Public Assistance Categories of Work

Release Date:
March 7, 2023

The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Public Assistance (PA) Program supports State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial (SLTT) governments, and certain types of private nonprofit (PNP) organizations. Through this program, FEMA provides supplemental grant assistance for debris removal, emergency protective measures, and the restoration of disaster-damaged, publicly owned facilities and specific facilities of certain Private Non-Profit organizations. It also encourages protection from future incident with cost-effective mitigation measures for disaster-damaged facilities.

Emergency Work

This is work that must be completed immediately following a disaster to save lives, protect public health and safety, protect improved property, or eliminate or lessen an immediate threat of additional damage. Emergency work is divided in two categories:

  • Debris Removal: clearing, removing, and disposing of debris when doing so is in the public interest.
    • Debris may include damaged cars and boats as well as vegetative debris, construction and demolition debris, sand, dirt, gravel, pebbles, and boulders.
  • Emergency Protective Measures conducted before, during, and after an incident are eligible, if the measures:
    • Eliminate or lessen immediate threats to lives, public health, or safety, OR
    • In a cost-effective manner, eliminate or reduce immediate threats of significant additional damage to improved public or private property.

Work must be completed within six (6) months from the declaration date unless the Recipient or FEMA authorize an extension. The current deadline for emergency work related to Hurricane Fiona is March 21, 2023.

Permanent Work

Is the restoration of disaster-damaged, publicly owned facilities and the facilities of certain Private Nonprofits (PNP). Permanent work is divided in five (5) categories:

  • Roads and Bridges
    • Roads may be paved, gravel or dirt
  • Water Control Facilities
    • Dams and reservoirs, levees and floodwalls, aqueducts
    • Navigational waterways and shipping channels
  • Buildings and Equipment
    • Buildings including all structural and non-structural components, including mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems; contents and equipment within the building; and furnishings.
    • Equipment includes vehicle and construction equipment.
  • Utilities
    • Water storage facilities, power generation, sewage collection
    • Communication systems
  • Parks, Recreational, Other
    • Mass transit, beaches, boat docks, etc.
    • Other facilities that do not fit in the previously mention categories.

Permanent Work has an 18-month deadline from the date of declaration to be completed unless the Recipient or FEMA authorize an extension. Currently the deadline to complete Permanent Work projects is March 21, 2024.

Note: For work to be eligible for the PA program (at minimum) it must be:

  • Required as a result of the declared incident
  • Located within the designated area
  • The legal responsibility of an eligible Applicant

For additional information on the Public Assistance Program refer to the Process of Public Assistance Grants at:

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Last updated March 7, 2023