Webinar Archives

FEMA Public Review Announcement – Comments due by July 31, 2020

The official comment period is now open from the CTP Community of Practice for the “standards” portion of the Guidance and Standards updates for this November. Please take a look at this information and be sure that you respond as directed with any comments by JULY 31, 2020.

*Please note, the Guidance portion of the review will take place in August and you will receive another reminder when that time frame is open for public review and comment.

CLICK BELOW TO VIEW THE GUIDANCE IN PDF:


FEMA-Guidance-and-Standards-Public-Review-Announcement-Comments-Due-July31

FEMA maintains guidelines and standards to support the Risk Mapping, Assessment and Planning (Risk MAP) program. These specifically define how to apply the statutory and regulatory requirements for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). These standards also outline how to use Flood Risk Projects, how to process Letters of Map Change (LOMCs), and related Risk MAP activities. More information is available on FEMA.gov.

FEMA has a maintenance plan for these guidelines and standards and is updated annually. This summary relates to the 2020 update, which FEMA will release in November 2020.

A summary of the planned changes was published in June 2020. Those changes are SHOWN IN THE PDF LINK ABOVE.


How to Submit Comments to FEMA

You may provide comments via email at: FEMA-GS@fema.dhs.gov. Comments received prior to July 31, 2020, will be reviewed and addressed as appropriate before the standards are finalized.

 

 

NHC 2020 Concurrent Session: Urban Flooding: Reality, Resilience, and the Way Forward – Monday, July 13 – 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. MDT

To register for the NHC 2020 Virtual Workshop visit:
https://hazards.colorado.edu/workshop/2020


Annie Vest, Board member of NHMA, will be participating in the following NHC 2020 Virtual Workshop Concurrent Session:


Urban Flooding: Reality, Resilience, and the Way Forward

Monday, July 13 – 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. MDT

Urban flooding in the United States has dire consequences and is growing worse due to extreme weather, outdated planning practices, and expanding populations. At every step of the way— from forecasting and warning of flood risk to recovery and building back after disasters—there are opportunities to move further toward resilience. Panelists in this session will discuss the reality of current practices and work being done to protect communities before, during, and after flooding.

Moderator


Chad Berginnis, Association of State Floodplain Managers

Panelists

Katherine Klosowski, FM Global


Annie Mack Vest, Meshek & Associates, LLC


Doug Plasencia, Moffatt & Nichol


Kathryn Semmens, Nurture Nature Center

 

NHC 2020 Concurrent Session: Compound Hazards and Cascading Disasters – Tuesday, July 14 – 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. MDT


To register for the NHC 2020 Virtual Workshop visit:
https://hazards.colorado.edu/workshop/2020


Professor Jennifer Haney, Bloomsburg University EM Lead and NHMA member, and Tom Hughes, Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency and NHMA Vice President, will be facilitating the following NHC Virtual Workshop Session:


NHC 2020 Concurrent Session:  Compound Hazards and Cascading Disasters

Tuesday, July 14 – 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. MDT

Although there is a tendency to think of disasters as distinct events, all too often they are a complex series of circumstances that stretch over years and build on and encompass other disasters, as well. These compound and cascading events require special approaches in terms of response, recovery, and planning—but they can result in more hopeful and resilient communities. This session will discuss what contributes to compound and cascading disasters, ways to prepare for and respond to likely events, and lessons to be learned from communities that have faced multiple disasters and emerged more prepared.

The first presentation will explain how the Santa Clara Pueblo tribe are dealing with Cascading events from 2016 Wildfires (2) and Mudslides/Landslides/Sedimentation in their sacred canyon that provides recreation, medicine, water, economic support, etc.  and how they are doing it with a patchwork of local, state and federal and non-profit association funding with various partners.  Garrett their engineer and the Tribal EM Coordinator will be presenting.

2nd session (attached) — Still waiting for Chief Matt Brown’s Info to be posted.
[Click here to view 2nd session attachment: NHC-2020-Session-2018-SevereWeatherEvents in PDF.]

Note from Chief Brown – The slides are the bulk of his speaking material, but he will add talking points specific to the landslide task force, COVID-19 and how the county is rewriting emergency management every day in this new environment.

In 2018 Allegheny County, including the City of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania experienced extensive rain over 3-4 months which caused geologic slipping, many in urban areas, that affected utilities, roads and bridges, etc. via flooding, mudslides, landslides which had cascading affects (US Route 30 collapsed and slid into a residential and business area) and folks lost homes and still trying to recovery and then the other night, while in a virtual County EOC environment, due to COVID-19, had to deal with flooding, lightening, fires, and tornadic activity but handled it all well.

Professor Jennifer Haney, Bloomsburg University EM Lead and NHMA member, and Tom Hughes, Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency and NHMA Vice President, will be facilitating this session.

Should be interesting.

Moderator


Thomas Hughes, Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency

Panelists


Garrett Altmann, Santa Clara Pueblo Tribe


Matthew Brown, Allegheny County Emergency Services


Jennifer Haney, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania


Donald Suazo, Santa Clara Pueblo Emergency Management


To register for the NHC 2020 Virtual Workshop visit: https://hazards.colorado.edu/workshop/2020

 

NHC Virtual Event: Practitioners Roundtable – Tuesday July 14th 7:15 to 8:15 a.m. MDT (9:15 AM EST)

Tom Hughes and Alessandra Jerolleman of NHMA will be participating in the following NHC Virtual Event (Click NHC_2020_Virtual_Conference-Practitioners-Roundtable-7-14-2020 to view this announcement as a PDF)


To register for the NHC 2020 Virtual Workshop visit:
https://hazards.colorado.edu/workshop/2020


Partnering with Practitioners Coffee Hour and Virtual Roundtable

Tuesday July 14th 7:15 to 8:15 a.m. MDT (9:15 AM EST)

Researchers and practitioners often work together across institutional and organizational boundaries.

Grab a cup of coffee and join this roundtable to learn how such partnerships are formed, sustained, and ultimately lead to better outcomes for communities working to mitigate hazards and effectively prepare for and recover from disaster.

Convener


Thomas Hughes, Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency


Alessandra Jerolleman, Jacksonville State University


Romeo Lavarias, City of Miramar Fire-Rescue Department

 

 

 

2020 Preparedness Summit is Now Virtual – August 25-27, 2020

2020 Preparedness Summit is Now Virtual!

August 25-27, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic is exposing and exacerbating the pre-existing cracks in our nation’s health and emergency preparedness infrastructures, from funding cuts to health equity and social justice issues to supply chain shortages. But it is also highlighting the tenacity and tireless commitment of those working on the front lines of public health. The Preparedness Summit, to be held virtually August 25-27, presents an opportunity for us all, in the community, to collectively take a breath from the chaos of COVID-19, and uplift the important work being done to meet the challenges of today and prepare for tomorrow.

As COVID-19 continues to affect all of us working in public health, healthcare and emergency management, it’s more important than ever to have an opportunity to explore this year’s conference theme, Fixing Our Fault Lines: Addressing Systemic Vulnerabilities. Through more than 100 sessions – including workshops, plenaries, and town halls – the 2020 Preparedness Summit will provide a much-needed opportunity to share your experiences, learn from others, and mobilize our fields to prepare for, respond to, and recover from the waves of the COVID-19 pandemic and the many other threats to public health and health security. Plus, the mix of live and on-demand content, which will remain available for viewing for one year beyond the conference, offers you a flexible and enduring learning experience.

As the first and longest running national preparedness conference, the Preparedness Summit is the place for you to reenergize while gaining the knowledge, resources, and relationships necessary to prepare for and respond to public health emergencies. Don’t miss your chance to join more than 1,000 attendees—who work in all levels of government (local, state, and federal), emergency management, volunteer organizations, healthcare coalitions, and academia—to share best practices, build partnerships, advance your skillset, and take away innovative solutions and practical strategies to address the vulnerabilities in our nation’s health security system.

NACCHO Webinar: Communicating in a Nuclear Disaster: Observations from COVID-19

NACCHO Webinar: Communicating in a Nuclear Disaster: Observations from COVID-19

Wednesday, July 15, 2020 @ 2:00 p.m. EST

The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is pleased to invite local health department representatives and other stakeholders to a webinar to discuss the parallels seen between COVID-19 response efforts and radiological/nuclear disaster planning. Presenters from CDC and EPA will share their observations from recent months regarding COVID-19 communications strategies and social media monitoring findings. The webinar is scheduled for Wednesday, July 15 at 2:00 pm EST. Details and registration at https://naccho.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_bdsBzQZfTVGcyRDlxyOddA

Call for Articles: July RMD National News Flash (Deadline: July 14, 2020)

July News Flash Article Solicitation (2020) in PDF


From: FEMA-RMD-Comms <fema-rmd-comms@fema.dhs.gov>
Sent: Wednesday, July 1, 2020 11:05 AM
Subject: July News Flash Article Solicitation

Risk Management Directorate Staff/Colleagues/Partners –

On behalf of Vince Brown, this email serves as a request for articles to include in the July RMD National News Flash, to be published on July 28, 2020.

As a reminder, due to growing interest in our monthly News Flash and a desire to share and repurpose content for external audiences, the News Flash is now subject to External Affairs concurrence.

Please provide any topics and program updates that you wish to share with the broader Risk Management audience, and please follow the guidelines below for article submission. Additionally, if you know of any upcoming events you wish to be highlighted, please include them.

For the News Flash, deadlines and requirements are as follows:

Deadlines

  • Please submit articles and/or event information for the July News Flash no later than Tuesday, July 14, 2020.
  • Note that, due to a significant increase in monthly submissions, articles sent after the July 14th deadline may be added to next month’s queue. .
  • Articles can be submitted to Vincent Brown (Vincent.brown@fema.dhs.gov) and copying Annelise Buck (abuck@nodisolutions.com) with the subject line July RMD News Flash_[Article Title]_[RMD or FIMA Branch].

Requirements

  • Please ensure your articles are 2-3 paragraphs in length, focused on key takeaways or “soundbites,” and contain all necessary links to additional content or resources as needed.
  • Please include a creative title to capture the attention of readers.
  • Please include the author’s name and email address.
  • Please include a picture as a separate jpg/png and a brief caption with your article submission as needed. Please try and identify any people in the photo for the caption.
  • Please ensure that all definable acronyms are spelled out at first use.
  • Please be aware that due to the current number of articles the News Flash receives your article may be published in the next issue. If this happens, you will be notified by a member of the News Flash team.

Managing Communications

To add, remove, or update email addresses or to receive communications related to the News Flash, including topic solicitation emails, please contact Vincent Brown (Vincent.brown@fema.dhs.gov) copying Annelise Buck (abuck@nodisolutions.com). If you are receiving this email, you are already on this distribution list.

  • To manage your e-mail subscription to the RMD National News Flash, including being added to the distribution list, please visit the GovDelivery site here.

Best regards,

– Vincent Brown

Vincent J. Brown
Senior Program Specialist
Risk Management Directorate
Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration
FEMA DHS
Office  202 646-2725
Mobile  202 365-5338

CORONAVIRUS Relief Fund Frequently Asked Questions Updated as of June 24, 2020

Click here to view CORONAVIRUS Relief Fund Frequently Asked Questions as of 24 Jun 2020 as a PDF.


The following answers to frequently asked questions supplement Treasury’s Coronavirus Relief Fund (“Fund”) Guidance for State, Territorial, Local, and Tribal Governments, dated April 22, 2020, (“Guidance”).1 Amounts paid from the Fund are subject to the restrictions outlined in the Guidance and set forth in section 601(d) of the Social Security Act, as added by section 5001 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”).

Eligible Expenditures

Are governments required to submit proposed expenditures to Treasury for approval?

No. Governments are responsible for making determinations as to what expenditures are necessary due to the public health emergency with respect to COVID-19 and do not need to submit any proposed expenditures to Treasury.

The Guidance says that funding can be used to meet payroll expenses for public safety, public health, health care, human services, and similar employees whose services are substantially dedicated to mitigating or responding to the COVID-19 public health emergency. How does a government determine whether payroll expenses for a given employee satisfy the “substantially dedicated” condition?

The Fund is designed to provide ready funding to address unforeseen financial needs and risks created by the COVID-19 public health emergency. For this reason, and as a matter of administrative convenience in light of the emergency nature of this program, a State, territorial, local, or Tribal government may presume that payroll costs for public health and public safety employees are payments for services substantially dedicated to mitigating or responding to the COVID-19 public health emergency, unless the chief executive (or equivalent) of the relevant government determines that specific circumstances indicate otherwise.

The Guidance says that a cost was not accounted for in the most recently approved budget if the cost is for a substantially different use from any expected use of funds in such a line item, allotment, or allocation. What would qualify as a “substantially different use” for purposes of the Fund eligibility?

Costs incurred for a “substantially different use” include, but are not necessarily limited to, costs of personnel and services that were budgeted for in the most recently approved budget but which, due entirely to the COVID-19 public health emergency, have been diverted to substantially different functions. This would include, for example, the costs of redeploying corrections facility staff to enable compliance with COVID-19 public health precautions through work such as enhanced sanitation or enforcing social distancing measures; the costs of redeploying police to support management and enforcement of stay-at-home orders; or the costs of diverting educational support staff or faculty to develop online learning capabilities, such as through providing information technology support that is not part of the staff or faculty’s ordinary responsibilities.

Note that a public function does not become a “substantially different use” merely because it is provided from a different location or through a different manner. For example, although developing online instruction capabilities may be a substantially different use of funds, online instruction itself is not a substantially different use of public funds than classroom instruction.

May a State receiving a payment transfer funds to a local government?

Yes, provided that the transfer qualifies as a necessary expenditure incurred due to the public health emergency and meets the other criteria of section 601(d) of the Social Security Act. Such funds would be subject to recoupment by the Treasury Department if they have not been used in a manner consistent with section 601(d) of the Social Security Act.

May a unit of local government receiving a Fund payment transfer funds to another unit of government?

Yes. For example, a county may transfer funds to a city, town, or school district within the county and a county or city may transfer funds to its State, provided that the transfer qualifies as a necessary expenditure incurred due to the public health emergency and meets the other criteria of section 601(d) of the Social Security Act outlined in the Guidance. For example, a transfer from a county to a constituent city would not be permissible if the funds were intended to be used simply to fill shortfalls in government revenue to cover expenditures that would not otherwise qualify as an eligible expenditure.

Is a Fund payment recipient required to transfer funds to a smaller, constituent unit of government within its borders?

No. For example, a county recipient is not required to transfer funds to smaller cities within the county’s borders.

Are recipients required to use other federal funds or seek reimbursement under other federal programs before using Fund payments to satisfy eligible expenses?

No. Recipients may use Fund payments for any expenses eligible under section 601(d) of the Social Security Act outlined in the Guidance. Fund payments are not required to be used as the source of funding of last resort. However, as noted below, recipients may not use payments from the Fund to cover expenditures for which they will receive reimbursement.

Are there prohibitions on combining a transaction supported with Fund payments with other CARES Act funding or COVID-19 relief Federal funding?

Recipients will need to consider the applicable restrictions and limitations of such other sources of funding. In addition, expenses that have been or will be reimbursed under any federal program, such as the reimbursement by the federal government pursuant to the CARES Act of contributions by States to State unemployment funds, are not eligible uses of Fund payments.

Are States permitted to use Fund payments to support state unemployment insurance funds generally?

To the extent that the costs incurred by a state unemployment insurance fund are incurred due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, a State may use Fund payments to make payments to its respective state unemployment insurance fund, separate and apart from such State’s obligation to the unemployment insurance fund as an employer. This will permit States to use Fund payments to prevent expenses related to the public health emergency from causing their state unemployment insurance funds to become insolvent.

Are recipients permitted to use Fund payments to pay for unemployment insurance costs incurred by the recipient as an employer?

Yes, Fund payments may be used for unemployment insurance costs incurred by the recipient as an employer (for example, as a reimbursing employer) related to the COVID-19 public health emergency if such costs will not be reimbursed by the federal government pursuant to the CARES Act or otherwise.

The Guidance states that the Fund may support a “broad range of uses” including payroll expenses for several classes of employees whose services are “substantially dedicated to mitigating or responding to the COVID-19 public health emergency.” What are some examples of types of covered employees?

The Guidance provides examples of broad classes of employees whose payroll expenses would be eligible expenses under the Fund. These classes of employees include public safety, public health, health care, human services, and similar employees whose services are substantially dedicated to mitigating or responding to the COVID-19 public health emergency. Payroll and benefit costs associated with public employees who could have been furloughed or otherwise laid off but who were instead repurposed to perform previously unbudgeted functions substantially dedicated to mitigating or responding to the COVID-19 public health emergency are also covered. Other eligible expenditures include payroll and benefit costs of educational support staff or faculty responsible for developing online learning capabilities necessary to continue educational instruction in response to COVID-19-related school closures. Please see the Guidance for a discussion of what is meant by an expense that was not accounted for in the budget most recently approved as of March 27, 2020.

In some cases, first responders and critical health care workers that contract COVID-19 are eligible for workers’ compensation coverage. Is the cost of this expanded workers compensation coverage eligible?

Increased workers compensation cost to the government due to the COVID-19 public health emergency incurred during the period beginning March 1, 2020, and ending December 30, 2020, is an eligible expense.

If a recipient would have decommissioned equipment or not renewed a lease on particular office space or equipment but decides to continue to use the equipment or to renew the lease in order to respond to the public health emergency, are the costs associated with continuing to operate the equipment or the ongoing lease payments eligible expenses?

Yes. To the extent the expenses were previously unbudgeted and are otherwise consistent with section 601(d) of the Social Security Act outlined in the Guidance, such expenses would be eligible.

May recipients provide stipends to employees for eligible expenses (for example, a stipend to employees to improve telework capabilities) rather than require employees to incur the eligible cost and submit for reimbursement?

Expenditures paid for with payments from the Fund must be limited to those that are necessary due to the public health emergency. As such, unless the government were to determine that providing assistance in the form of a stipend is an administrative necessity, the government should provide such assistance on a reimbursement basis to ensure as much as possible that funds are used to cover only eligible expenses.

May Fund payments be used for COVID-19 public health emergency recovery planning?

Yes. Expenses associated with conducting a recovery planning project or operating a recovery coordination office would be eligible, if the expenses otherwise meet the criteria set forth in section 601(d) of the Social Security Act outlined in the Guidance.

Are expenses associated with contact tracing eligible?

Yes, expenses associated with contract tracing are eligible.

To what extent may a government use Fund payments to support the operations of private hospitals?

Governments may use Fund payments to support public or private hospitals to the extent that the costs are necessary expenditures incurred due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, but the form such assistance would take may differ. In particular, financial assistance to private hospitals could take the form of a grant or a short-term loan.

May payments from the Fund be used to assist individuals with enrolling in a government benefit program for those who have been laid off due to COVID-19 and thereby lost health insurance?

Yes. To the extent that the relevant government official determines that these expenses are necessary and they meet the other requirements set forth in section 601(d) of the Social Security Act outlined in the Guidance, these expenses are eligible.

May recipients use Fund payments to facilitate livestock depopulation incurred by producers due to supply chain disruptions?

Yes, to the extent these efforts are deemed necessary for public health reasons or as a form of economic support as a result of the COVID-19 health emergency.

Would providing a consumer grant program to prevent eviction and assist in preventing homelessness be considered an eligible expense?

Yes, assuming that the recipient considers the grants to be a necessary expense incurred due to the COVID-19 public health emergency and the grants meet the other requirements for the use of Fund payments under section 601(d) of the Social Security Act outlined in the Guidance. As a general matter, providing assistance to recipients to enable them to meet property tax requirements would not be an eligible use of funds, but exceptions may be made in the case of assistance designed to prevent foreclosures.

May recipients create a “payroll support program” for public employees?

Use of payments from the Fund to cover payroll or benefits expenses of public employees are limited to those employees whose work duties are substantially dedicated to mitigating or responding to the COVID-19 public health emergency.

May recipients use Fund payments to cover employment and training programs for employees that have been furloughed due to the public health emergency?

Yes, this would be an eligible expense if the government determined that the costs of such employment and training programs would be necessary due to the public health emergency.

May recipients use Fund payments to provide emergency financial assistance to individuals and families directly impacted by a loss of income due to the COVID-19 public health emergency?

Yes, if a government determines such assistance to be a necessary expenditure. Such assistance could include, for example, a program to assist individuals with payment of overdue rent or mortgage payments to avoid eviction or foreclosure or unforeseen financial costs for funerals and other emergency individual needs. Such assistance should be structured in a manner to ensure as much as possible, within the realm of what is administratively feasible, that such assistance is necessary.

The Guidance provides that eligible expenditures may include expenditures related to the provision of grants to small businesses to reimburse the costs of business interruption caused by required closures. What is meant by a “small business,” and is the Guidance intended to refer only to expenditures to cover administrative expenses of such a grant program?

Governments have discretion to determine what payments are necessary. A program that is aimed at assisting small businesses with the costs of business interruption caused by required closures should be tailored to assist those businesses in need of such assistance. The amount of a grant to a small business to reimburse the costs of business interruption caused by required closures would also be an eligible expenditure under section 601(d) of the Social Security Act, as outlined in the Guidance.

The Guidance provides that expenses associated with the provision of economic support in connection with the public health emergency, such as expenditures related to the provision of grants to small businesses to reimburse the costs of business interruption caused by required closures, would constitute eligible expenditures of Fund payments. Would such expenditures be eligible in the absence of a stay-at-home order?

Fund payments may be used for economic support in the absence of a stay-at-home order if such expenditures are determined by the government to be necessary. This may include, for example, a grant program to benefit small businesses that close voluntarily to promote social distancing measures or that are affected by decreased customer demand as a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency.

May Fund payments be used to assist impacted property owners with the payment of their property taxes?

Fund payments may not be used for government revenue replacement, including the provision of assistance to meet tax obligations.

May Fund payments be used to replace foregone utility fees? If not, can Fund payments be used as a direct subsidy payment to all utility account holders?

Fund payments may not be used for government revenue replacement, including the replacement of unpaid utility fees. Fund payments may be used for subsidy payments to electricity account holders to the extent that the subsidy payments are deemed by the recipient to be necessary expenditures incurred due to the COVID-19 public health emergency and meet the other criteria of section 601(d) of the Social Security Act outlined in the Guidance. For example, if determined to be a necessary expenditure, a government could provide grants to individuals facing economic hardship to allow them to pay their utility fees and thereby continue to receive essential services.

Could Fund payments be used for capital improvement projects that broadly provide potential economic development in a community?

In general, no. If capital improvement projects are not necessary expenditures incurred due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, then Fund payments may not be used for such projects.

However, Fund payments may be used for the expenses of, for example, establishing temporary public medical facilities and other measures to increase COVID-19 treatment capacity or improve mitigation measures, including related construction costs.

The Guidance includes workforce bonuses as an example of ineligible expenses but provides that hazard pay would be eligible if otherwise determined to be a necessary expense. Is there a specific definition of “hazard pay”?

Hazard pay means additional pay for performing hazardous duty or work involving physical hardship, in each case that is related to COVID-19.

The Guidance provides that ineligible expenditures include “[p]ayroll or benefits expenses for employees whose work duties are not substantially dedicated to mitigating or responding to the COVID-19 public health emergency.” Is this intended to relate only to public employees?

Yes. This particular nonexclusive example of an ineligible expenditure relates to public employees. A recipient would not be permitted to pay for payroll or benefit expenses of private employees and any financial assistance (such as grants or short-term loans) to private employers are not subject to the restriction that the private employers’ employees must be substantially dedicated to mitigating or responding to the COVID-19 public health emergency.

May counties pre-pay with CARES Act funds for expenses such as a one or two-year facility lease, such as to house staff hired in response to COVID-19?

A government should not make prepayments on contracts using payments from the Fund to the extent that doing so would not be consistent with its ordinary course policies and procedures.

Must a stay-at-home order or other public health mandate be in effect in order for a government to provide assistance to small businesses using payments from the Fund?

No. The Guidance provides, as an example of an eligible use of payments from the Fund, expenditures related to the provision of grants to small businesses to reimburse the costs of business interruption caused by required closures. Such assistance may be provided using amounts received from the Fund in the absence of a requirement to close businesses if the relevant government determines that such expenditures are necessary in response to the public health emergency.

Should States receiving a payment transfer funds to local governments that did not receive payments directly from Treasury?

Yes, provided that the transferred funds are used by the local government for eligible expenditures under the statute. To facilitate prompt distribution of Title V funds, the CARES Act authorized Treasury to make direct payments to local governments with populations in excess of 500,000, in amounts equal to 45% of the local government’s per capita share of the statewide allocation. This statutory structure was based on a recognition that it is more administratively feasible to rely on States, rather than the federal government, to manage the transfer of funds to smaller local governments. Consistent with the needs of all local governments for funding to address the public health emergency, States should transfer funds to local governments with populations of 500,000 or less, using as a benchmark the per capita allocation formula that governs payments to larger local governments. This approach will ensure equitable treatment among local governments of all sizes.

For example, a State received the minimum $1.25 billion allocation and had one county with a population over 500,000 that received $250 million directly. The State should distribute 45 percent of the $1 billion it received, or $450 million, to local governments within the State with a population of 500,000 or less.

May a State impose restrictions on transfers of funds to local governments?

Yes, to the extent that the restrictions facilitate the State’s compliance with the requirements set forth in section 601(d) of the Social Security Act outlined in the Guidance and other applicable requirements such as the Single Audit Act, discussed below. Other restrictions are not permissible.

If a recipient must issue tax anticipation notes (TANs) to make up for tax due date deferrals or revenue shortfalls, are the expenses associated with the issuance eligible uses of Fund payments?

If a government determines that the issuance of TANs is necessary due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, the government may expend payments from the Fund on the interest expense payable on TANs by the borrower and unbudgeted administrative and transactional costs, such as necessary payments to advisors and underwriters, associated with the issuance of the TANs.

May recipients use Fund payments to expand rural broadband capacity to assist with distance learning and telework?

Such expenditures would only be permissible if they are necessary for the public health emergency. The cost of projects that would not be expected to increase capacity to a significant extent until the need for distance learning and telework have passed due to this public health emergency would not be necessary due to the public health emergency and thus would not be eligible uses of Fund payments.

Are costs associated with increased solid waste capacity an eligible use of payments from the Fund?

Yes, costs to address increase in solid waste as a result of the public health emergency, such as relates to the disposal of used personal protective equipment, would be an eligible expenditure.

May payments from the Fund be used to cover across-the-board hazard pay for employees working during a state of emergency?

No. The Guidance says that funding may be used to meet payroll expenses for public safety, public health, health care, human services, and similar employees whose services are substantially dedicated to mitigating or responding to the COVID-19 public health emergency. Hazard pay is a form of payroll expense and is subject to this limitation, so Fund payments may only be used to cover hazard pay for such individuals.

May Fund payments be used for expenditures related to the administration of Fund payments by a State, territorial, local, or Tribal government?

Yes, if the administrative expenses represent an increase over previously budgeted amounts and are limited to what is necessary. For example, a State may expend Fund payments on necessary administrative expenses incurred with respect to a new grant program established to disburse amounts received from the Fund.

May recipients use Fund payments to provide loans?

Yes, if the loans otherwise qualify as eligible expenditures under section 601(d) of the Social Security Act as implemented by the Guidance. Any amounts repaid by the borrower before December 30, 2020, must be either returned to Treasury upon receipt by the unit of government providing the loan or used for another expense that qualifies as an eligible expenditure under section 601(d) of the Social Security Act. Any amounts not repaid by the borrower until after December 30, 2020, must be returned to Treasury upon receipt by the unit of government lending the funds.

May Fund payments be used for expenditures necessary to prepare for a future COVID-19 outbreak?

Fund payments may be used only for expenditures necessary to address the current COVID-19 public health emergency. For example, a State may spend Fund payments to create a reserve of personal protective equipment or develop increased intensive care unit capacity to support regions in its jurisdiction not yet affected, but likely to be impacted by the current COVID-19 pandemic.

May funds be used to satisfy non-federal matching requirements under the Stafford Act?

Yes, payments from the Fund may be used to meet the non-federal matching requirements for Stafford Act assistance to the extent such matching requirements entail COVID-19-related costs that otherwise satisfy the Fund’s eligibility criteria and the Stafford Act. Regardless of the use of Fund payments for such purposes, FEMA funding is still dependent on FEMA’s determination of eligibility under the Stafford Act.

Must a State, local, or tribal government require applications to be submitted by businesses or individuals before providing assistance using payments from the Fund?

Governments have discretion to determine how to tailor assistance programs they establish in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency. However, such a program should be structured in such a manner as will ensure that such assistance is determined to be necessary in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency and otherwise satisfies the requirements of the CARES Act and other applicable law.
For example, a per capita payment to residents of a particular jurisdiction without an assessment of individual need would not be an appropriate use of payments from the Fund.

May Fund payments be provided to non-profits for distribution to individuals in need of financial assistance, such as rent relief?

Yes, non-profits may be used to distribute assistance. Regardless of how the assistance is structured, the financial assistance provided would have to be related to COVID-19.

May recipients use Fund payments to remarket the recipient’s convention facilities and tourism industry?

Yes, if the costs of such remarketing satisfy the requirements of the CARES Act. Expenses incurred to publicize the resumption of activities and steps taken to ensure a safe experience may be needed due to the public health emergency. Expenses related to developing a long-term plan to reposition a recipient’s convention and tourism industry and infrastructure would not be incurred due to the public health emergency and therefore may not be covered using payments from the Fund.

May a State provide assistance to farmers and meat processors to expand capacity, such to cover overtime for USDA meat inspectors?

If a State determines that expanding meat processing capacity, including by paying overtime to USDA meat inspectors, is a necessary expense incurred due to the public health emergency, such as if increased capacity is necessary to allow farmers and processors to donate meat to food banks, then such expenses are eligible expenses, provided that the expenses satisfy the other requirements set forth in section 601(d) of the Social Security Act outlined in the Guidance.

The guidance provides that funding may be used to meet payroll expenses for public safety, public health, health care, human services, and similar employees whose services are substantially dedicated to mitigating or responding to the COVID-19 public health emergency. May Fund payments be used to cover such an employee’s entire payroll cost or just the portion of time spent on mitigating or responding to the COVID-19 public health emergency?

As a matter of administrative convenience, the entire payroll cost of an employee whose time is substantially dedicated to mitigating or responding to the COVID-19 public health emergency is eligible, provided that such payroll costs are incurred by December 30, 2020. An employer may also track time spent by employees related to COVID-19 and apply Fund payments on that basis but would need to do so consistently within the relevant agency or department.


Questions Related to Administration of Fund Payments

Do governments have to return unspent funds to Treasury?

Yes. Section 601(f)(2) of the Social Security Act, as added by section 5001(a) of the CARES Act, provides for recoupment by the Department of the Treasury of amounts received from the Fund that have not been used in a manner consistent with section 601(d) of the Social Security Act. If a government has not used funds it has received to cover costs that were incurred by December 30, 2020, as required by the statute, those funds must be returned to the Department of the Treasury.

What records must be kept by governments receiving payment?

A government should keep records sufficient to demonstrate that the amount of Fund payments to the government has been used in accordance with section 601(d) of the Social Security Act.

May recipients deposit Fund payments into interest bearing accounts?

Yes, provided that if recipients separately invest amounts received from the Fund, they must use the interest earned or other proceeds of these investments only to cover expenditures incurred in accordance with section 601(d) of the Social Security Act and the Guidance on eligible expenses. If a government deposits Fund payments in a government’s general account, it may use those funds to meet immediate cash management needs provided that the full amount of the payment is used to cover necessary expenditures. Fund payments are not subject to the Cash Management Improvement Act of 1990, as amended.

May governments retain assets purchased with payments from the Fund?

Yes, if the purchase of the asset was consistent with the limitations on the eligible use of funds provided by section 601(d) of the Social Security Act.

What rules apply to the proceeds of disposition or sale of assets acquired using payments from the Fund?

If such assets are disposed of prior to December 30, 2020, the proceeds would be subject to the restrictions on the eligible use of payments from the Fund provided by section 601(d) of the Social Security Act.

Are Fund payments to State, territorial, local, and tribal governments considered grants?

No. Fund payments made by Treasury to State, territorial, local, and Tribal governments are not considered to be grants but are “other financial assistance” under 2 C.F.R. § 200.40.

Are Fund payments considered federal financial assistance for purposes of the Single Audit Act?

Yes, Fund payments are considered to be federal financial assistance subject to the Single Audit Act (31 U.S.C. §§ 7501-7507) and the related provisions of the Uniform Guidance, 2 C.F.R. § 200.303 regarding internal controls, §§ 200.330 through 200.332 regarding subrecipient monitoring and management, and subpart F regarding audit requirements.

Are Fund payments subject to other requirements of the Uniform Guidance?

Fund payments are subject to the following requirements in the Uniform Guidance (2 C.F.R. Part 200): 2 C.F.R. § 200.303 regarding internal controls, 2 C.F.R. §§ 200.330 through 200.332 regarding subrecipient monitoring and management, and subpart F regarding audit requirements.

Is there a Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number assigned to the Fund?

Yes. The CFDA number assigned to the Fund is 21.019.

If a State transfers Fund payments to its political subdivisions, would the transferred funds count toward the subrecipients’ total funding received from the federal government for purposes of the Single Audit Act?

Yes. The Fund payments to subrecipients would count toward the threshold of the Single Audit Act and 2 C.F.R. part 200, subpart F re: audit requirements. Subrecipients are subject to a single audit or program- specific audit pursuant to 2 C.F.R. § 200.501(a) when the subrecipients spend $750,000 or more in federal awards during their fiscal year.

Are recipients permitted to use payments from the Fund to cover the expenses of an audit conducted under the Single Audit Act?

Yes, such expenses would be eligible expenditures, subject to the limitations set forth in 2 C.F.R. § 200.425.

If a government has transferred funds to another entity, from which entity would the Treasury Department seek to recoup the funds if they have not been used in a manner consistent with section 601(d) of the Social Security Act?

The Treasury Department would seek to recoup the funds from the government that received the payment directly from the Treasury Department. State, territorial, local, and Tribal governments receiving funds from Treasury should ensure that funds transferred to other entities, whether pursuant to a grant program or otherwise, are used in accordance with section 601(d) of the Social Security Act as implemented in the Guidance.


1 The Guidance is available at https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/Coronavirus-Relief-Fund-Guidance-for- State-Territorial-Local-and-Tribal-Governments.pdf.

FEMA releases a new publication on mitigation measures for existing multi-family structures.

FEMA recently released the National Flood Insurance Program Flood Mitigation Measures for Multi-Family Buildings, P-2037. This publication provides guidance for building owners, designers, investors, builders/contractors, institutional partners, housing agencies and residents, and property and facility managers on flood risk evaluation and mitigation of large multi-family buildings located within floodplains, particularly in urban areas. The publication is also useful for local officials responsible for enforcing floodplain management regulations or building codes.

The focus of the publication is mid-rise and high-rise buildings, although many of the approaches could be applied to low-rise buildings. To help develop and implement a comprehensive mitigation approach, this publication describes the steps and process for developing and applying a mitigation strategy by describing the floodplain management regulatory framework, the process for determining flood risk, potential mitigation measures to address that risk, and information on flood insurance considerations. This publication also provides example scenarios of mitigation strategies for existing multi-family buildings.

FEMA P-2037 is available here. A two-page fact sheet is also available here to help communicate key takeaways from the publication. 

Free copies of the publication should be available via the FEMA Publications Warehouse by calling 1-800-480-2520, Monday – Friday between 8AM to 5P EST, by fax at 1-719-948-9724, or by emailing your request to FEMApubs@gpo.gov. Please provide the title, publication number, and quantity of each publication, along with your name, address, zip code, and daytime telephone number.

To learn more about FEMA’s Floodplain Management Division, visit our website

First Lady Frances Wolf Partners with Pennsylvania PBS to Deliver Encouraging Messages to Children and Caregivers

Click here to View Press Release: First Lady Frances Wolf Partners with PA PBS as a PDF.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 16, 2020
View Online

First Lady Frances Wolf Partners with Pennsylvania PBS to Deliver Encouraging Messages to Children and Caregivers

Harrisburg, PA – Today, First Lady Frances Wolf offered encouraging messages to children, parents, teachers, and caregivers through the release of a series of videos created in collaboration with Pennsylvania PBS titled #TogetherPennsylvania.

Videos in the series include:

  • a reading of Ruby Finds a Worry by Tom Percival and discussion on how to deal with anxiety with Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine;
  • a message of encouragement to middle schoolers;
  • a message of congratulations to the Class of 2020;
  • a video visit between the First Lady and Daniel Tiger of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, the animated PBS KIDS series produced by Fred Rogers Productions, sharing ways children can be helpful to their families during the pandemic;
  • ideas on how to have fun while staying at home; and
  • a message of support to parents, caregivers and educators.

“To the children, parents, caregivers, and educators of Pennsylvania: I want you to know that we see you, we appreciate you, and we couldn’t get through this without you,” said First Lady Frances Wolf. “Through this partnership with Pennsylvania PBS, we hope to tap into the human side of what is happening and remind everyone that their perseverance matters. We truly are in this together, and all Pennsylvanians – from our youngest, to our oldest, and everyone in between – play such an important role in our collective well-being.”

The First Lady was joined by Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine, who reminded children that there are people like herself who work to keep them safe and discussed the importance of wearing masks.

“During these uncertain times, it is important to remember to take care of your mental health along with your physical health,” said Dr. Levine. “Some individuals may be experiencing heightened feelings of anxiety or stress, and that is okay. To help decrease these feelings, it is important to take time for yourself away from the news, connect with friends and family and practice good self-care. Also remember, if you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, help is available.”

#TogetherPennsylvania was designed to represent the enduring spirit of Pennsylvanians as we work side-by-side to help each other during the pandemic.

Debbie Riek, WITF’s director of education, elaborated, “Children find comfort and strength when grown-ups speak to them with calmness and care. Parents find support when a leader in the community shares that she believes that they have been doing a good job at showing how to persevere. Everyone needs reassurance right now. #TogetherPennsylvania acts as that essential hug we want to give our neighbor, but can’t.”

Pennsylvania PBS (PA PBS) is the collective name for the seven public media organizations throughout PA – WHYY Public Media in Philadelphia, WITF Public Media in Harrisburg, Lehigh Valley Public Media in the Greater Lehigh Valley, WPSU Public Media in State College, WQED Public Media in Pittsburgh, WQLN Public Media in Northwestern PA, and WVIA Public Media in Northeastern PA.

PA PBS’s mission is to educate, engage, and inspire the citizens of the Commonwealth through powerful partner collaborations. The #TogetherPennsylvania campaign truly aligns with PA PBS’s educational mission.

“It’s natural right now for children and adults to find themselves going through different emotions from day to day, or even hour to hour. Some moments are joyful. Some aren’t,” said Kate Domico, executive director, Pennsylvania PBS. “As we face what may be the most serious health crisis of our lifetimes, it is clear that the mission of Pennsylvania PBS to serve with exceptional, community-centered outreach like #TogetherPennsylvania takes on new significance.”

Videos that have been released for #TogetherPennsylvania can be found on any PA PBS station’s broadcast channel, social media platform and at learningathomepa.org.

In late March, the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) announced a partnership with the PBS stations in PA to offer instructional programming to communities with limited internet access. The First Lady-Pennsylvania PBS collaboration builds on this effort by providing encouraging content for viewers who may need a reminder that they are not alone in figuring out the next steps in their education or trying to adjust to a different lifestyle.

“Pennsylvania’s PBS stations have been important partners in providing instructional programming to students during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Education Secretary Pedro A. Rivera said. “The Department of Education is proud to collaborate with PBS on this project to ensure families and educators around the state have access to valuable programs.”

PDE is committed to supporting school communities all year round by providing guidance and resources related not only to academic success, but also to the mental health and well-being of students of all ages. This includes resources related to:

As Pennsylvania continues to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, state leaders are reminding residents of all ages to practice self-care, which includes nurturing their mental health and wellness and reaching out if they need assistance.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health offers the following suggestion to parents and caregivers to best support children during this pandemic:

  • Make yourself available to listen and to talk. Be sure children know they can come to you when they have questions or to express their fears.
  • Remain calm and reassuring. Children are often trusting with adults. It is important to lead by example and remain calm to not pass fear.
  • Teach children everyday actions to reduce the spread of germs. This is an opportunity to create healthy habits. Remind children to cough or sneeze into a tissue or elbow and to wash their hands frequently while singing “Happy Birthday” twice, or for 20 seconds.
  • Model self-care. Nurture your physical and mental health and wellness by ensuring your body is getting the proper nutrients from fruits, vegetables and getting enough sleep.
  • Keep it simple while providing accurate information. Give children information that is truthful and appropriate for the age and developmental level of the child. Avoid making assumptions about who might have COVID-19.
  • Pay attention to what children see or hear on television, radio, or online. Consider reducing the amount of screen time focused on COVID-19. Too much information on one topic can lead to anxiety.
  • If you, your child, or a member of your family are sick, stay home until you are feeling better. In addition, frequently clean commonly touched surfaces in your home such as countertops, light switches and cell phones.

Up to date information on COVID-19 health and safety precautions can be found on the Pennsylvania Department of Health website.

MEDIA CONTACT: Madeline Williams, madwilliam@pa.gov or 717-602-3909