Quick Reference to FEMA Support Under Emergency Declaration for COVID-19

On March 13, 2020, the President declared the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic an emergency declaration for all states, tribes, territories, and the District of Columbia pursuant to section 501(b) of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5121-5207.[1] State, Territorial, Tribal, local government entities and certain private non-profit organizations (PNP) are eligible to apply for Public Assistance.


  • Eligible emergency protective measures may be reimbursed under a Category B project worksheet. [2]
  • At this time, FEMA assistance would be provided at the 75 percent Federal cost share. This means that the State, Territorial, Tribal, local government, or PNP will be required to fund the 25 percent non-federal share.


Designate Your COVID-19 Team: Assign your accounting and human resources department responsibility for tracking COVID19 costs or designate a team.

Track Inventory: Document inventory as of the date your entity began preparations for COVID19 AND as of March 12, 2020 (the date prior to the declaration).

Devote a General Ledger Code to your COVID-19 Expenses: Setup a general ledger account specific to COVID19 response. Track purchase orders and invoices associated with expenditures for equipment, services, rentals, or supplies as a result of COVID-19, including but not limited to:

  • Personal hygiene items
  • Cots
  • Items and services used for triage and medically necessary tests and diagnosis
  • Items and services used for treatment, stabilization, and monitoring
  • Items and services used for first-aid assessment and provision of first aid
  • Durable medical equipment (oxygen equipment, wheelchairs, walkers, hospital beds, crutches, other medical equipment)
  • Consumable medical supplies
  • Temporary facilities, such as tents or portable buildings for treatment
  • Leased or purchased equipment for use in temporary medical care facilities
  • Security for temporary medical care facilities
  • Use of ambulances for distributing immunizations and setting up mobile medical units

Review your payroll policy:effective at the time of the disaster declaration (March 13, 2020) and ensure your operating units are carrying out payroll activities in accordance with your policy.

Ensure overtime for permanent employees is tracked: in accordance with your payroll policy and that a description associated with COVID-19 services is used. For unbudgeted employees, both straight time and overtime should be tracked with appropriate COVID-19 description.

Track your management costs: associated with the COVID-19 response. Management costs are now 100 percent reimbursable and are not subject to the cost share. This means keeping detailed timesheets of the employees performing grant management duties as well as including time descriptions.

Track your Donated Resources: Ensure you have a point person responsible for contacting any volunteer organization and coordinating the assembly of documentation for any donated resources. These may be used to offset the non-federal share for your entity.

These immediate steps will assist in processing your FEMA reimbursement and in long-term recovery for your community.

During this time of uncertainty, HORNE is committed to monitoring developments and proposed legislation to help our clients manage any potential impacts related to the coronavirus. If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us

[1] https://www.fema.gov/news-release/2020/03/13/covid-19-emergency-declaration

[2] https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1525468328389-4a038bbef9081cd7dfe7538e7751aa9c/PAPPG_3.1_508_FINAL_5-4-2018.pdf: