FEMA GO guide to apply for and manage grants

FEMA - Federal Emergency Management Agency

The Fund Finder News by Kurt Bradley

FEMA is transitioning its grant applications and grant management to a new system called the FEMA Grant Outcomes system, or FEMA GO. From now on, FEMA GO is how departments like yours will apply for and manage public safety grants such as Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG), Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response Grants (SAFER), and Fire Prevention & Safety Grants (FP&S).

How FEMA GO should benefit your organization

The intent behind FEMA GO is to have grants be managed in a more streamlined, user-friendly system. Over time, organizations like yours will be able to manage FEMA grants and other programs in one place.

This is a new system, and it is a big change. However, the new rules of the road are the new rules of the road. Once you are up and running, you should be ready to work in the new system to apply for and manage grants.

How to register on FEMA GO

Of course, first you’ve got to get set up.

For starters, the same E-BIZ contact for your department’s SAM.gov account has to set up your FEMA GO. (Note that FEMA GO doesn’t replace SAM but works in conjunction with SAM.)

FEMA has put together a step-by-step guide to help you register. According to FEMA, registering should take about 15 minutes.

Get the FEMA GO Registration Guide

Set up your organization and your grant writer on FEMA GO

As part of setting up your organization, you’ll also need to authorize your grant writer to be able to access any grants or applications in your account.

Once your account is set up, you’ll see a button that says “Add an AOR,” or, “Authorized Organizational Representative.” In order to access grants and account information relevant to your grants, you’ll need to add your grant writer as an AOR.

Important: An AOR is not the same thing as a contact. You can set up anyone as a contact, but contacts are not authorized to see, edit, or manage your grants and grant applications. Only AORs can view a grant and have access to the parts of the account they need in order to help with the grant.

The SAM.gov E-Biz contact who sets up the FEMA GO account must also set the AOR. In the case of the grant writer, the person must be set as an AOR, not simply as another grant contact.

Once the AOR is set, the AOR grant writer will be sent an email notification that they’ve been added as an AOR, and then the grant writer should be able to access your department’s grants in FEMA GO. 

Use FEMA GO to apply for grants, accept awards, and manage grants

FY 2018 AFG, SAFER, and FP&S are the first grants to be managed inside FEMA GO. As FY 2019 programs open for applications, those grants will also be applied for, monitored, and managed in FEMA GO. During 2020, departments can expect older grants under management to also be migrated into FEMA GO.

Updates for FEMA GO and FY 2019 fire grants

FEMA GO is a new system, and modifications and fixes are still underway.

As of Oct. 4, 2019, modules such as “Payment Request” are still in progress. Once deployed, this function will allow you to access and use your grant funds.

FY 2019 grant application periods will be announced at a later date. At this time, our understanding is that FY 2019 AFG will open during first week of December, and it will run through mid-January. Final dates have not been announced yet.

FEMA GO is a big change for how departments apply for and manage grants. However, before you know it .you can be up and running on FEMA GO, and hopefully new grants plus management of your current grants will be easier.

Questions or concerns? Contact our Certified Grant Consultants today.

How confusing is that grant you’re working on?

Tricky public safety grants? We can help.

Grants have their own language and complexity. They’re not always easy to understand. There are rules, details, and requirements that you have to follow to the letter… or else your grant won’t get funded.

Sometimes, though, those confusing grants can get pretty overwhelming. And when that happens, we’re here to help:

Contact us today


Check out our grant writing & review services


Sign up for an Annual Grant Services Package

Improve your grant game: Government offices, public safety support, and surplus auctions

Use these 3 resources for your next grant

Find ALL Government Offices for State & Local Government

Having trouble finding web sites that relate to your state and local government? I wish I had known about this site a long time ago. The State and Local Government Internet directory provides convenient one-stop access to the websites of thousands of state agencies and city and county governments.

Public Safety Foundation of America (PSFA)

The PSFA’s objective is to provide critical funding and technical support to public safety answering points (PSAPs) and local emergency response officials.

Government Surplus Auctions at Government Liquidation

The government’s own auction and surplus eBay-style site, and the exclusive partner of the US Department of Defense for the sale of military surplus.

Your next Law Enforcement grant can stand out with these 3 resources

One tree stands taller than the others

Every year Law Enforcement Agencies around the country apply for grants. Competition is stiff. One of the things that can help your grant stand taller than the rest?

Solid data.

Facts and figures paint a picture that shows the grant reviewer your need—and why your agency deserves a grant over another.

Here are 3 resources that can help your next grant stand out:

Arrest Data Analysis Tool – Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)

This dynamic data analysis tool allows you to generate tables and figures of arrest data from 1980 onward. You can view national arrest estimates, customized either by age and sex or by age group and race, for many offenses. This tool also enables you to view data on local arrests.

Check out the Arrest Data Analysis Tool

Kids Count

Great site for Juvenile Justice statistical research for your area and for comparisons regarding other geographical areas of the U.S. Data can be viewed in the form of profiles, rankings, or raw data. Created by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Kids Count has compiled indicators of child well-being from U.S. Census data and other sources, and created an interactive online database.

Check out the Kids Count

Crime Statistics – Finding Statistics and Data – Managed by the University of Michigan Library

Find data produced by governments on a wide variety of topics including data on local communities, other countries, criminal justice, incarceration and jails.

Check out the Crime Statistics

FY2018 Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) Grant Application Webinars & Assistance Tools


Fire Prevention & Safety (FP&S) GrantsRemember: The FY 2018 FP&S grant application period will open on Monday, November 12, 2018 at 8 AM ET and will close on Friday, December 21, 2018 at 5 PM ET.

Grant Application Webinars

The FP&S Program Office will host 2 webinars to help you with your FY 2018 FP&S grant application. The webinars will provide potential applicants with general information about the FP&S grant program, how to navigate the grant application, and tips for preparing an application. FP&S Program Officers will be available to answer questions.

Details and more: AFGP Workshop Schedule at FEMA.gov

FY 2018 Fire Prevention & Safety Application Assistance

Please make sure to thoroughly review the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) prior to beginning your application, as it contains the latest updates to the FY 2018 FP&S Grant Program. Begin preparing your application now by using the following application assistance tools:

  • FY 2018 Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) – This document contains key programmatic updates and application requirements for all eligible applicants.
  • FY 2018 FP&S Application Checklist – This checklist will help you prepare to answer questions within the grant application. Collecting this information will reduce the time and energy needed to complete your application.
  • FY 2018 FP&S Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) – This document contains answers to frequently asked questions about the FP&S Grant Program.
  • FY 2018 Research & Development (R&D) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) – This document contains answers to frequently asked questions specifically about the Research and Development Activity within the FP&S Grant Program.
  • FY 2018 FP&S Self Evaluation Sheet – This Self Evaluation Sheet will help you understand the criteria that you must address in your Narrative Statement when applying for FP&S grants.
  • FY 2018 FP&S Cost Share Calculator – This calculator will help you understand and determine your organization’s cost share for FP&S grants.

All FEMA FP&S application assistance tools and resources

More about FY2018 FP&S

First responders and public safety agencies, get ready for 2019 grants


Once summer gives way to fall, we all know how close we are to the holidays… and then to another new year. As we head into the final months of 2018 and look ahead to 2019, there is lots your department can be doing right now to prepare for next year’s grant opportunities.

Conduct a needs assessment

Proper planning involves a myriad of things, one of which is assuring that you have proper manpower and equipment to carry out your basic mission for your citizens. A needs assessment gives you the facts you need to know about how well prepared your department is to carry out its primary function.

How to do a needs assessment

What grants will you go for?

Each year, public, private, corporate, and non-profit organizations provide thousands of grants worth billions of dollars. What programs are out there that your agency could benefit from? What program will you try for for the first time? What programs have you tried for and gotten rejected, but you’re determined that this year be the year you get to the winner’s circle? Remember: Lots of grants open for applications during the first quarter!

Don’t miss another grant

Know and practice the 4 things grant winners have in common

Over the years we’ve looked at thousands of grant applications, and we have seen it all. The good. The bad. The ugly. And there are things that consistently set the winners apart from the losers. Put our 4 tips to work in your grant efforts, and you will be far more likely to celebrate a grant award in 2019.

The 4 things grant winners have in common

Let the numbers do the talking

You can make a well-stated case for why your department needs a grant more than another, but you also have to back up your story with hard data. Luckily, there’s lots of that out there. Demographics, critical infrastructure, economics, you name it.

Get the numbers and facts you need with our resource lists

Train

Just as you train for different incidents, it takes solid training to write a good grant too.

Check out our online training and national training options for what’s right for you

Need help with all this?

Our expert Senior Grant Consultants are a phone call or an email away.

Contact us today

FY 2018 Assistance to Firefighter Grants (AFG) opens soon


Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG)September 24 tentative start date

The FY 2018 AFG open application opportunity is right around the corner (September 24 tentative start date) Begin preparing for the FY 2018 open application period by reviewing the available application assistance tools below.

FY 2018 AFG Application Guidance Materials Available Now

  • 2018 AFG Cost Share Calculator
  • 2018 AFG Narrative Get Ready Guide – Application
  • 2018 AFG Narrative Get Ready Guide – Narrative
  • 2018 AFG Self Evaluation Vehicle Acquisition
  • 2018 AFG Self Evaluation Operations Safety
  • 2018 AFG Application Checklist

Live AFG Webinars

Beginning September 17, 2018, AFGP staff will host two live webinar series to educate organizations on what is new for FY 2018. The Application Workshop webinars will teach attendees about the Assistance to Firefighters Grant program, its mission, which organizations and activities are eligible, and how to apply.

A Fire Program Analyst will provide updates that apply to the FY 2018 application and some help tips in preparing your application. We will also have our Application Walk-thru webinars which gives attendees a section by section view of the application with AFG staff to explain and answer questions.

FY 2018 Application Workshop Presentation

Monday, September 17th – October 5th at 9 a.m. EDT and 4 p.m. EDT

FY 2018 Application Walk-thru

Monday September 24th – October 5th at 10 a.m. EDT and 1 p.m. EDT

4 things grant winners have in common


Law Enforcement, EMS, Emergency Management, Fire Service. You name it, no matter what part of the Public Safety sector an agency is in, when it comes to winning grants those winning agencies have 4 things in common.

1. They all got an early start.

Winning agencies don’t wait till the last minute. They tend to start their application and narrative 3-6 months ahead of the grant program’s opening date.

2. They all know the NOFO backward and forward.

The number one reason grants are rejected is that the applying agency committed “failure to follow directions.”

Know where these directions are?

Every single direction is in one document, known as the NOFO or RFP, the Notice of Funding Opportunity and Request for Proposal. This vital document spells out every detail of a grant program. Losing agencies sometimes barely open or skim the NOFO.

Winning agencies read, re-read, and re-read these documents again, and keep them close at hand for further reference throughout their application process.

3. They know what they need and why they need it.

Winning agencies have conducted a “needs assessment” in order to identify the highest priority item not just for themselves, but that also falls into the high priority category defined by the grant funding source.

In order to be competitive, you have to know the difference between a “need” and a “want.” They are distinctively different. Only seek “high” priority projects to go after in your grant.

Be sure you have thoroughly vetted your project with agency administrators and command staff. That way, prior to you even starting the grant application, everyone is reading from the same page and knows exactly what you will be writing for and why.

4. They seek out professional training, advice, and consulting.

Winning agencies know that you don’t just train for incident response. You train for writing grants too. They get the professional expertise they need to understand the grant process. They seek professional advice and assistance to guide their efforts and check their work for mistakes prior to submission.

As an example, the wrong answer to a single question can result in lowering your grant’s priority from a “high” to a “medium or low” priority. As such, your grant would end up rejected by the computer as not being competitive enough to go further through the vetting process. All because of one error.

While no one person or no amount of preparation can guarantee a grant’s success, these 4 steps can make it far more likely that your grant will make it to the winner’s circle.

How can you put these 4 things to work in your agency’s grant efforts today?

Fall & winter grant training schedule


Before we know it, summer will be on the wane. Vacations will be ending. School will be starting. Someday the temperature might even cool off…

As we start to think about fall and–can you believe it?–the year to come, it’s also a great time to talk with your department and municipality about getting grant-writing training. Since our training is only for first responders, emergency management, and public safety agencies, it’s tailored exactly for what you need to write and send out the most competitive grants you can.

Check out our schedule and sign up for the in-person or online class that’s best for you.

Carmel, NY, Nov. 16 -17, 2018

Old Bridge, NJ, Dec. 10 – 11, 2018

Shelby, NC, Jan. 24-25, 2019

Improve School Safety: Sandy Hook parent, Virginia Tech victim share their experiences


NIMS Alert FEMAFederal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and emergency management partner organizations today released two new PrepTalks from Michele Gay and Kristina Anderson focused on improving school safety.

NIMS Alert 21-18: FEMA and Emergency Manager Partners Release School Safety PrepTalks

Gay’s PrepTalk, “Rethinking School Safety”, relays her personal experience as the parent of a child killed in the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012. She highlights some of the simple solutions that students and staff needed during the crisis at Sandy Hook, and presents Safe and Sound Schools’ Framework for Comprehensive School Safety Planning and Development: Emergency Management, Community Engagement, Physical Safety, Mental and Behavioral Health, Climate and Culture, and Health & Wellness.

Anderson’s PrepTalk, “Safety is Personal: Lessons Learned as a Survivor of the Virginia Tech Tragedy”, begins with her experience of the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007, when she was shot three times. She translates her experience into a focus on the importance of threat assessments in schools to identify and mitigate potential threats. She explains that it’s important to improve physical safety, but it’s just as important to encourage people to monitor their environment and to build a supportive culture in a school.

The next PrepTalks Symposium will be held on September 6, 2018 in Washington, DC. All PrepTalks, question-and-answer sessions, discussion guides, and related resources are available at https://www.fema.gov/preptalks.

PrepTalks are presented by FEMA, the International Association of Emergency Managers, the National Emergency Management Association, the National Homeland Security Consortium, and the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security.

What does this mean for your department?

Here are things to examine in your organization:

  • What are your policies and procedures for responding to incidents at schools, colleges, and universities?
  • How will your department coordinate with other responding agencies?
  • What protocols are in place to protect your personnel or minimize risk?

If you are trying to figure out how your organization can better prepare for and respond to school-related incidents, we may be able to advice on grants or other programs that may be able to assist your department.

Contact us today