On Friday, March 13, 2020, President Donald J. Trump declared a national emergency concerning the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic under section 501(b) of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 41 U.S.C. 5121-5207 (Stafford Act). On March 18, 2020, the President issued Executive Order 13909, “Prioritizing and Allocating Health and Medical Resources to Respond to the Spread of COVID-19,” which declares it is critical that “all health and medical resources needed to respond to the spread of COVID-19 are properly distributed to the Nation’s healthcare system and others that need them most.” As of April 6, 2020 All 50 states, the District of Columbia, five territories and 23 tribes are working directly with FEMA under the nationwide emergency declaration for COVID-19, and Stafford Act major disasters have been declared in more than 39 states and territories. Among other things, the Stafford Act authorizes FEMA to coordinate all disaster relief assistance provided by Federal agencies, private organizations, and State and local governments.
You have agreed to work with FEMA to facilitate rapid distribution of critical resources in short supply to locations with the greatest need. FEMA will frequently communicate to you the resource priorities based on FEMA and HHS data, compiled using subject matter experts in healthcare, emergency management, and logistics, and in consultation with State, Territorial, and Tribal governments and the private sector. This information will be updated regularly as the need for resources changes throughout the country in response to COVID-19.
Your partnership further enables FEMA and its federal partners to take a Whole-of-America approach to combatting COVID-19. Together, we can efficiently distribute these vital resources to hospitals, healthcare facilities, nursing homes, pre-hospital medical services, to include third-service, fire-based, volunteer, and related emergency medical service providers, state and local governments, and other facilities critical to caring for the American people during this pandemic.
Deputy Associate Administrator (Acting)
Office of Response and Recovery