Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Resources
- FEMA has a video here that outlines how a disaster gets declared. This page also provides procedural information regarding the Stafford Act declaration process and is intended for emergency managers, elected officials, media, and stakeholders interested in the formal declaration process.
- The Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act constitutes the statutory authority for most Federal disaster response activities especially as they pertain to FEMA and FEMA programs.
- Code of Federal Regulations Title 44 pertains to Emergency Management and Assistance, which includes FEMA.
- The Individual Assistance Program and Policy Guide (IAPPG) consolidates information on Individual Assistance (IA) programs offered by FEMA to a state, local, territorial, or tribal government jurisdiction affected by a disaster.
- FEMA recently updated its Individual Assistance Program to make it easier for survivors to receive assistance. The changes go into effect on March 22, 2024, for disasters that occur on or after that date. Read all about the updates here.
- In 2021, FEMA changed the IAPPG to create additional flexibilities that ensure access to assistance is equitably provided to all survivors. The policy changes apply to disasters declared on or after August 23, 2021. Download the factsheet. Download the memo.
- FEMA Individual Assistance (IA) provides Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA), a non-congregate sheltering form of assistance for eligible displaced disaster survivors taking refuge in emergency shelter locations when an incident results in the need for short-term emergency sheltering options.
- Overview/Nuts and Bolts of FEMA Individual Assistance Program Applications and Appeals is a free program segment of Current and Emerging Issues in Disaster Response: Legal Strategies and Practices for Helping Survivors.
- 25 Pro Tips for Working with FEMA: Lessons Learned That Work - This is a summary from a roundtable hosted on June, 28, 2018 by Pro Bono Net and Lone Star Legal Aid. The program was specific to the response of the major 2017 disasters, but applicable to other federally-declared disasters as well.
- 25 Pro Tips for Working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA): COVID-19 Edition - In March 2021, the American Bar Association Disaster Legal Services Program, Equal Justice Works, Pro Bono Net, and Lone Star Legal Aid co-hosted this webinar. The program highlighted the strategies attorneys have used in responding to weather-related emergencies during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- To access examples of FEMA appeal letters, click here. Pro Bono Net and Lone Star Legal Aid collected FEMA appeals forms and letters that advocates can refer to as examples and adapt as necessary. Some of these documents are redacted, but cover the topics of FEMA inspections, personal property, recoupments, and insurance. Access to these documents requires log-in, but membership is free. You can request to join Advocates for Disaster Justice here.
- If you're an attorney representing a client and need access to their FEMA case file, you need to submit an Authorization for the Release of Information Under the Privacy Act. To see the form in Spanish, click here.
- See this list for Frequently Asked Questions about the FEMA appeals process.
- OpenFEMA Data Sets is a one stop shop for OpenFEMA—FEMA’s data delivery platform which provides datasets to the public in open, industry standard, machine-readable formats.
- Learn about the formal disaster declaration process, disaster types, how FEMA gets involved, and other resources here.