Coronavirus: FEMA reimbursement eligibility for emergency protective measures
On March 13, 2020, United States President Donald J. Trump declared a nationwide emergency under the Stafford Act. This action allows the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide funding to state and local governments and eligible non-profit entities in response to the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Eligible entities may receive disaster relief funds appropriated by Congress to reimburse the costs of emergency measures to protect the public health and safety of their communities. All 50 U.S. states, tribal and territorial governments have applied for and received an emergency declaration from FEMA for the COVID-19 pandemic.
FEMA Public Assistance Program
In accordance with section 502 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, eligible emergency protective measures taken to respond to the COVID-19 emergency at the direction or guidance of public health officials may be reimbursed under Category B – Emergency Protective Measures of FEMA’s Public Assistance Program. FEMA will not duplicate assistance provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), to include the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or other federal agencies.
Under the COVID-19 emergency declaration, FEMA may provide assistance for emergency protective measures including, but not limited to, the following areas of interest to Code Council members, if not funded by the HHS/CDC or other federal agency.
- Reimbursement for state, tribe, territory and/or local government force account overtime costs. Code officials should keep track of overtime expenditures and document those expenses with their jurisdiction emergency management organizations.
- Management, control and reduction of immediate threats to public health and safety: Training specific to the management, control and reduction of immediate threats to public health and safety for the declared event.
- Emergency medical care: Temporary medical facilities. Eligible expenses may include reviewing plans and issuing permits, inspecting and enforcing relevant codes, and expenses related to issuing certificates of occupancy for temporary medical facilities.
- Household pet sheltering and containment actions related to household pets in accordance with CDC guidelines. Eligibility may include costs associated with a change of use or occupancy class of an existing building or construction of temporary building to meet this need.
Consistent with the national emergency declaration for the COVID-19 pandemic, FEMA urges officials to, without delay, take appropriate actions that are necessary to protect public health and safety pursuant to public health guidance and conditions and capabilities in their jurisdictions.
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic: Eligible Emergency Protective Measures Fact Sheet provides guidance on the types of emergency protective measures that may be eligible under FEMA’s Public Assistance Program in accordance with the COVID-19 emergency declaration in order to ensure that resource constraints do not inhibit efforts to respond to this unprecedented disaster.