Tools & Resources

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This web page provides an overview of public private partnership tools.

Public Private Partnerships - Tools & Resources

abstract image of gearsWhy Start A Public-Private Partnership?

Have you wondered how to show your leadership the value of having a public-private partnership? Here are just a few reasons why we think it is important:

  • According to FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, "There's no way government can solve the challenges of a disaster with a government-centric approach. It takes the whole team. And the private sector provides the bulk of the services every day in the community."

  • FEMA leadership has increased the commitment of staff, resources and funding over the past few years in order to work more closely and effectively with the U.S. private sector. Many state and local officials are doing the same.

  • Across the country there are many impressive public-private partnership models.

  • Most successful models have the following foundational core attributes: Publically Accessible, Dedicated, Resourced, Engaged, and Sustainable.

  • One size does not fit all. In fact, there are a variety of models in many states and big cities that build upon these attributes in dynamic ways. Among them:

    • Sharing situational awareness,

    • Identifying available response and recovery resources,

    • Memoranda of Agreement or Understanding,

    • Joint Training and Exercises,

    • Dedicated liaisons,

    • Established communication protocols,

    • Private Sector representation within an emergency operation center (EOC),

    • Fully staffed business emergency operations centers.

  • Seeing the collective progress at the local, state and federal level, there is a compelling argument and ample evidence that every community would benefit from public-private collaboration.

  • We are better able to serve our neighbors, fellow citizens, first responders and our nation's disaster survivors in particular, when public sector and private sector representatives are active members of the same team.

  • We can share successful models and best practices. We can contribute effective tools. We can train and exercise together. We can identify appropriate, functional funding streams.

Funding Public-Private Partnerships

Adequate funding is a key part of successful public-private partnerships.  States can choose to spend their Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP) funds, which includes the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) program, to engage the private sector in preparedness and response efforts.  Grants are to be used for building and sustaining capabilities during the phases of emergency management: preparedness, protection, response, recovery and mitigation. The preparedness programs administered by the Grant Programs Directorate with FEMA all support the achievement of the National Preparedness Guidelines and National Priorities. A private sector entity developing a public private partnership may be eligible to apply as a sub-grantee for these programs.

Please review the information on the Grant Website. If you are interested in becoming a sub-grantee, become familiar with the State Administrative Agency in your area. Also, if you have examples of grant awards that have helped with your public private partnerships, please share with us at

Grant Highlights

Per FY 2010 HSGP Guidance, some of the allowable costs include:

  • "Developing public/private sector partnership emergency response, assessment, and resource sharing plans" (page 75)

  • "Developing or enhancing plans to engage and interface with, and to increase the capacity of, private sector/non-governmental entities working to meet the human service response and recovery needs of victims" (page 75)

  • "Developing or enhancing plans for donations and volunteer management and the engagement/integration of private sector/non-governmental entities in preparedness, response, and recovery activities" (page 76)

Furthermore, States are encouraged to test the integration of private sector resources in their exercises.  Specific HSGP language says “State, local, tribal, and territorial jurisdictions are encouraged to develop exercises that test the integration and use of non-governmental resources provided by non-governmental entities, defined as the private sector and private non-profit, faith-based, community, volunteer, and other non-governmental organizations” (page 86). 

Also, the Emergency Management Grant Program (EMPG) language in FY 2010 allows for “developing/enhancing emergency management and operations plans to integrate citizen/volunteer and other non-governmental organization resources and participation” (page 12).

Public Private Partnership Resources

Federal and State Resources

Ready Business

FEMA Grants and Assistance

State Administrative Agencies

Public Sector Organizations

Citizen Corps

Washington Emergency Management Business Portal

Private Sector Organizations

Protective Actions for Life Safety

Emergency Clip Board

Business Executives for National Security.


Institute for Public Private Partnerships

Iowa Business Council.

National Council for Public Private Partnerships

Safeguard Iowa Partnership.

For more information on Public-Private Partnerships, please check out our What We Do section of the website.

Disclaimer: FEMA’s Private Sector Division of the Office of External Affairs facilitates information sharing and good practices for developing effective public-private partnerships. This Web site and its contents are provided for informational purposes only, without warranty or guarantee of any kind, and do not represent the official positions of the US Department of Homeland Security. For more information on the Private Sector Division, please email or visit


    Last Updated: 
    04/09/2015 - 16:55
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