Disaster Assistance - Local Governments, Houses of Worship & Non-Profits

Through FEMA’s Public Assistance program, federal and state funds are available to help repair public properties such as roads, bridges, buildings, parks – even private nonprofits (PNPs) like houses of worship that have been damaged or destroyed. Funds also can help pay for emergency protective measures, communications and public transportation, as well as debris removal. 

Trained grant managers help applicants through the reimbursement process.

Who is eligible?

Who is eligible?

To apply for Public Assistance Program funds, applicants must:
•         Be a government body -- including but not limited to: town, school board, city, police station or state agency, OR
•         Be a private non-profit (PNP) group -- such as a hospital, volunteer fire department, electrical membership corporation, houses of worship, museum, etc. AND
•         Have damages from a disaster equal to or exceeding $3,140 AND
•         Be in a federally-declared county to be eligible for Public Assistance. The following counties are eligible for Tropical Storm Michael: Alamance, Brunswick, Caswell, Chatham, Dare, Davidson, Davie, Forsyth, Granville, Hyde, Iredell, McDowell, Montgomery, Orange, Person, Randolph, Rockingham, Stokes, Surry, Vance, and Yadkin.

What is eligible?

What is eligible?

Eligible work is covered via shared costs: the federal share is typically 75 percent and the state covers the remaining 25 percent. Under certain circumstances, the federal share may be 90 or even 100 percent.
Costs of eligible work fall under two broad categories – Emergency Work and Permanent Work. 

  • Emergency Work includes that which helps to immediately protect public health and safety
  • Permanent Work includes restoring damaged facilities to their pre-disaster design, function and capacity following applicable codes or standards.
FEMA Public Assistance Categories



Eligible Costs

Emergency Work


Debris Removal

 Trees & vegetative debris * Building components or contents * Sand, silt, mud, gravel * Other disaster-related debris


Emergency Protective Measures

Emergency communications * Mass care & sheltering * Search & rescue * Security in impacted area * Transporting disaster victims * Building inspections * Temporary generators for health & safety services * Medical/ custodial care facility evacuations *

Permanent Work


Roads & Bridges

Road surfaces, shoulders, bases & ditches * Drainage structures * Bridge decking, pavement, piers, girders, abutments * Bridge slopes


Water Control Facilities

Canals, sediment basins * Dams, reservoirs & levees * Pumping facilities * Drainage channels * Shore protective devices


Buildings, Contents & Equipment

Building repair or restoration to code * Content/ equipment replacement * Mold remediation * Temporary or permanent relocation * Houses of Worship++



Communications * Power generation & distribution * Sewage systems * Water treatment plants


Parks, Recreational Facilities & Other

Playground equipment * Piers & boat docks * Picnic tables * Mass transit facilities * Fish hatcheries * Golf courses * Tennis Courts * Swimming Pools


++  Some Houses of Worship may now be eligible as a private non-profit organization for Public Assistance funds to be reimbursed for damages sustained in a federally-declared disaster. Please submit requests for more information to pubic.assistance@ncdps.gov.  


When and how do I apply?

When and how do I apply?


To be considered for funding, interested government agencies and non-profit organizations must submit an initial application within 30 days of when their county was declared a federal disaster. 

Organizations/governments based in Alamance, Brunswick, Caswell, Chatham, Dare, Davidson, Davie, Forsyth, Granville, Hyde, Iredell, McDowell, Montgomery, Orange, Person, Randolph, Rockingham, Stokes, Surry, Vance, and Yadkin counties may apply.


FEMA, in 2017, implemented a new approach to more effectively and efficiently manage the Public Assistance (PA) Program: using a Public Assistance Grant Portal. All PA program applications are now submitted online after the agency/organization first registers their interest with the state. The new approach avoids some of the challenges that have been associated with the early stages of the grants process.

Step 1: Register with NC Emergency Management by emailing public.assistance@ncdps.gov.

Step 2: Attend an applicant briefing to learn about the application process.

Step 3: Submit application online through FEMA's Public Assistance Grants Portal. (NCEM will send each applicant portal access instructions once they have registered.) Applicants can use the portal to upload documents such as the “Request for Public Assistance,” invoices, etc. for the grant application.

Applicant Briefings

Applicant Briefings

Applicants Briefings are held for governments, non-profit organizations and houses of worship to outline the progran and discuss the grants process. 

Applicant briefings were held from February 6 - February 15, 2019. 

Other Resources