Consistent with the President’s national emergency declaration for the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on March 13, 2020, FEMA urges officials to, without delay, take appropriate actions that are necessary to protect public health and safety pursuant to public health guidance and conditions and capabilities in their jurisdictions. FEMA provides the following guidance on the types of emergency protective measures that may be eligible under FEMA’s Public Assistance Program in accordance with the COVID-19 Emergency Declaration in order to ensure that resource constraints do not inhibit efforts to respond to this unprecedented disaster.
FEMA Public Assistance Program
In accordance with section 502 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5121-5207 (the “Stafford Act”), eligible emergency protective measures taken to respond to the COVID-19 emergency at the direction or guidance of public health officials may be reimbursed under Category B of FEMA’s Public Assistance program. FEMA will not duplicate assistance provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), to include the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), or other federal agencies.
State, territorial, tribal, and local government entities and certain private non-profit organizations are eligible to apply for Public Assistance. FEMA assistance will be provided at a 75 percent federal cost share. This assistance will require execution of a FEMA-State/Tribal/Territory Agreement, as appropriate, and execution of an applicable emergency plan. Local governments and other eligible PA applicants will apply through their respective state, tribal or territorial jurisdictions.
Under the COVID-19 Emergency Declaration described above, FEMA may provide assistance for emergency protective measures including, but not limited to, the following, if not funded by the HHS/CDC or other federal agency. While some activities listed may be eligible for funding through HHS/CDC, final reimbursement determinations will be coordinated by HHS and FEMA. FEMA will not duplicate any assistance provided by HHS/CDC):
- Management, control and reduction of immediate threats to public health and safety:
- Emergency Operation Center costs
- Training specific to the declared event
- Disinfection of eligible public facilities
- Technical assistance to state, tribal, territorial or local governments on emergency management and control of immediate threats to public health and safety
- Emergency medical care:
- Non‐deferrable medical treatment of infected persons in a shelter or temporary medical facility
- Related medical facility services and supplies
- Temporary medical facilities and/or enhanced medical/hospital capacity (for treatment when existing facilities are reasonably forecasted to become overloaded in the near term and cannot accommodate the patient load or to quarantine potentially infected persons)
- Use of specialized medical equipment
- Medical waste disposal
- Emergency medical transport
- Medical sheltering (e.g. when existing facilities are reasonably forecasted to become overloaded in the near future and cannot accommodate needs)
- All sheltering must be conducted in accordance with standards and/or guidance approved by HHS/CDC and must be implemented in a manner that incorporates social distancing measures
- Non‐congregate medical sheltering is subject to prior approval by FEMA and is limited to that which is reasonable and necessary to address the public health needs of the event, is pursuant to the direction of appropriate public health officials and does not extend beyond the duration of the Public Health Emergency.
- Household pet sheltering and containment actions related to household pets in accordance with CDC guideline.
- Purchase and distribution of food, water, ice, medicine, and other consumable supplies, to include personal protective equipment and hazardous material suits movement of supplies and persons.
- Security and law enforcement
- Communications of general health and safety information to the public.
- Search and rescue to locate and recover members of the population requiring assistance.
- Reimbursement for state, tribe, territory and/or local government force account overtime costs.
Further information about eligible emergency protective measures can be found in the Public Assistance Program and Policy Guide, FP 104-009-2 (April 2018).
For more information, visit the following federal government websites: