Hurricane Matthew: Applying for FEMA Assistance

First, an incredibly important point on applying for FEMA assistance:

  • Once a disaster is declared: you have 30 days to apply. After that you are completely shut out of the process. No exceptions. Ever.

The following is from CEMA Director Dennis Jones, which explains a bit more about the process and what to expect: “As we begin Recovery, there will be several important meetings coming up.  The list below will help to explain each meeting so everyone can understand terminology and expectations.

Preliminary Damage Assessments (PDA):  These are the FEMA Teams that have been in the community over the last several days. We have had teams looking at private property (these are the IA PDA Teams), and teams looking at government owned property (these are the PA PDA Teams). These teams are evaluating the community to determine if we qualify for an IA Declaration and separately a PA Declaration to cover permanent work.  The IA PDA Team has completed their assessment, and I’m hopeful we will have a determination mid-week.  The PA PDA Team will be in the community through Tuesday. Hopefully we will have a determination toward the end of the week.

Applicant Briefing: This is the meeting scheduled for Thursday at 2:00 PM in Bryan County (Bryan County Administration Building, 66 Captain Matthew Freeman Drive, Richmond Hill, Georgia  31324). Governments and Private-Non-Profit (PNP) entities are encouraged to attend. This is a introduction meeting to discuss the PA Program. To obtain maximum benefit from the meeting, you are encouraged to send representatives from executive management, emergency response, public works, and accounting, finance and procurement. You will also be asked to designate a primary point of contact to interact with GEMSHA and FEMA.  This meeting will cover the areas listed below:

·         Application procedures

·         Project funding

·         Hazard mitigation

·         Administrative requirements

·         Procurement requirements

·         Environmental and historic preservation (EHP) compliance requirements

·         General eligibility criteria

·         Documentation requirements

·         Recordkeeping

PNPs will need to bring additional info. Please contact me [Dennis Jones] directly, and I will share with you the additional needs.

Request for Public Assistance (RPA): If you want to seek public assistance funding, you must fill out an RPA – FEMA Form 90-49  (applies to PNP entities also).  This form was attached to the email distributed earlier announcing the Applicant’s Briefing. Often times, GEMSHA will ask for the RPAs at the end of the Applicant’s Brief.  I recommend you bring five fully completed and original RPAs. They may only require one, but you will have several extra in case they ask for more. Next week, FEMA and GEMSHA will review the RPAs to determine eligibility.  If eligible, FEMA will assign a PA Representative to you who will manage FEMA’s processing of your projects.

Kickoff Meeting: This is different from the Applicant’s Briefing.  The Applicant’s Briefing is a general high level introduction. The Kickoff Meeting is individualized between FEMA and you. Once a FEMA PA Representative is assigned, the PA Rep will contact your primary POC to schedule an initial meeting (Kickoff Meeting). This is generally done within 21 days following the assignment of a FEMA PA Rep.  The Kickoff Meeting is designed to address your specific needs. At the Kickoff Meeting, FEMA and GEMSHA will discuss with you:

·         Details of your impacts from the incident

·         Hazard mitigation opportunities

·         Eligibility criteria for work and costs

·         Project formulation

·         Insurance requirements

·         EHP compliance requirements

·         Documentation requirements

·         Appeal process

You should ensure staff with knowledge of  incident-related damages, emergency activities, and related costs attend the meeting (e.g., public works official, finance staff, risk manager).  You should be prepared to provide the information below during the Kickoff Meeting

A list of all impacts for each site, including:

·         Map of jurisdiction showing all sites.

·         Specific location of debris impacts and facility damage using either the address or U.S. National Grid (USNG) location.

·         Facility names.

·         Documentation to support legal responsibility (i.e. Deeds, Titles, Lease agreements, Contracts for facilities under construction).

·         Whether the facility was damaged in a prior incident.

·         Pre-incident photographs of impacted site or facility, if available.

·         Photographs of debris impacts or facility damage. Include estimated quantities of debris by type, Brief description of damage with dimensions.

·         Emergency Work activities.

·         Estimated costs.

·         Whether the project is high priority.

·         Proposed, or completed, repair scope of work, including hazard mitigation measures.

·         Whether the work is complete including summary of actual costs for completed work; professional cost estimates for uncompleted work, if available.

·         Who performed, or will perform, the work.

·         Potential environmental issues or historical preservation concerns.

·         Age of the facility.

·         Age of nearby facilities that may be affected by the project.

·         Debris reduction and disposal sites.

·         Summary of insurance coverage, including copy of policy, schedule of values, statements of loss, and settlement documents.

Hope this helps.  There are a lot of new coordination efforts you will be exposed to over the next several months.  If you need any help, just call and we will do our best to assist.

Dennis Jones, dtjones@chathamcounty.org

Main: 912-201-4500

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