Public Assistance (PA) Grant Program

The Public Assistance (PA) Grant Program provides supplemental Federal assistance to States and local communities to return an area impacted by disaster to its pre-disaster conditions and function. PA supports initiatives that protect against immediate threats to life, public safety and improved property; the removal of debris as a result of a disaster and the restoration – through repair or replacement – of disaster-damaged structures and facilities. The program is managed by FEMA, administered by GOHSEP and is available after a Presidentially declared emergency or disaster. 

What Projects/Activities are Funded Through PA Grants?

There are two (2) broad categories of eligible work – Emergency Work and Permanent Work. Each category is further subdivided as shown in the graphic to the right.

  • Emergency Work is that which must be performed to reduce or eliminate an immediate threat to life, protect public health and safety, and to protect improved property that is threatened in a significant way as a result of a disaster.
  • Permanent Work is that which is required to restore a damaged facility to its pre-disaster design and function and capacity – in accordance with, applicable codes or standards.
  • Temporary Facilities may also be eligible for PA when services provided at public, Tribal and PNP are disrupted due to a major emergency or disaster event.

PA projects must meet environmental and historic regulations. To learn more, download the EHP environmental + historic preservation brochure and visit Environmental and Historic Preservation Guidance for FEMA Grant Applicants.

FEMA Work Categories

Category A

  • Debris Removal

Category B

  • Emergency Protective Measures

Repair Restoration of Disaster-damaged Public Facilities and Property

Category C

  • Roads + Bridges

Category D

  • Water Control Facilities

Category E

  • Buildings + Contents + Equipment

Category F

  • Utilities

Category G

  • Parks + Recreational + Other

Who can Participate in the PA Program?

There are four (4) eligibility requirements that must be met to participate in the PA Program.

The Subrecipient (Applicant) – is the basis for eligibility. The Subrecipient must be eligible for the facility to be eligible. The facility must be eligible for the work to be eligible. The work must be eligible for the cost to be eligible.


There are four (4) types of eligible Applicants for Public Assistance (PA). If an entity meets the requirements one (1) of the types, the Applicant may be eligible to receive Federal disaster assistance.
  • State government agencies.
  • Local governments and special districts – For example school districts, irrigation districts, fire districts and utility districts.
  • Private nonprofit organizations (PNPs). PNPs must own or operate facilities that are open to the general public and that provide certain essential and critical services otherwise performed by a government agency.
  • Federally recognized Native American Indian Tribes or authorized Tribal organizations, including Alaskan Native Tribal governments and village organizations – not including Alaska Native Corporations, which are owned by private individuals.

The facility must be:
  • The legal responsibility of an eligible Applicant and not under the specific authority of another Federal agency.
  • Located in the designated disaster area.
  • Damaged by the declared disaster or emergency.
  • In active use and open to the general public at the time of the disaster.

To be eligible for PA funding, disaster recovery work performed on an eligible facility must be:
  • Required as a direct result of a major disaster event.
  • Located within a designated disaster area.
  • The legal responsibility of an eligible Applicant.

Generally, costs that can be directly tied to the performance of eligible work are eligible. Costs must be:
  • Reasonable and necessary to accomplish the work.
  • Compliant with Federal, State and local requirements for procurement.
  • Reduced by all applicable credits, such as insurance proceeds and salvage values.

Cost is reasonable if it is a cost that is both fair and equitable for the type of work being performed.

The cost of eligible work is typically a shared cost. The Federal share of assistance is generally not less than 75 percent of the eligible cost for Emergency Measures and Permanent Work. The grant recipient is usually the State. The Recipient determines how the non-Federal share – up to 25 percent – is split with eligible Subrecipients (Applicants). There are exceptions.

Under certain circumstances the Federal share may be 90 percent or even 100 percent. 

Examples of Eligible PA Work

  • Trees + woody debris.
  • Building components or contents.
  • Sand + mud + silt + gravel.
  • Wreckage produced during conduct of emergency protective measures (for example, drywall).
  • Other disaster-related wreckage.

  • Alerts + warning of risks + hazards.
  • Building inspections.
  • Emergency communications.
  • Emergency evacuations of medical and custodial care facilities.
  • Emergency mass care and shelter operations.
  • Emergency medical facilities.
  • Food + water + ice + other essential needs.
  • PNP facility emergency protective measures IF the facilities are otherwise eligible.
  • Rescue + care + shelter + essential needs for household pets and service animals.
  • Search + rescue.
  • Security in the disaster area.
  • Transportation of disaster victims.
  • Temporary generators for facilities that provide health and safety services.
  • Under certain conditions, rescue + evacuation + movement of supplies + persons + care + shelter + essential needs for human populations affected by the outbreak and spread of influenza pandemic.
  • Under certain conditions, snow removal.

  • Road ditches.
  • Road drainage structure + low-water crossings.
  • Road surfaces + bases + shoulders.
  • Bridge approaches.
  • Bridge decking + pavement.
  • Bridge piers + girders + abutments.
  • Bridge slope protection.

  • Canals + aqueducts + sediment basins.
  • Certain irrigation facilities.
  • Dams + reservoirs + levees.
  • Engineered drainage channels.
  • Pumping facilities.
  • Shore protective devices.

  • Codes + standards upgrades or a portion of that work.
  • Contents or a portion thereof.
  • Equipment.
  • Mold remediation.
  • Restoration through repair or replacement of damaged facilities to pre-disaster design + function.
  • Routine maintenance NO.
  • Temporary or permanent relocation.
  • Under certain circumstances, ADA compliance work or a portion of that work.

  • Communications.
  • Power generation + distribution.
  • Sewage collection systems.
  • Water treatment plants + distribution.

  • Fish hatcheries.
  • Golf courses.
  • Mass transit facilities.
  • Picnic tables.
  • Piers + boat docks.
  • Playground equipment.
  • Swimming pools + bath houses.
  • Tennis courts.
  • Trees + ground cover NO.
  • Other facilities that do not fit in Categories C – F.

The cost of eligible work is typically a shared cost. The Federal share of assistance is generally not less than 75 percent of the eligible cost for Emergency Measures and Permanent Work. The grant recipient is usually the State. The Recipient determines how the non-Federal share – up to 25 percent – is split with eligible Subrecipients (Applicants). There are exceptions.

Under certain circumstances the Federal share may be 90 percent or even 100 percent.

When is the Application Period?

An RPA must be submitted to FEMA within 30 days after Presidential-declaration designation of the area where the damage occurred.

Documents and Forms
Request for Public Assistance
PNP Questionnaire
Reimbursement Documentation Requirements Checklist
Procurement Brochure
Applicant Certification for Express Pay System (EPS)
RRF Minimum Memo
Reimbursement Request Form
Contract Work Summary Record
Materials Summary Record
Rented Equipment Summary Record
Force Account Labor Summary Record
Fringe Benefits
Force Account Equipment Summary Record

How to Apply - Request for Public Assistance (RPAs)

The Request for Public Assistance (RPA) is FEMA’s official application form (FEMA form 90-49) that public organizations and PNPs use to apply for disaster assistance.

It is a simple, short form with self-contained instructions.

The RPA:

  • Identifies the Subrecipient (Applicant).
  • Provides for general claim information.
  • Includes records of meetings. Special issues or concerns that may affect funding.

RPA must be submitted to the FEMA RA within 30 days after designation of the area where the damage occurred.

  • It can be delivered in person at the Applicant Briefing, filed online through or sent by mail or faxed to GOHSEP.

7667 Independence Blvd.

Baton Rouge, LA 70806

(225) 267-2832


Governor's Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness
7667 Independence Blvd.
Baton Rouge, LA 70806
(225) 925-7500

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Governor's Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness
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