FEMA Grant Assistance

The objective of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Public Assistance (PA) Grant Program is to provide assistance to state, tribal, local governments and certain types of private non-profit organizations so that communities can quickly respond to and recover from major disasters or emergencies declared by the president.
Through the Public Assistance Grant Program, FEMA provides supplemental federal disaster grant assistance for debris removal and emergency protective measures. In addition, grant assistance may be provided for the repair, replacement or restoration of disaster-damaged, publicly-owned facilities and the facilities of certain private nonprofit organizations. To be eligible for assistance from this grant program, prospective applicants must fill out a Request for Public Assistance (RPA)through the State of Florida Public Assistance Web Portal, www.FloridaPA.org.
The FEMA Public Assistance Grant Program also encourages protection of the damaged facilities from future events by providing assistance for hazard mitigation measures during the recovery process.
Public Assistance is categorized into two types of work: Emergency and Permanent. The performance period for Emergency Work Public Assistance Grants is normally 180 days after the presidential declaration. The performance period for Permanent Work Public Assistance Grants is normally 18 months after the presidential declaration.
To apply for Public Assistance, eligible applicants must be a registered user in FloridaPA.org and submit a Request for Public Assistance (RPA). To receive assistance, all eligible applicants will be required to submit this form within 30 days of a Presidential Disaster Declaration. For instructions on becoming a registered user in FloridaPA.org, view Submitting a Request for Public Assistance


Types of organizations which provide critical services that may qualify for FEMA PA grants include:

  • Private schools that provide elementary or secondary education or an institution of higher education;
  • Hospitals and other medical-treatment facilities; and
  • Utilities including water, sewer, and electrical systems.


Types of non-critical, essential services that may be eligible for Public Assistance grants include:

  • Senior citizen and community centers or other community services;
  • Food programs;
  • Educational enrichment activities;
  • Custodial and day care services;
  • Disability residential services;
  • Assisted living and low-income housing;
  • Homeless shelters and rehabilitation services;  and
  • Performing and community arts centers.


Additionally, when any organization, such as faith-based organizations, schools, or community centers, provide emergency protective measures such as sheltering and feeding survivors on behalf of state, local, tribal, or territorial governments, FEMA may reimburse the costs of those services to the state, local, tribal, or territorial government. The government and the organization must enter into an agreement for these services, even if the agreement is post-event; and the government could then reimburse the organization. 

Only organizations with state or IRS tax exempt status may be considered.  For more information about eligible essential and critical service providers, go online to FEMA.gov and reference the Public Assistance Program and Policy Guide.

Organizations that provide services of a non-critical, essential governmental nature must first apply for a low-interest disaster loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) before being considered for a PA grant. Public Assistance grants may be able to provide assistance to organizations that provide non-critical, essential governmental services for repair or replacement costs that SBA loans do not cover.

The SBA may provide up to $2 million to most private nonprofits in the form of low interest disaster loans.  To learn more about and apply for an SBA loan go online to sba.gov/disaster or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.  If you cannot access the website, call 800-659-2955. If you use TTY, call 800-877-8339.