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  Public Assistance (PA) Program Process  
  • General
    • The Public Assistance (PA) Program may provide Federal disaster assistance to states, local units of government and certain private nonprofit organizations for debris removal, emergency protective measures and the permanent restoration of public facilities as a result of a declaration of a major disaster or emergency by the President.
  • Damage Assessment
    • Initial Damage Assessment (IDA)
      • After a disaster or emergency incident occurs, local units of government are responsible for performing an Initial Damage Assessment (IDA) to identify damages, costs and impacts of the incident.
      • Local units of government use IEMA damage assessment documents to compile and report their damages and costs to IEMA. These IDA documents include the following:
      • Local units of government should include a short narrative providing information on the impacts (e.g. shelters opened, businesses closed, schools closed) of the incident to support the costs reported on the IDA Cost Tabulation Form.
    • Preliminary Damage Assessment (PDA)
      • The PDA is the formal process where teams collect information on the damages, costs and impacts for an incident.
      • The PDA is conducted by teams, which include Federal, State and local government representatives.
      • Each potential applicant organization is responsible for identifying and showing damages and costs to the PDA team.
      • The PDA is usually used as a basis for the Governor to request a major disaster or emergency declaration.
      • It is very important that all affected organizations participate in the PDA to capture all of the potential damages and costs.
  • Declaration Types
    • Major Disaster Declaration
      • When a catastrophe occurs in a State, the Governor may request a major disaster declaration
      • The basis of the request shall be a finding that:
        • The incident is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capability of State and affected local governments;
        • Federal assistance under the Stafford Act is necessary to supplement the efforts and available resources of the State and local governments, disaster relief organizations, and compensation by insurance for disaster-related losses.
      • Factors considered when evaluating a Governor's request for a major disaster declaration:
        • Estimated cost of the assistance
          • FEMA evaluates the estimated cost of the Federal and non-Federal assistance against the statewide population to give some measure of the per capita impact within the State.
          • FEMA uses a statewide per capita impact indicator of $1.39 per person (FFY 2013) as an indicator that the disaster incident is of such size that it might warrant Federal assistance.
        • Insurance coverage in force
          • FEMA considers the amount of insurance coverage in force or should have been in force as required by law and regulation at the time of the disaster.
        • Hazard mitigation
          • FEMA considers the extent to which State and local government measures contributed to the reduction of disaster damages for the disaster under consideration.
        • Recent multiple disasters
          • FEMA considers the recent disaster history within the last twelve-month period to better evaluate the overall impact on the State or locality.
        • Programs of other Federal assistance.
          • FEMA considers programs of other Federal agencies, because at times, their programs of assistance might more appropriately meet the needs created by the disaster.
      • Once a declaration is made by the President, FEMA uses a county per capita impact indicator of $3.50 per person (FFY 2013) as one of the criteria to designate counties for Public Assistance Program funding under the declaration.
      • The statewide and county per capita impact indicators are adjusted annually based on the Consumer Index for all Urban Consumers
    • Emergency Declaration
      • When an incident occurs or threatens to occur in a State, which would not qualify under the definition of a major disaster, the Governor may request that the President declare an emergency.
      • The basis for the Governor's request must be the finding that the situation:
        • Is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capability of State and affected local governments;
        • Requires supplementary Federal assistance to save lives and protect property, public health and safety, or to lessen or avert the threat of a disaster.
  • Post-Declaration
    • Applicant's Briefings
      • Applicant's Briefings are held in the affected areas as soon as possible after the declaration is made.
      • Applicant's Briefings provide information on program requirements, funding process and completing application documents.
      • All potential applicant organizations are encouraged to attend the Applicant's Briefing for their area.
    • Application
      • Applicant organizations must submit a FEMA Form 90-49, Request For Public Assistance (RPA) to IEMA within 30 days of the declaration date or date their county was designated for Public Assistance to be eligible for assistance. Most RPAs are submitted at the Applicant's Briefing.
      • Applicant organizations must also submit a Public Assistance Grant Agreement before any reimbursements can be made. The PA Grant Agreement must be completed and signed by the chief elected/executive official of the organization. Only the originally signed PA Grant Agreement will be accepted. Faxes or photocopies of the PA Grant Agreement are not acceptable.
    • Kickoff Meetings
      • FEMA will conduct a Kickoff Meeting with each applicant organization.
      • A PAC Crew Leader will be assigned to each applicant organization.
      • The PAC Crew Leader will review the organization's damages and costs, identify any special considerations, and assign project and/or technical specialists.
      • A PA Project Specialist will be assigned to assist each applicant organization with preparing Project Worksheets (PWs).
      • A PA Technical Specialist may be assign to assist an applicant organization with resolving any special considerations, such as insurance, floodplain issues, historic preservation issues, etc.
    • Project Worksheets (PWs)
      • FEMA will work with each applicant to prepare Project Worksheets (PWs).
      • PWs establish a scope of work and funding amount for the projects. Applicants must complete their projects according to the approved PW scope of work. Any changes to the PW scope of work must be approved by FEMA before the work is started.
      • The Federal share for a PW will be no less than 75% of the approved eligible costs.
      • IEMA, as the Grantee for the State of Illinois, will reimburse applicants the Federal share for their projects according to 44 CFR 206.205.
      • In general, applicants are responsible for the non-Federal share (usually 25%) of their PWs.
      • Each PW is prepared under the appropriate category of work.
        The categories of work are as follows:
        • Category A - Debris Removal
        • Category B - Emergency Protective Measures
        • Category C - Road and Bridge System (non-FAS)
        • Category D - Water Control Facilities
        • Category E - Building and Equipment
        • Category F - Utility Systems
        • Category G - Parks, Recreational and other
      • An applicant must have a minimum of $1,000 of eligible costs for a PW to be written under a category of work.
      • PWs with less than $67,500 (FFY 2013) in eligible costs are considered small projects. The Federal share of small projects is paid to the applicant at the time of approval by FEMA.
      • PW with $67,500 (FFY 2013) or more in costs are considered large projects. The Federal share of large projects is reimbursed to the applicant based on the actual documented costs submitted to IEMA. Applicants may need to request reimbursement of large project costs as the work is completed, similar to a typical construction project.
      • The small/large project threshold is adjusted annually based on the Consumer Index for all Urban Consumers.
    • Subgrant Closeout
      • All subgrants must be closed.
      • Once all work has been completed, bills are paid, and the Federal share has been reimbursed, the applicant organization should complete and submit a Subgrant Closeout Certification form to IEMA to close their subgrant.
      • If the applicant wishes to request subgrantee management costs, they must complete and submit a Subgrantee Management Cost Request form, along with actual documentation (e.g. labor, equipment and material records) to support the management costs being claimed.
      • IEMA will review the closeout and management cost documents submitted, process the appropriate management payment (if requested), and send a letter to the applicant closing the subgrant.
      • Applicants must maintain their subgrant records for three years from the date the subgrant is closed

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