(Source: FEMA) – The Public Assistance program is for infrastructure recovery. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) emphasizes the differences between the Individual Assistance and Public Assistance programs. Unlike Individual Assistance, through which individuals and households may apply for federal funding to help recover from disasters, Public Assistance provides funding for eligible projects to recover elements of the infrastructure. As an example, damaged public roads, bridges, culverts are elements of the infrastructure.
Through the Public Assistance program, FEMA provides supplemental federal disaster grant assistance for debris removal, emergency protective measures, and the repair, replacement, or restoration of disaster-damaged, publicly owned facilities and the facilities of certain private nonprofit organizations. The Public Assistance program also encourages protection of these damaged facilities from future events by providing assistance for hazard mitigation measures during the recovery process.
Applicants for Public Assistance typically include organizations that provide public service, such as municipalities, townships and school districts. Other applicants might include volunteer fire fighter organizations; sewer authorities; emergency management offices; and regional police departments.
Public Assistance funding may cover costs incurred to return elements of the infrastructure to as close to their pre-disaster condition as possible.
Expenses may include costs for work such as debris removal and repair or replacement of damaged roads, bridges and other public components.
FEMA Public Assistance specialists work closely with individual applicants to review specifics of each project to determine which expenses may be covered.
For a list of frequently asked questions about the federal Public Assistance process, see: http://www.fema.gov/public-assistance-frequently-asked-questions.
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards. FEMA Region III’s jurisdiction includes Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia. Stay informed of FEMA’s activities online: videos and podcasts are available at http://www.fema.gov/medialibrary and www.youtube.com/fema. Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/femaregion3.