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FEMA Guidance Documents

FEMA issues guidance documents to help the public understand how the agency administers its statutory and regulatory authorities. Consistent with Executive Order 13891 (Promoting the Rule of Law Through Improved Agency Guidance Documents), FEMA posts agency guidance documents on this page. Guidance documents may also be posted on the FEMA.gov webpages of responsible program offices.

What is a Guidance Document?

A guidance document, as defined by Executive Order 13891, is "an agency statement of general applicability, intended to have future effect on the behavior of regulated parties, that sets forth a policy on a statutory, regulatory, or technical issue, or an interpretation of a statute or regulation." The term "guidance document," as used in Executive Order 13891, is a term of art, and it is subject to various exclusions and exemptions. For example, the Executive Order contains an exemption for guidance documents related to a homeland security function of the United States. In general, guidance documents lack the force and effect of law, except as authorized by law or as incorporated into a contract.

FEMA is substantially complying with the transparency provisions of Executive Order 13891. This page therefore includes many of the agency guidance documents that meet the definition of "guidance document" in the Executive Order. This page also contains other types of guidance documents.

Feedback on Guidance Documents

Members of the public who have feedback or complaints regarding FEMA guidance documents should contact the responsible program office that issued the guidance.