In federally declared disasters, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) can provide funding and technical help to state and local governments and certain private, non-profit groups. This funding will help to fix or replace damaged public properties such as roads, bridges, buildings and parks that have been damaged or destroyed.

FEMA also can offer help for emergency protective measures, debris removal, emergency communications and emergency public transportation. The categories for grant funding are as follows:

  • Cat A - Debris Removal
  • Cat B - Emergency Protective Measures
  • Cat C - Roads and Bridges
  • Cat D - Water Control Facilities
  • Cat E - Public Buildings & Equipment
  • Cat F - Public Utilities
  • Cat G - Parks, Recreational Facilities, and Other Items
  • Cat Z - State Management Costs

The Public Assistance program serves as the direct contact between FEMA and the applicant. Reimbursement is available to all groups and areas meeting the requirements. Trained grant managers help applicants through the reimbursement process. In most cases, federal funding help is made available on a cost-sharing basis.

FEMA normally pays 75 percent of the eligible costs while the state and/or local government pays what is left. (Historically, the state has paid the remaining cost share in North Carolina.)

This culvert in the city of Marion in McDowell County, NC, was damaged during Hurricane Florence and the town received public assistance funding to repair and improve it.

Events Receiving Public Assistance

Declaration Number  Disaster Declaration Date Completed
EM8586-NC Hurricane Ian 10/1/2022  
4617 Tropical Storm Fred 9/8/2021  
4588 Tropical Storm Eta 3/3/2021  
4568 Hurricane Isaias 10/14/2020  
4543 Severe Storms, Tornadoes, and Flooding 5/8/2020  
4487 COVID-19 3/25/2020  
4465 Hurricane Dorian 10/4/2019  
4412 T.S.  Michael 1/31/2019  
4393 Hurricane Florence 9/14/2018  
4285 Hurricane Matthew 10/10/2016  
4167 Severe Winter Storm 3/31/2014 9/29/2022
4153 Severe Storms, Flooding, Landslides, and Mudslides 10/29/2013 9/29/2022
4146 Severe Storms, Flooding, Landslides, and Mudslides 9/25/2013 9/29/2022

How to Apply

Ballfield and playground
This ball field and playground In Yancey County

were rebuilt with a Public Assistant grant.

Before you can apply for FEMA public assistance, you must be a registered applicant. If you are already a registered applicant, you can go directly to the FEMA Grants Portal to apply. If you think your organization meets the criteria to be registered with FEMA, please have an official representative register in the FEMA Grants Portal and submit a New Registration request. You will need to provide all the information in one sitting. If you are a private nonprofit (PNP), please make sure you have your tax-exempt information and other supporting documentation ready to upload for FEMA’s review.

FEMA will advise you via email whether or not your organization was approved for Public Assistance funding in future events. It typically takes FEMA two to three weeks to review and email new organizations about their application’s approval.

If you are in a declared area you will be prompted to fill out and submit a Request for Public Assistance. If this form is not sent in by the deadline and the place is later found to have had major damage, it may be too late to apply.

If you are not able to get Public Assistance funding but feel you may qualify for another program, please contact a member of North Carolina Emergency Management or the Small Business Association to figure out what help you may be able to get for your group.

FEMA Public Assistance Grant Information

National Hours of Operation are 8 AM to 8 PM Monday through Friday.

Grants Portal/Manager Hotline: (866) 337-8448



FEMA Grants Portal
NCEM Grants Portal

EM Grants

NCEM Public Assistance Contact Map
NCEM Area Coordinators Map

NCEM Area Coordinators Contact Map