FEMA accepting local government applications for its Public Assistance Grant Program for COVID-19 expenses


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On March 13, 2020, a national emergency declaration was made for the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. Both public and private non-profit institutions of higher education may be eligible for federal assistance with the pandemic from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) through its Public Assistance Grant Program administered by Ohio’s Emergency Management Agency or other states’ emergency management agencies. 

The type of work that qualifies for this type of disaster assistance is referred to as “Category B – Emergency Protective Measures.” FEMA defines those as actions taken by a community before, during and following a disaster to save lives, protect public health and safety, or eliminate immediate threat of significant damage to improved public and private property through cost effective measures. Examples include:

  • emergency operation center costs
  • event-specific training
  • disinfection of eligible public facilities
  • temporary medical facilities
  • enhanced medical/hospital capacity
  • medical sheltering
  • security and law enforcement
  • purchase and distribution of food, water, ice, medicine and other consumable supplies, including personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • public health and safety communications
  • reimbursement for local government force account overtime costs

The work must be disaster-related, be the applicant’s legal responsibility for emergency protective measures and not be fundable by another federal agency. 

In order to be considered, applicants must submit a Request for Public Assistance. Ordinarily, this is required within 30 days of the designation of the declared disaster, but this deadline has been extended indefinitely for COVID-19. Nevertheless, applicants are encouraged to submit their applications sooner rather than later to the Ohio Emergency Management Agency at emarecovery@dps.ohio.gov or to your state’s emergency management agency contact.

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