered by statutory administrative allowance.
Rationale: To be an eligible expense, an item of work must be required as the result of a major disaster event, pursuant to 44 CFR 206.223. Therefore, the crane repair and mapping services are not eligible, and the meals and lodging and phone services are eligible.