DENVER – In the year since a National Emergency Declaration was issued for the Coronavirus Pandemic, FEMA Region 8 has provided more the $1.4 billion in assistance to states and tribal nations; nearly $32 million of that amount has directly supported state or local vaccination clinics. Region 8 encompasses the states of Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming along with the 29 federally recognized tribal nations within those boundaries.
Along with the national emergency declaration issued March 13, 2020, major disaster declarations were subsequently issued for all 50 states, the District of Columbia and all federal territories. This opened a variety of FEMA funded assistance programs. FEMA has provided assistance to state, tribal and local governments via its Public Assistance program and through mission assignments of other federal agencies to provide needed resources. The agency assisted individuals directly through the Lost Wages program, which supplemented unemployment assistance, and also supported mental health efforts by funding state Crisis Counseling programs.
FEMA’s Public Assistance Program provides funding for emergency actions undertaken by communities to protect public safety, including vaccination clinics, providing at least a 75-percent funding share for eligible costs. Remaining costs are the responsibility of the state and local applicants for assistance. President Biden approved a 100-percent cost share for projects related to the pandemic response that include work completed between Jan. 20, 2020, and Sept. 30, 2021.
The agency also may direct other federal agencies to provide assistance in response to specific requests from the states. Multiple states have received assistance include funding for National Guard actions completed under Title 32 activations supporting in variety of roles. There also have been funds provided for work by the Army Corps of Engineers for development of alternate care sites, Forest Service Incident Management teams, and for the deployment of medical staff or resources from the Departments of Defense, Health and Human Services and Veterans Affairs.
FEMA provided support to the states through the crisis counseling program. States developed program using existing local mental health providers, with FEMA providing funding assistance to deliver the services.
Another source of assistance directly to individuals came via the Lost Wages program. Following an executive order, FEMA was able to provide states with funding to augment unemployment assistance by an additional $300 a week. The assistance was available for the period of July 26 through September 6.
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(As of March 11, 2021)
FEMA continues to support state, tribal and local pandemic response efforts. The agency has liaisons deployed to support all six states in the ongoing vaccination efforts. FEMA Region 8 also is closely coordinating with federal agency partners to assist our communities with recovery efforts in the post-pandemic period.