FEMA Public Assistance

At the direction of the president, FEMA can provide funding and technical assistance to state and local government and certain private, non-profit institutions for the repair or replacement of public properties damaged or destroyed by a declared major disaster. Among these can be restoration of public-owned facilities (roads, bridges, buildings, parks, etc.) and other facilities considered necessary to re-establish the integrity of the disaster area's infrastructure.

FEMA also can provide assistance for emergency protective measures, debris removal, emergency communications and emergency public transportation. In addition, the agency may make limited loans to local governments which have suffered a substantial loss from their tax rolls and other revenues as a result of the disaster.

With the exclusion of these community disaster loans, however, it is important to note that the public assistance funding is made available on a cost-sharing basis in which FEMA normally provides at least 75 percent payment of the eligible costs for essential emergency services and the repair or replacement of damaged public property. In certain cases, such as flooding recoveries, this percentage can be reduced for damages to public facilities that are located in federally-mapped flood zones but are not insured by a standard flood insurance policy.