Assistance After a Disaster or Emergency
When a disaster or emergency occurs, it is critical that you understand the process in order to receive federal funds. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Public Assistance Grant Program (PA) funds the repair, restoration, reconstruction, or replacement of a public facility or portion of the infrastructure that is damaged or destroyed by a disaster. Certain private nonprofit (PNP) organizations may also receive assistance.
Eligible PNPs include educational, utility, emergency medical, rehabilitation and temporary or permanent custodial care facilities (including those for the aged and disabled) and other PNPs that provide essential services of a governmental nature to the general public.
After an event, begin to quantify the damages as soon as is practicable and forward this information to your county and state emergency management representative. State/FEMA damage assessment teams will survey the damage and estimate repair costs. Don’t delay in reporting damage and costs associated with the disaster as there is a thirty day time limit to ask for an emergency declaration. As soon as practicable after the declaration, the State, assisted by FEMA, conducts briefings for State, local and PNP officials to inform them of the assistance available and how to apply for it. Intent to apply for assistance must be filed with the State within 30 days after the area is designated eligible for assistance. Projects fall into the following categories:
A. Debris Removal
B. Emergency Protective Measures
C. Roads and Bridges
D. Water Control
E. Buildings & Equipment
G. Parks, Recreation and Other
The New Jersey Office of Emergency Management (NJOEM) will conduct applicant briefings to provide important information to eligible entities. Be sure to send personnel to their briefings who are able to address and understand the issues and processes associated with receiving federal assistance. Failure to do so may result in an erroneous or flawed application process.
Know what public facilities are insured and which ones aren’t. For insurable structures within Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA). Primary building assistance from FEMA is reduced by the amount of insurance settlement that could have been obtained under a standard National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Policy. Municipalities should insure public property in flood hazard areas. For structures located outside the SFHA, FEMA will reduce the amount of eligible assistance by any insurance proceeds.
After applicants are identified, a kickoff meeting will be conducted by FEMA with NJOEM representatives to discuss specific project formulation and cost estimation. This meeting will also concentrate on eligibility documentation required for each project. FEMA reviews and approves the project applications and obligates the Federal share of the costs (75 percent to the state). The state then disburses funds to local applicants. Once FEMA obligates funds to the State, further management of the assistance, including disbursement to subgrantees is the responsibility of the NJ Office of Emergency Management.
PUBLIC ASSISTANCE GRANT PROGRAM
The Public Assistance Grant Program is here for your benefit in the aftermath of a disaster. Learn the process now in order to remain compliant with the law and regulations as set forth by the RobertT. Stafford Act.
Review the Public Assistance Grant Program at www.fema.gov/grants.
Document structures/locations in your area that may be effected by a disaster by keeping updated maintenance records/documents/photos of roads, bridges, rivers, dams, etc. Take training programs on-line as they relate to Recovery operations.
COURSES TO TAKE:
IS-630, IS-631, IS-292, IS-7
For additional information contact the NJ Office of Emergency Management Public Assistance Unit at 609-882-2000 Ext. 2351, 2497 or 2700 or visit our website at www.ready.nj.gov.