Main Content

R6 Public Assistance

This page provides general information on Region 6 Public Assistance for Tribal, State, and Local government audiences.


Public Assistance is supplementary assistance to Tribal, State, and Local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations for response and recovery in a major disaster or emergency.

One of the ways this assistance is provided is through Federal grants to help rebuild public facilities such as roads, bridges, water control facilities, buildings, utilities, and recreational facilities damaged by disasters.

FEMA funds a minimum of 75 percent of Public Assistance grants, and the grantee funds the balance. Tribal governments may receive Public Assistance grant funds as sub-recipients of the State or directly as grantees.

Intent of Public Assistance

  • To provide assistance to address immediate threats to life, public health, and safety; and to protect improved public and private properties.
  • To ensure the public is served in a timely and efficient manner.
  • To provide assistance to repair, restore, or replace eligible permanent facilities.
  • To encourage mitigation measures.

Policy Changes and Updates, as of 8/4/17

  • To Be Announced

Public Assistance Eligible Applicants

The Public Assistance Program and Policy Guide (PAPPG) combines all Public Assistance (PA) policy into a single volume and provides an overview of the PA Program implementation process with links to other publications and documents that provide additional process details.

Tribal Governments

  • Federally recognized Indian Tribal Governments organizations (hereinafter referred to as “Tribal Governments”) may apply as direct Applicants or as a Sub-Applicant through the State. 

State Governments/Agencies

  • State and Territorial governments are eligible Applicants.

Local Jurisdictions

The following types of Local governments are eligible as Sub-Applicants:

  • Counties and parishes
  • Municipalities, cities, towns, boroughs, and townships
  • Local public authorities
  • School districts
  • Intrastate districts
  • Councils of governments (regardless of whether incorporated as nonprofit corporations under State law)
  • Regional and interstate government entities
  • Agencies or instrumentalities of local governments
  • State-recognized Tribes
  • Special districts established under State law
    • Community Development Districts are special districts that finance, plan, establish, acquire, construct or reconstruct, operate, and maintain systems, facilities, and basic infrastructure within their respective jurisdictions. To be eligible, a Community Development District must be legally responsible for ownership, maintenance, and operation of an eligible facility that is accessible to the public.

The State or a political subdivision of the State may submit applications on behalf of rural communities, unincorporated towns or villages, and other public entities not listed above.

Private Non-Profits (PNP)

To be an eligible PNP Sub-Applicant, the PNP must show that it has:

  • A current ruling letter from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service granting tax exemption under sections 501(c), (d), or (e) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954; or
  • Documentation from the State substantiating it is a non-revenue producing, nonprofit entity organized or doing business under State law.

Additionally, prior to determining whether the PNP is eligible, FEMA must first determine whether the PNP owns or operates an eligible facility. For PNPs, an eligible facility is one that provides an eligible service as listed below:

  • A facility that provides a critical service, which is defined as education, utility, emergency, or medical; or
  • A facility that provides a non-critical, but essential governmental service AND is open to the public. PNP facilities generally meet the requirement of being open to the public if ALL of the following conditions are met:
    • Facility use is not limited to any of the following:
      • A certain number of individuals;
      • A defined group of individuals who have a financial interest in the facility, such as a condominium association;
      • Certain classes of individuals; or
      • An unreasonably restrictive geographical area, such as a neighborhood within a community;
    • Facility access is not prohibited with gates or other security systems; and
    • Any membership fees meet all of the following criteria:
      • Are nominal;
      • Are waived when an individual can show inability to pay the fee;
      • Are not of such magnitude to preclude use by a significant portion of the community; and
      • Do not exceed what is appropriate based on other facilities used for similar services.

In cases where the facility provides multiple services, such as a community center, FEMA reviews additional items to determine the primary service that facility provides, such as:

  • U.S. Internal Revenue Service documentation
  • Pre-disaster charter, bylaws, and amendments
  • Evidence of longstanding, routine (day-to-day) use (e.g., a calendar of activities)

Facilities established or primarily used for political, athletic, religious, recreational, vocational, or academic training, conferences, or similar activities are not eligible.

Pre-Disaster - Planning for Recovery

Host State Sheltering and Evacuation Information for State Officials

Funding of Host State Evacuation and Sheltering Activities -

Host-State Sheltering/Evacuation Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) -

Host State Sheltering and Evacuation Reimbursement Workflow Chart -

Incident Occurs - Getting Organized

Donated Resources and Materials

Preliminary Damage Assessments

Federal Disaster Declaration Process

R6 Public Assistance Timeline

Categories of Work - Page 20 of the PAPPG

Emergency Work - Address an immediate threat:

A. Debris Removal

B. Emergency Protective Measures

Permanent Work - Restoration of:

C. Roads/Bridges

D. Water Control Facilities

E. Buildings/Equipment

F. Utilities

G. Parks, Recreational, and other Facilities

Disaster Declared - Prepping for Recovery

Change in the Pilot Program

As part of the extension, FEMA is changing the implementation of the sliding scale provision.  FEMA will only authorize the sliding scale provision in events with significant debris impacts.  This change is effective for disasters declared sixty (60) days after the publication date of this guidance (June 28, 2017).  


FEMA will authorize the sliding scale in major disasters for States that meet the following indicators:

  • Generated large quantities of debris in the affected state with estimates exceeding 1.5 million cubic yards or $20 million in debris removal costs;
  • Caused a high concentration of localized damage (e.g. large number damaged or destroyed homes and businesses; and/or significant infrastructure damage in affected communities); an
  • Declared very soon after the incident (within eight days) in order to incentivize rapid removal of debris.
  • Tribes will be given special consideration, on a case-by-case basis, to determine whether the impact of an event merits sliding scale authorization.
  • The remaining provisions are unchanged. 


  • States and tribes are not required to request authorization of the sliding scale when requesting a major disaster declaration.  FEMA will evaluate the information included in the Preliminary Damage Assessment prior to authorizing the sliding scale.  FEMA will notify affected states and tribes if the sliding scale is authorized at the time of the declaration.  Participation in the sliding scale is still voluntary.  The state or tribe cannot appeal FEMA’s decision.   

Next Steps

  • FEMA will continue to collect data, in order to inform decisions as to which alternative procedures should be permanently incorporated into FEMA’s Public Assistance Program. 

  • Documenting Your Work 
    • List of Projects
    • PA Material Cost Codes
    • Project Formulation -  See Page 134 of PAPPG

      FEMA and the Recipient work with the Applicant to formulate incident-related damage and work into projects (i.e., subawards) based on logical groupings of the damage and work.  This process is a collaborative effort beginning at the Kickoff Meeting and concluding with an Exit Briefing.

      FEMA uses the Project Worksheet (PW) (FEMA Form 90-91) as the Subaward Application. FEMA uses the PW to document details of the Applicant’s project, including a detailed description of the disaster-related damage and dimensions and the associated scope of work (SOW) and costs. If the project involves multiple locations, FEMA may use site sheets to differentiate damage, work, and costs by site within the PW. The disaster damage and dimensions SOW, and costs for each site are documented on separate site sheets.

  • Project Worksheets -A tool used by the Applicant and FEMA to develop projects. The PW (FEMA Form 90-91) is the primary form used to document the location, damage description and dimensions, scope of work, and cost estimate for each project.
  • Insurance - FEMA cannot provide PA funding that duplicates insurance proceeds.
    • Consequently, FEMA reduces eligible costs by the amount of:
      • Actual insurance proceeds, if known;or
      • Anticipated insurance proceeds based on the Applicant’s insurance policy, if the amount of actual insurance proceeds is unknown. FEMA subsequently adjusts the eligible costs based on the actual amount of insurance proceeds the Applicant receives.
    • FEMA requires the Applicant to take reasonable efforts to pursue claims to recover insurance proceeds that it is entitled to receive from its insurer(s). If the Applicant expends costs to pursue its insurance claim, FEMA offsets the insurance reduction with the Applicant’s reasonable costs to pursue the claim.
    • If the Applicant receives insurance proceeds for ineligible losses (e.g., business interruption), FEMA calculates a relative apportionment of insurance proceeds to determine the insurance reduction based on:
  • Schedule of Equipment Rates - The rates on this Schedule of Equipment Rates are for applicant‐owned equipment in good mechanical condition.

  • Applicant Documentation Checklist

  • Debris Removal Contractor Registry Information - FEMA is no longer hosting the Debris Removal Contractor Registry in an effort to streamline the Federal government enterprise structure. To replace this capability, you may use the contractor registry at hosted by the United States General Services Administration at the link provided below. provides a similar service to that provided by the Debris Removal Contractor Registry: contractors may register their business information on the site, including capabilities and locations served, and those seeking assistance from companies providing debris removal services may search for such companies on


The Applicant may appeal any FEMA determination related to an application for, or the provision of, assistance under the PA Program.  For Alternative Procedures Projects, the Applicant may submit an appeal only for insurance or corrective actions resulting from reviews such as an audit.

FEMA provides the Applicant with two opportunities to request FEMA reconsider a determination. The first appeal is to the FEMA RA. If the Applicant disagrees with the first appeal determination, it may submit a second appeal to the Assistant Administrator of the Recovery Directorate at FEMA Headquarters.

The Applicant must submit a written appeal to the Recipient within 60 days of receiving written notification of FEMA’s determination. The Recipient must forward the appeal with its written recommendation to FEMA within 60 days of its receipt of the appeal.

FEMA reviews the appeal and, within 90 days of receiving it, takes one of two actions:

  • Provides its final written decision to the Recipient; or
  • Requests additional information specifying the date FEMA must receive the information (usually 30 days).

Additional Appeals Information

  • The Appeals Database is an online, searchable database containing FEMA responses to applicant appeals for assistance.
  • For Public Assistance Appeals read Upon Further Review
  • Need additional information?  Contact the State PA Officer or Tribal Representative

Close Out

Applicants are responsible for completing recovery actions, and are accountable for the use of Public Assistance grant funds.

Public Assistance Program Management and Grant Closeout Standard Operating Procedure

Large Project Closeout Checklist


Donated Resources: Tribal & State Officials and Voluntary Agencies

Fire Management Assistance Grants (FMAG)

Fire Management Assistance Grant, available to States, local and tribal governments, for the mitigation, management, and control of fires on publicly or privately owned forests or grasslands, which threaten such destruction as would constitute a major disaster. The Fire Management Assistance declaration process is initiated when a State submits a request for assistance to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Regional Director at the time a "threat of major disaster" exists. The entire process is accomplished on an expedited basis and a FEMA decision is rendered in a matter of hours.

For assistance please contact Whitney Winchester, 940-297-0171

Outreach and Training

Region 6 Public Assistance Branch is proud to present courses on various topics related to PA:

For more information please contact Sandra LeFever, PA Training Coordinator, 940-297-0120 or Whitney Winchester, PA Training Supervisor, 940-297-0171.


The Public Assistance Program and Policy Guide (PAPPG) combines all Public Assistance (PA) policy into a single volume and provides an overview of the PA Program implementation process with links to other publications and documents that provide additional process details.

Public Assistance: Policy and Guidance (archive) - contains information about policy and guidance on the FEMA Public Assistance Program. This page provides access to the FEMA Public Assistance Program and Policy Guide as well as other Public Assistance Program policies, guidance, and publications.

The Public Assistance Resources and Tools page allows state, local, and tribal governments to maintain a greater working knowledge of the Agency’s processes and enhance the Nation’s level of resilience and preparedness.

Public Assistance: Frequently Asked Questions runs through a number of topics from Eligibility to Project Funding to Hazard Mitigation.

Disaster Declarations

Disaster Recovery Centers

Additional R6 Resources:

R6 Public Assistance Contacts

Bill Boone, Branch Chief, 940-297-0110

Arkansas - Patrick Ruland

Louisiana - Arsany Thomas

Baton Rouge Processing Center - Alice Joffrion

New Mexico - Whitney Winchester

Oklahoma - Karri Dubois

Texas - Melinda Dunn

Last Updated: 
12/13/2017 - 10:37