On @FEMA Watch This Week


Seal of the Department of Homeland Security



In this Edition:

Important Deadlines & Reminders

Jan. 19

Public comment period ends for Public Assistance policy. 

Jan. 21

Assistance to Firefighters Grants application period closes at 5 p.m. ET.

FEMA Announces $530M for Emergency Food and Shelter Program


FEMA announced a $530 million allocation for the National Board for the Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP). This program supports jurisdictions across the country that assist our nation’s hungry and homeless populations.


The program’s National Board will distribute the funds to local organizations dedicated to feeding, sheltering and providing critical resources to people with economic emergencies. These funds are for people with non-disaster related emergencies and can be used for a broad range of services, including:

  • Mass sheltering and feeding.
  • Food banks and pantries.
  • Utility bill payments to prevent cut-offs.
  • Rent and mortgage payments to prevent evictions and foreclosures.
  • Transition assistance from shelters to stable living conditions.


Congress appropriated $130 million through the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, and $400 million through Section 4007 of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 to the EFSP. The $400 million in supplemental funding was provided by Congress to specifically address the continuing economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.


The National Board is chaired by FEMA with representatives from American Red Cross, Catholic Charities USA, The Jewish Federations of North America, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA, The Salvation Army and United Way Worldwide.


United Way Worldwide, selected by the National Board as its Secretariat and Fiscal Agent, is also responsible for the daily administration of the EFSP in alignment with federal requirements and National Board governance.


EFSP funding is allocated to qualifying local jurisdictions based on a formula using the most recent national population, unemployment and poverty data. Grants are then awarded by local boards to nonprofit and government organizations that provide direct services to those in need in their communities. All applications are evaluated competitively. With this FY 2021 annual and supplemental funding, the total aid disbursed in the EFSP’s 39-year history total more than $5.6 billion.


Learn more about how EFSP funds help Americans rebuild their lives by visiting the FEMA blog.

More Than $1B Available for Firefighters Grants


FEMA is accepting applications for all three of the fiscal year 2021 grants that constitute the Assistance to Firefighters Grants program, with the first deadline approaching on Jan. 21.


The application period for $414 million in funding for the Assistance to Firefighters Grants closes at 5 p.m. ET on Jan. 21. These grants focus on enhancing the safety of the public and firefighters with respect to fire and fire-related hazards.


The application period for $560 million in funding for Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grants closes at 5 p.m. ET on Feb. 4. SAFER grants focus on enhancing the ability of recipients to attain and maintain fire department staffing and to assure that their communities have adequate protection from fire and fire-related hazards.


The application period is now open for $46 million in funding for the Fire Protection and Safety (FP&S) grants and will close 5 p.m. ET on Feb. 18. FP&S grants focus on enhancing the safety of the public and firefighters with respect to fire and fire-related hazards.


The funding notice and technical assistance documents for this program will be available at grants.gov and FEMA.gov. For questions, contact FEMA's Fire Grants Helpdesk via email at firegrants@fema.dhs.gov


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