Hurricane Sandy FEMA Applicant Briefing for Private Not for Profit Organizations

The Bloomberg Administration is working hard to ensure that non-profit organizations get the support they need and deserve. As you may have heard, President Obama signed a Major Disaster Declaration authorizing FEMA to provide Public Assistance to government and eligible Private Not for Profit (PNP) groups.

To apply for FEMA Public Assistance (PA), the first step is to attend an Applicant Briefing being held by FEMA. There are four upcoming briefings scheduled, as follows:

What: Hurricane Sandy Applicant Briefing for Private Not for Profit (PNP) Organizations

When: Friday, November 16 Session I: 10am – 12pm; Session II: 2pm – 4pm

Monday, November 19 Session I: 10am – 12pm; Session II: 2pm – 4pm

Where: 49 – 51 Chambers Street, New York, NY

Directions: By Subway: 1, 2, 3 trains to Chambers Street; A, C to Chambers Street; J, Z, 4, 5, 6 trains to Chambers Street/City Hall/Brooklyn Bridge       By Bus: M15 to City Hall/Park Row

At the Applicant Briefing, a FEMA representative will provide an overview of its Public Assistance program and eligibility criteria. If you have not already done so, you will also have an opportunity to complete a one-page Request for Public Assistance (RPA) form that will register your organization as a FEMA applicant.

After the Applicant Briefing, and once you are registered, a FEMA representative will contact you directly to schedule a Kick-Off meeting. This is when you will discuss damages and costs specific to your organization.

Important: FEMA determines whether a Private Non-Profit (PNP) is eligible. This is an evolving process, and categories of eligibility may change as the specifics of Hurricane Sandy’s impact become clearer. We strongly encourage you to attend an Applicant Briefing regardless of whether or not your organization type is listed as eligible in FEMA guidelines.

To RSVP for a FEMA Applicant Briefing, please complete the RSVP form here: Limit two attendees per organization.

Whether or not you can attend a FEMA Applicant Briefing, you are encouraged to register with FEMA as soon as possible by completing and submitting the RPA form. The one-page form can be found here: Email the completed form to John Grubsick at and a FEMA representative will contact you directly. The deadline for submitting an RPA is currently December 2, 2012.

In the interim, you should continue to document all costs and damages associated with the storm. During your subsequent Kick-Off meeting with FEMA, you will be required to provide:

* Proof of your non-profit status (i.e., 501(c)3 letter)
* Photographic proof of damages, including both before and after photos if available
* Description of expenses incurred, including what the expenses are, who did the work, when and where it was completed, why it was necessary, and how it was related to the storm * Receipts and invoices for expenses incurred
* Insurance information and receipts of any claims filed after the storm

Public Assistance for PNPs – Eligible Organizations and Work Categories:
Eligible PNPs are those organizations that provide some sort of governmental service, broken down into two categories:
*   Critical Services – e.g., fire/emergency services, emergency medical care, Education (primary and secondary schools and higher education facilities, including vocational), communications, sewer and waste water, drinking water, and power
*   Non-Critical – e.g., zoos, museums, libraries, community centers, community arts centers, homeless shelters, etc.

Categories of Work are divided into Emergency Work and Permanent Work:
Emergency Work
*   Category A: Debris Removal – Clearance of trees and woody debris; building wreckage; sand, mud, silt, and gravel; vehicles; and other disaster related material deposited on public and, in very limited cases, private property
*   Category B: Emergency Protective Measures – Measures taken before, during, and after a disaster to save lives, protect public health and safety, and protect improved public and private property

Permanent Work (eligible to the extent that the work is necessitated by the disaster)
*   Category C: Roads and Bridges – Repair of roads, bridges, and associated features, such as shoulders, ditches, culverts, lighting and signs
*   Category D: Water Control Facilities – Repair of irrigation systems, drainage channels, and pumping facilities. Repair of levees, dams, and flood control channels fall under Category D, but the eligibility of these facilities is restricted
*   Category E: Buildings and Equipment – Repair or replacement of buildings, including their contents and systems; heavy equipment; and vehicles
*   Category F: Utilities – Repair of water treatment and delivery systems; power generation facilities and distribution lines; and sewage collection and treatment facilities
*   Category G: Parks, Recreational Facilities, and Other Items – Repair and restoration of parks, playgrounds, pools, cemeteries, and beaches. This category also is used for any work or facility that cannot be characterized adequately by Categories A-F

Once an applicant has submitted an RPA form and attended a Kick-Off meeting with FEMA, PNPs that provide Critical Services will be guided to apply to FEMA for reimbursement for all categories of Emergency and Permanent Work (Categories A – G).  Non-Critical PNPs, after submission of a RPA form and attendance at a Kick-Off meeting with FEMA, will be guided to  apply to FEMA for Emergency Work (Categories A and B).  For Permanent Work damages (Categories C – G) the Non-Critical PNPs will be guided to first apply for a loan through the Small Business Administration (SBA).  If the loan request is denied by SBA, the Non-Critical PNP will be guided to submit an application to FEMA for these repairs.

We know this is a challenging time for you and your organization. Please use this information in taking the vital initial steps towards the possibility of securing federal assistance.


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