Public Assistance Program


The Public Assistance (PA) Program provides aid in the wake of a major disaster to the State of Florida, Palm Beach County government and its jurisdictions, and to certain non-profits organizations, to help communities in their recovery efforts.

This Program provides federal disaster grant assistance for debris removal, emergency protective measures, and the repair, replacement, or restoration of disaster-damaged property.  The PA Program is a cost share program with FEMA paying 75%, the State of Florida contributing 12 1/2 % and the subgantee contributing the remaining 12 1/2% of the awarded assistance.

Applicant eligibility criteria
In order to receive a Public Assistance Grant, the applicant must register within sixty days of the disaster or event. The applicant must first be deemed eligible to apply for FEMA Public Assistance. Those eligible applicants include: state government agencies, PBC governments, federally recognized Indian tribes, and private non-profit organizations.

Facility eligibility criteria
For a PBC facility to be eligible for FEMA Public Assistance, it must be located in a designated disaster area and be under the legal responsibility of Palm Beach County.  The facility should have been in active use at the time of the disaster; and open to the general public.

Types of work covered
Public Assistance Program can only be applied to two types of disaster recovery work:

  • The first is emergency work – this includes the debris removal and the preventative measures taken to secure the property and prevent further damage to the property and to public health.
  • The second is permanent work – which covers the measures needed to restore, or replace, the property.

Grant application process
The application processes is somewhat lengthy, and can include the following steps:

  • A preliminary damage assessment from which an immediate needs funding and expedited payments are derived
  • Applicants’ Briefing where applicants receive and complete a Request for Public Assistance form
  • In the event of a successful Request for Public Assistance, the applicant is assigned a public assistance coordinator
  • An introductory meeting, which is composed of the applicant and their public assistance coordinator
  • Applicant's specific needs will be identified and cost estimates will be derived through the project formulation process
  • Cost estimates for small projects that have been previously prepared are confirmed through a standardized validation process
  • And finally if eligible, FEMA approves and processes funding for the disaster recovery project

Public Assistance Projects Categories:

  • Category A – Debris removal
  • Category B – Emergency protective measures
  • Category C – Roads and bridges
  • Category D – Water control facilities
  • Category E – Public buildings and contents
  • Category F – Public utilities
  • Category G – Parks, recreational, and other facilities

Recovery Directory: