{501} 5191. Procedure for declaration
(a) Request and declaration
All requests for a declaration by the President that an emergency exists shall be made by the Governor of the affected State.  Such a request shall be based on a finding that the situation is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the State and the affected local governments and that Federal assistance is necessary.  As a part of such request, and as a prerequisite to emergency assistance under this chapter, the Governor shall take appropriate action under State law and direct execution of the State's emergency plan.  The Governor shall furnish information describing the State and local efforts and resources which have been or will be used to alleviate the emergency, and will define the type and extent of Federal aid required.  Based upon such Governor's request, the President may declare that an emergency exists.
(b) Certain emergencies involving Federal primary responsibility
The President may exercise any authority vested in him by section 5192 of this title or section 5193 of this title with respect to an emergency when he determines that an emergency exists for which the primary responsibility for response rests with the United States because the emergency involves a subject area for which, under the Constitution or laws of the United States, the United States exercises exclusive or preeminent responsibility and authority.  In determining whether or not such an emergency exists, the President shall consult the Governor of any affected State, if practicable.  The President's determination may be made without regard to subsection (a) of this section.

{502}  5192.  Federal emergency assistance

(a) Specified -- In any emergency, the President may--
(1) direct any Federal agency, with or without reimbursement, to utilize its authorities and the resources granted to it under Federal law (including  personnel, equipment, supplies, facilities, and managerial, technical and  advisory services) in support of State and local emergency assistance efforts  to save lives, protect property and public health and safety, and lessen or  avert the threat of a catastrophe;

(2) coordinate all disaster relief assistance (including    voluntary assistance) provided by Federal agencies, private    organizations, and State and  local governments;

(3) provide technical and advisory assistance to affected State    and local governments for--

(A) the performance of essential community services;
(B) issuance of warnings of risks or hazards;
(C) public health and safety information, including   dissemination of such information;
(D) provision of health and safety measures;  and
(E) management, control, and reduction of immediate threats to   public health and safety;
(4) provide emergency assistance through Federal agencies;
(5) remove debris in accordance with the terms and conditions of    section 5173  of this title;
(6) provide temporary housing assistance in accordance with    section 5174 of  this title;  and
(7) assist State and local governments in the distribution of    medicine, food,  and other consumable supplies, and emergency    assistance.
(b) General
Whenever the Federal assistance provided under subsection (a) of this section with respect to an emergency is inadequate, the President may also provide assistance with respect to efforts to save lives, protect property and public health and safety, and lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe.
{503}   5193. Amount of assistance
(a) Federal share
The Federal share for assistance provided under this subchapter shall be equal to not less than 75 percent of the eligible costs.
(b) Limit on amount of assistance
(1) In general
 Except as provided in paragraph (2), total assistance provided  under this subchapter for a single emergency shall not exceed $5,000,000.
(2) Additional assistance
 The limitation described in paragraph (1) may be exceeded when  the President determines that--
(A) continued emergency assistance is immediately required;
(B) there is a continuing and immediate risk to lives,   property, public health or safety;  and
(C) necessary assistance will not otherwise be provided on a   timely basis.
(3) Report
 Whenever the limitation described in paragraph (1) is exceeded,  the President shall report to the Congress on the nature and extent of emergency assistance requirements and shall propose additional legislation if necessary.

The FEMA Public Assistance Program and Policy Guide (PAPPG) is FEMA's Public Assistance Grant Bible.


The 2018 PAPPG (V3.0) is effective for all emergencies and major disasters declared on or after August 23, 2017. It supersedes the 2017 PAPPG (V2.0) which is effective for all emergencies and major disasters declared between April 1, 2017 and August 22, 2017.

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DisasterCenter.com is happy to make the Federal Emergency Management Administration's (FEMA) Public Assistance Program and Policy Guide (PAPPG) V 3.0 available in a print format.

FEMA Public Assistance (PA) provides grants to jurisdictions and certain non-profits for the costs of emergency response and for damages to permanent facilities damaged as a result of events that qualify for Presidential Disaster Declarations.  

In terms of dollar amounts, FEMA's Public Assistance Program is the largest grant program that FEMA operates.

FEMA PA can assist with local and State governments? emergency response efforts and in the restoration of public infrastructure after Presidential disaster declarations in the United States.