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FEMA Public Assistance for Private Nonprofit Organizations

Applying for FEMA Public Assistance (PA) – Private Nonprofit Organizations

Public Assistance (PA) is FEMA’s largest grant program supporting communities responding to and recovering from major disasters or emergencies. PA funds support recovery from major disasters by providing grant assistance for debris removal, life-saving emergency protective measures, and the restoration of public infrastructure. Eligible applicants include local governments, states, tribes, territories and certain private nonprofit organizations.

Unlike other grants that fund proposed projects, Public Assistance is a 75/25 cost share reimbursement process and requires supporting documentation, such as invoices and receipts. PA is not meant to recover lost revenue.

For the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the District of Columbia has been approved for Public Assistance Category B – Emergency Protective Measures funding. The following categories are examples of what may be considered eligible:

  • Management, control and reduction of immediate threats to public health and safety;
  • Emergency medical care;
  • Medical sheltering;
  • Household pet sheltering and containment actions, in accordance with CDC guidelines;
  • Purchase and distribution of food, water, ice, medicine, and other consumable supplies, to include personal protective equipment and hazardous material suits and movement of supplies and persons;
  • Security and law enforcement;
  • Communication strategies to provide general health and safety information to the public;
  • Search and rescue efforts to locate and recover members of the public.

Prior to signing up for Public Assistance, please contact DC Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency for additional guidance. The Public Assistance Program Manager for DC is Russell Gardner ([email protected]). 

FEMA must screen and approve Private Non-Profit (PNP) organizations to participate in the Public Assistance program. For specifics, please visit:

For additional information, please visit: