When buildings that house essential services, such as school classrooms, police and fire department facilities, government offices, and certain PNP functions, such as critical health facilities, are damaged extensively enough that they cannot be used until repairs are made, temporary relocation of the essential services may be necessary. Other PNP facilities may be eligible if they are directly related to public health and safety and under contract with State and local government to provide the health and safety functions. Temporary relocation may also be necessary in instances where such buildings are undamaged but inaccessible due to disaster-related conditions in the immediate vicinity. The criticality of the service and safety of the facility are the factors used to determine the need for temporary relocation. Temporary relocation is permitted as an emergency protective measure under Section 403 of the Stafford Act.
The costs associated with temporary relocation are eligible but are subject to cost comparisons of alternate methods of providing facilities. Such costs include the rental or purchase of temporary space and equipment. The decision whether to rent or purchase space and equipment must be based on cost effectiveness. Utilities, maintenance, and operating costs of the temporary facility are not eligible. However, applicants who perform essential services in leased facilities who have had to temporarily relocate to other leased facilities as a result of the disaster may be eligible for a reasonable rental cost differential if the temporary facilities are more costly than the pre-disaster facilities.
The moving costs, as well as necessary alterations at the new location, might be eligible if the continued operation of the facility is necessary to eliminate immediate threats to life or property.
The length of time that rental costs are eligible is based on the time estimated to complete repair work that will bring the damaged facility to pre-disaster design, not including time for completion of improvements. Normally, the period of time for which temporary relocation assistance may be provided is 6 months, based on the regulatory time limitation for the completion of emergency work. If no additional funds are involved, the GAR may approve a time extension if the GAR is satisfied that extenuating circumstances beyond the control of the applicant prevented the completion of the work within the initial time limit and that the applicant has provided the design proposal, a schematic, and a revised timeline for the permanent project. If additional funds are required, the GAR may recommend to FEMA a time extension based on extenuating circumstances beyond the control of the applicant that prevented the completion of the work within the initial time limit and the provision of the design proposal, a schematic, and a revised timeline for the permanent project. An extension requiring additional funding may not be granted without a design proposal, schematic, and timeline for the permanent work. Extensions beyond a total temporary relocation period of 12 months are extremely rare, but may be approved by the FEMA Regional Administrator if construction began within the 12-month period.