Disaster Recovery


Public Assistance

Public assistance programs are designed to help state and local government agencies and some non-profit organizations recover from the effects of disasters. There is the realization that, in many cases, a community may not have sufficient funds on-hand to rebuild an entire infrastructure following a major disaster. Public assistance programs typically involve a cost-sharing arrangement between the local government (25%) and the federal government (75%).

Although the public assistance program is funded largely by FEMA, the state has the burden of managing the program. The state is the grant administrator for all funds provided under the Public Assistance Program. Part 13 of the Code of Federal Regulations gives the states more discretion to administer federal programs in accordance with their own procedures and thereby simplify the program and reduce delays. As grantee, the state is responsible for administering the programmatic and grants management requirements of the Public Assistance Program. Key among the programmatic requirements is informing the applicants of the assistance available to them -- what is eligible and how to apply for it. Grant management includes applying for federal assistance, monitoring and closing out the grant. The state and FEMA work in partnership to provide prompt and consistent service to all applicants.

The state is responsible for performing the following tasks:

More information about the Public Assistance programs of FEMA can be obtained by visiting FEMA's Public Assistance web site.


THE 50% RULE: THE ELIGIBILITY OF FACILITIES FOR REPLACEMENT UNDER 44 CFR 206.226(d)(1)

"Disaster damage"* in the §206.226(d)(l) determination of eligibility for a replacement facility shall include only costs for the repair of damage, and not the costs of any triggered or mandatory upgrading of the facility beyond the repair of the damaged elements (even though these upgrade costs may be eligible for FEMA funding.) Thus, the determination of eligibility of a facility for replacement will be calculated by the following fraction: The cost of repair of the disaster damage* (repair of the damaged components only, using present day materials and methods) divided by the cost of replacement of the facility** with a facility of equivalent capacity, using current codes for new construction. If this calculation is greater than 50%, then replacement is considered to give a better return on the taxpayers' investment, and is thus eligible for FEMA funding under §206.226(d)(l). More...