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ONE FEMA: FEMA’s Public Assistance Program Looks to its “North Star”

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Following the 2022 Independent Assessment of FEMA’s Public Assistance (PA) program, FEMA leadership saw a need for a shared vision and guiding principles for the program, establishing a stronger foundation of partnership to better serve the American people before, during, and after a disaster.

PA staff engaged with external partners to help shape and finalize a new vision for the PA program - “Deliver Public Assistance funding to our partners in a way that promotes equitable treatment, timely recovery, and resilient rebuilding of communities.”  Taken together, the vision along with three guiding principles represent the “North Star” for the program and its stakeholders.

The assessment identified a need throughout Public Assistance for greater collaboration between applicants, recipients, and FEMA staff to improve the program and disaster recovery.

“As our flagship program for helping communities rebuild infrastructure, restore critical services to the public, and build climate resilience, the new vision and guiding principles for our Public Assistance program will help FEMA meet disaster impacted communities where they are,” says FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell. “We want to ensure staff are empowered to support communities during the critical recovery stage and build back more quickly, efficiently and resiliently.”          

The PA program continues to share the same mission as the agency, “helping people before, during, and after disasters.” However; following the assessment, the new vision to ““Deliver Public Assistance funding to our partners in a way that promotes equitable treatment, timely recovery, and resilient rebuilding of communities” will ensure FEMA staff is better positioned to achieve these specific outcomes.

This new vision is supported by the following guiding principles, also developed through internal and external engagement and feedback:

  • We prioritize customer experience above all else
  • We are solution-oriented and embody FEMA core values
  • We look to maximize flexibility under our authorities to help communities

These guiding principles prioritize customer experience while building unity to resolve challenges and breaking down barriers to better meet the funding needs of our communities.  

Bringing the whole team together, staff and partners, under one goal guided by principles that align with FEMA’s core mission to support disaster survivors, will ensure FEMA effectively delivers the resources communities deserve when they need them the most. You can click here to learn more about the assessment, recommendations, and ongoing implementation efforts. FEMA remains committed to simplifying and streamlining program requirements, reducing the burden on stakeholders/applicants, and expanding access to PA grant funding. To learn more about the efforts to simplify the PA program, explore FEMA’s Simplifying the Public Assistance Program page.

 

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