NIMS Alert 02-21: FEMA Releases “Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Initial Assessment Report”

NIMS Alert FEMA

FEMA has released its “Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Initial Assessment Report” which assesses the agency’s initial response to the global pandemic. 

Highlighted items in the report show the challenges the agency faced, including needing to clarify roles and authorities between responding agencies and managing complex interagency coordination while still protecting its own workforce. The report covers FEMA’s response from mid-March through Sept. 30, 2020 and provides 32 key findings and 57 recommendations in five areas.

FEMA partnered with the private sector, non-governmental organizations and other federal agencies to better manage the complex logistical operations. To drastically speed up the arrival of medical supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) to the domestic market, FEMA chartered privately owned planes for medical distributors, reducing the transit time between manufacturer and customer from 30–45 days via ocean freight to approximately five days via air freight. Project Airbridge chartered 249 flights over a span of 92 days and delivered roughly 1.73 billion units of personal protective equipment (PPE) and medical supplies to prioritized areas.

While coordinating the federal COVID-19 response, FEMA responded to multiple disasters. The year 2020 was the most active Atlantic hurricane season in history with 25 named Atlantic Ocean storms, three of which were declared major disasters across seven states.  

FEMA’s COVID-19 operations led to innovations for coordination with government and non-government partners on implementing national distribution networks and innovative solutions to data management and analysis and manufacturing and procuring scarce resources. The agency’s adaptive workforce enabled it to facilitate an effective operational response to the pandemic.

The report findings and recommendations will be used to inform FEMA and the emergency management community and improve existing and future responses to pandemics. The Initial Assessment Report represents part of FEMA’s continuous improvement process, helping the agency learn faster and to communicate to the emergency management community where there are opportunities to build greater capacity.

To read the full report go to: https://www.fema.gov/disasters/coronavirus

Closing Soon: AFG-S 2 FY 2020 COVID 19 For Volunteer/Combination Departments

Supplemental AFG-S Application Period Ends Nov. 13, 2020, at 5 p.m. ET

Reminder from FEMA! The second AFG-S COVID-19/coronavirus application period closes soon!

Ask the Help Desk

See commonly asked questions about the AFG-S 2 application below:

Question 1. Item eligibility: Are items such as self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), EMS jackets/pants, decontamination equipment, personnel costs, and fitness equipment eligible under the grant?

Answer: The Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) specifies the type of PPE that is applicable under the grant, and can be found below or in the chart on page 26 of the NOFO.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) List – Funding Priorities

COVID-19 Response

  • Eye Protection – Appropriately fitted, indirectly vented goggles or single use disposable face shield that fully covers the front and sides of the face.
  • Isolation Gowns – Nonsterile, single use fluid-resistant and impermeable patient isolation gown.
  • Protective Coveralls – 360-degree protection of whole body, including the back, lower legs and feet.
  • Gloves – Patient examination gloves.
  • Footwear Covers – Single use, disposable medical footwear covers.
  • Respirators – Any NIOSH-approved particulate respirator (i.e., N-95 or higher-level respirator). Includes the purchase of filters appropriate for use.
  • Surgical Type Face Masks – loose-fitting, single use disposable physical barrier between the mouth and nose of the wearer to allow fire and EMS personnel to meet CDC recommendations and/or state mandates for face covering when in a public setting other than direct patient contact.
  • Other supplies are also eligible, however will be considered a lower priority than items listed above. Examples include:
    • Decontamination supplies and services for PPE, station-quarters, and vehicles.
    • Replacement High-Efficiency Particulate Air filters and other types of disposable filtration supplies used on EMS respiratory and/or ventilator equipment.
    • Personally-issued antiseptic hand washes, antiseptic hand rubs such as alcohol-based hand sanitizers , foams or gels, and reasonable refill supply.

Questions 2. Item classification:  How much leeway is there classifying an item under a category? – For example, whether EMS jackets/pants would correlate to “coveralls” in the NOFO?

Answer:  It depends. The eligible items are specific to the authorization language, which only allows for the purchase of PPE used in response or preparation of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency. Applicants would need to justify how the purchase of the PPE directly relates to the COVID-19 response.

Question 3. Reimbursement: How can I get reimbursed for supplies I have already purchased?

Answer: Reimbursements are eligible for the purchase of PPE dating back to Jan 1, 2020. However, the items must also align with the eligible items list; see chart above.

APPLICATION PORTAL

The AFG-S 2 grant program application is available online through the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program’s FEMA GO (FEMA Grants Outcomes) application portal at https://go.fema.gov.

All users have their own FEMA GO account. Each account is specific to the authorized user and must not be shared with other personnel. A FEMA GO Account Creation User Guide can be viewed on the AFGP website or downloaded to your computer. An application number will be assigned when the application is started. Be sure to write it down for future reference.  

NOTE:  When completing the Applicant Information section, the “applicant name” should be the name of the fire department or organization applying for the grant, not the name of the person who is completing the application.

To start the application process, we recommend that you review the AFG-S 2 NOFO and Application Technical Assistance Tools found on the AFG website under Guidance Documents.

Volunteer and Combination Fire Departments only: AFG-S Round 2 Fire Grant Application Period Open Oct. 6-Nov. 13, 2020

FY 2020 Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program – COVID 19 Supplemental (AFG-S)

FEMA is providing a second opportunity for volunteer and combination fire departments to apply for funding under the Fiscal Year 2020 Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program – COVID 19 Supplemental (AFG-S):

  • Through this AFG-S Round 2 funding opportunity, FEMA will directly award funding for personal protective equipment (PPE) and other supplies to support coronavirus (COVID-19) response.
  • This includes reimbursement for applicable PPE expenditures made since Jan. 1, 2020.
  • Grants will be awarded, using a competitive process, to applicants whose requests best address the priorities of the AFG-S grant opportunity.

The Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) is available for $31 million in funding for the Fiscal Year 2020 Assistance to Firefighters Grant – COVID-19 Supplemental Program (AFG-S) to help provide personal protective equipment to firefighters and first responders who are managing emergencies during the COVID-19 pandemic.

FEMA will begin accepting AFG-S applications at 8 a.m. ET on Tuesday October 6, 2020. The application period will close at 5 p.m. ET on Nov. 13, 2020 .The Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program Office (AFGP) has developed tools to help potential applicants plan their AFG-S application ahead of the application period. These documents can be viewed on the AFGP website at FY 2020 AFG-S COVID-19 Guidance Documents (https://www.fema.gov/media-collection/fy-2020-assistance-firefighters-grant-program-covid-19-supplemental-afg-s) and/or downloaded to your computer.

FY 2020 AFG-S Notice of Funding Opportunity


Cost Share Calculator: This calculator will help you understand and determine your organization’s cost share for AFG-S grants

Key Questions about the FY20 AFG-S Round 2 application

Why are only volunteer and combination fire departments eligible in round 2?

By law, 25 percent of available AFG-S funds must be awarded to volunteer fire departments and another 25 percent must be awarded to combination fire departments. This second application period will be limited to those categories of fire departments to fulfill this requirement.

Can my department apply again?

Volunteer and combination fire departments are eligible to apply in the FY20 AFG-S Round 2 even if they were awarded a grant under the first application period of the FY20 AFG-S. However, such applications must support new capabilities. Departments that applied in the first application period but were unsuccessful must reapply to be considered for funding in this second application period. Applications from the first application period will not automatically carry forward to Round 2 for automatic consideration.

Application Portal

The online application is available through the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program’s FEMA Grants Outcomes (FEMA GO) portal at https://go.fema.gov.

All users need their own FEMA GO account. Each account is specific to the authorized user and must not be shared with other personnel. A FEMA GO Account Creation User Guide can be viewed on the AFGP website or downloaded to your computer.

An application number will be assigned when the application is started. Be sure to write it down for future reference.

NOTE: When completing the Applicant Information section of the application, the “applicant name” should be the name of the fire department applying for the grant, not the name of the person who is completing the application.

FEMA GO is compatible with Internet Explorer (version 11 or higher), Firefox (version 73 or higher), or Chrome (version 80 or higher). Users who attempt to use tablet type devices or other browsers may encounter issues with using FEMA GO.

AFG-S Round 2 Webinars

Please see FEMA’s Webinar Schedule page for information on upcoming live webinars related to the AFG-S application. Webinars will be offered on various dates through the month of October. The presentations will outline important information and reminders about program priorities, eligible costs, how to navigate the grant application, and tips for preparing an AFG-S application.

SAM.gov Refgistration

SAM.GOV REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED TO APPLY FOR AND RECEIVE GRANTS

All eligible applicants must be registered and active in the System for Award Management (SAM) before they can both begin and submit an application. Per 2 CFR § 25.205, FEMA may not make an award to an entity until the entity has complied with the requirements to provide a valid DUNS number and maintain an active SAM.gov registration with current information. SAM.gov consolidates federal procurement systems and the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA). To register, or validate your information, please visit: https://www.sam.gov/

Find more information on this funding opportunity at https://www.fema.gov/grants/preparedness/firefighters

Combo Fire Departments & VFDs: AFG-S COVID Response Round 2 fire grant opens Oct. 5, 2020

COVID-19 Fire Grant for combination and Volunteer Fire Departments only

Assistance to Firefighter Grant Supplemental Coronavirus Fire Grant application round opens Oct. 5, 2020 and closes Nov. 4, 2020

The Notice of Funding Opportunity will be out soon. While similar to the first Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for AFG-S Round 1, Round 2 excludes career departments. FEMA is expecting $31 million dollars for awards in the second round.

FEMA advised that a final round of awards for AFG, AFG-S, SAFER, and FP&S will happen possibly this Friday, Sept. 25. FEMA also advised all money needs to be allocated by September 30, 2020, and departments not receiving grants will soon start to get the turn-down notice.

Micro-grants will be allowed.

FEMA will allow micro-grants for AFG-S for up to $3,000 or less.

Only PPE is eligible for consideration.

Only Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) on the Notice of Funding Opportunity will be awarded. FEMA will reimburse departments for PPE that has been purchased from January 1, 2020 until the grant opens.

Round 1 winners may apply again.

If you were awarded on the first round of AFG-S you can reapply.

The application process will be the same as the first round of AFG-S which is the same as the AFG application, so you will need to apply using FEMA GO.

Pay attention to cost-share requirements.

The cost share on the application advises:

  • When serving a jurisdiction of 20,000 residents or fewer, the applicant shall agree to make available non-federal funds in an amount equal to not less than 5 percent of the grant awarded;
  • When serving a jurisdiction of more than 20,000 residents, but not more than 1 million residents, the applicant shall agree to make available non-federal funds in an amount equal to not less than 10 percent of the grant awarded.

Personal Protective Equipment is allowed on this grant

Your AFG-S Round 2 application should focus on PPE, but some PPE is consideration a higher priority than other gear, equipment, or supplies:

High Priority for funding

  • Eye Protection: Appropriately fitted, indirectly vented goggles or single use disposable face shield that fully covers the front and sides of the face.
  • Isolation Gowns: Nonsterile, single use fluid-resistant and impermeable disposable patient isolation gown.
  • Protective Coveralls: 360-degree protection of the whole body, including the back, lower legs and feet.
  • Gloves: Single-use, disposable patient examination gloves.
  • Footwear Covers: Single-use, disposable medical footwear covers.
  • Respirators: Any NIOSH-approved particulate respirator (i.e., N-95 or higher level respirator). Includes the purchase of filters appropriate for use.
  • Surgical-Type Face Masks: Loose-fitting, single-use disposable physical barrier between the mouth and nose of the wearer to allow fire and EMS personnel to meet. Must meet CDC recommendations and/or state mandates for face covering when in a public setting other than direct patient contact.

Low priority for funding

Other supplies are also eligible, however they will be considered a lower priority than items listed above. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Decontamination supplies and services for PPE, station-quarters, and vehicles.
  • Replacement High-Efficiency Particulate Air filters and other types of disposable filtration supplies used on EMS respiratory and/or ventilator equipment.
  • Personally-issued antiseptic hand washes, antiseptic hand rubs such as alcohol based hand sanitizers, foams or gels, and reasonable refill supply.

Grant writer fees may be reimbursed from the grant

FEMA will allow the grant writer fee to be reimbursed on this grant up to $1,500 if you have not been awarded the grant writer fee this year.

Combination and volunteer fire departments of sizes nationwide may be able to benefit from this second round of FEMA AFG coronavirus fire grant funding.

Need help applying for this grant?

Contact us today

$6,107 AFG COVID-19 grant awarded to Maine Fire Department

In August 2020, Maine’s Arundel Fire Department was awarded funds to bolster the department’s PPE and response around coronavirus and COVID-19.

The $6,107 COVID fire grant serves two main functions:

  1. Reimburse personal protective equipment (PPE) purchases already made due to the national COVID-19 pandemic
  2. Procure additional PPE stocks of N95 masks, gowns, and eye protection for future COVID-19 responses

“Response to coronavirus has stressed departments of all sizes,” says Greg Bavis, Grants Consultant at First Responder Grants. “These COVID-specific fire grants can help departments nationwide stock up on needed supplies to protect both the community and their personnel.”

Ready to win AFG?

Online AFG Training

Grant Writing & Review

Annual Grants Service

Contact a Grants Consultant

FEMA announces second AFG-COVID-19 Supplemental (AFG-S) Application Period for Volunteer and Combination Fire Departments this Fall

FEMA - Federal Emergency Management Agency

FEMA is providing an additional chance for volunteer and combination fire departments to apply for funding under the FY 2020 AFG-S. Through this funding opportunity, FEMA will directly award funding for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other supplies to support COVID-19 response. This includes reimbursement for expenditures made since Jan. 1, 2020. Grants will be awarded, using a competitive process, to applicants whose requests best address the priorities of AFG-S.

FEMA will provide more information on the application period soon.

Why are only volunteer and combination fire departments eligible?

By law, 25 percent of available AFG-S funds must be awarded to volunteer fire departments and another 25 percent must be awarded to combination fire departments. This second application period will be limited to those categories of fire departments to fulfill this requirement.

Can I apply again?

Volunteer and combination fire departments are eligible to apply in this round even if they had a successful application in the first round. However, applications must support new capabilities. Departments that applied in the first round but were unsuccessful must reapply to be considered for funding in this round. Applications from the first round will not automatically carry forward to this round for consideration.

Find more information on this funding opportunity at https://www.fema.gov/grants/preparedness/firefighters

Webinars will start on Aug. 18, 2020, and run three times a week for three weeks. Please see our Webinar Schedule page in the days ahead for information on upcoming webinars.

Need help with your AFG-S application?

Contact our grant consultants today

AFG COVID-19 Supplemental Awards Underway

Supplemental grants help Fire Service Organizations nationwide against coronavirus

FEMA has begun announcing award rounds for Fire Service Organizations awarded Supplemental AFG grants to aid their operations against the novel coronavirus. Awards will continue until all funding is exhausted.

View the award list

Recipients will be notified through email and must log into the FEMA GO portal to review their award package and accept the award. Information on all AFG grant awards is posted on the AFG website at www.fema.gov/welcome-assistance-firefighters-grant-program and updated on a regular basis.

NIMS ALERT 11-20: FEMA Releases COVID-19 Operational Guidance for Hurricane Season

FEMA Releases COVID-19 Operational Guidance for Hurricane Season

FEMA released “COVID-19 Pandemic Operational Guidance for the 2020 Hurricane Season” to help emergency managers and public health officials best prepare for disasters, while continuing to respond to and recover from COVID-19.
 
The guide provides actions emergency managers and public officials can take to prepare for response and recovery operations during ongoing COVID-19 response efforts. Specifically, the guidance:

  • Describes anticipated challenges to disaster operations posed by COVID-19.
  • Highlights planning considerations for emergency managers based on current challenges.
  • Outlines how FEMA plans to adapt response and recovery operations.
  • Creates a shared understanding of expectations between FEMA and emergency managers.
  • Includes guidance, checklists and resources to support emergency managers’ response and recovery planning.

Private sector and non-governmental organizations can use the guidance to gain an understanding of the government’s posture, planning and readiness efforts.
 
To expand awareness and understanding of the guidance, FEMA’s National Preparedness Directorate is conducting four webinars. The webinars will allow emergency managers an opportunity to discuss how the guidance can assist jurisdictions review and modify their plans given the constraints and limitations of the ongoing pandemic. To register, please click on the link for the preferred webinar from the list below:

Download the COVID-19 Pandemic Operational Guidance for the 2020 Hurricane Season on the FEMA website.

Gary Sinise Foundation Emergency COVID-19 Combat Service

Assistance for Law Enforcements Agencies needing PPE to combat COVID-19/Coronavirus

Grant Website

Grant Guidelines

Grant Deadline: This program accepts applications on an ongoing basis.

The Emergency COVID-19 Combat Service addresses the needs and priorities of those it is entrusted by the American people to serve and honor, with the addition of healthcare professionals.

During this public health crisis, Emergency COVID-19 Combat Service will be the gateway for providing grants to first responders in need of personal protective equipment when answering COVID-19 service calls. Financial assistance is also available to healthcare professionals, service members, veterans, first responders, and their families who have been impacted by the novel coronavirus.

The Foundation helps Law Enforcement departments acquire personal protective equipment and essential gear utilized in the fight against COVID-19.

Only a limited number of grants will be awarded.

About the Gary Sinise Foundation

The Gary Sinise Foundation serves the nation by honoring our defenders, veterans, first responders, their families, and those in need. The Foundation does this by creating and supporting unique programs designed to entertain, educate, inspire, strengthen, and build communities.

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Apply for the Gary Sinise Foundation Emergency COVID-19 Combat Service

CARES Act and Firefighters: $100M for PPE and supplies to battle Coronavirus/COVID-19

FEMA Announcement: Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act

The CARES Act authorizes $100M in Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) funds for the purchase of personal protective equipment and related supplies for our nation’s first responders. As fire departments provide lifesaving emergency medical response to more and more communities impacted by COVID-19, FEMA AFG is offering an additional funding opportunity for the fire service community to purchase urgently needed protective equipment and supplies.

Here’s what you need to know:

  1. FEMA AFG received $100M in stimulus funding under the CARES Act.
  2. Included in this stimulus is personal protective equipment (PPE) for the COVID-19 response efforts.
  3. A new AFG application period will be opening soon.
  4. Please be on the lookout for that announcement which will include additional details.

As we learn more about this funding and when FEMA plans to open up for applications, we will keep you posted. First Responder Grants is available to help your department navigate applying for these special grant funds: