FEMA Public Assistance (PA) Program

Hagerty works with state, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) governments, private nonprofits (PNP), and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to support disaster recovery. Under the Public Assistance (PA) Program, FEMA can provide funding to SLTTs and PNPs after a Presidential Disaster Declaration to support debris removal, emergency protective measures (e.g., sheltering, search/rescue, etc.), permanent facility restoration, and hazard mitigation projects. Our services are tailored to the specific needs of our clients through every step of the PA process. 

  • For SLTT and PNP clients, we apply unmatched policy expertise with PA Program management to facilitate a resilient recovery and maximize FEMA funding.  
  • For FEMA as a client, we provide technical assistance to strengthen PA Program delivery to support state-managed and locally executed recovery.

Our Approach

We apply almost 20 years of experience to help clients understand the suite of federal programs that may interact with PA and navigate comprehensive community recovery. Hagerty’s approach to the recovery process focuses on developing effective communications and strong partnerships between PA applicants, recipients at the state, tribal, or territorial level, and FEMA. We believe our clients are best served by resolving disputes up front to minimize time-consuming and costly appeals. This allows our clients to claim all eligible PA costs, execute recovery projects promptly, and close out grants in a timely and efficient manner.

Recent adjustments to the PA Program have made it even more critical to leverage Hagerty’s deep knowledge and understanding. Depending on the date of the disaster, different rules and requirements apply. Congress has passed multiple laws to amend the PA Program and FEMA recently implemented a new delivery model that leverages a grants portal system. Fortunately, our professionals include former FEMA employees and PA experts in cost estimating, grants management, hazard mitigation, insurance, procurement, contracting, and overall policy. This allows our clients to draw from a deep bench of expertise and experience to create customized recovery solutions. 

Read here and here about two client successes that stand out in particular.

Below are three examples of how the PA Program continues to change along with our approach to client delivery.


FEMA’s Section 428 Public Assistance Alternative Procedures (PAAP) Program provides financial incentives for timely and cost-effective PA project completion. It allows our clients to focus on how to best achieve an outcome-driven community recovery while reducing the administrative burden of the standard PA Program.

The goals of this program include:

  • Reduce costs to the federal government of providing PA funding;
  • Increase the flexibility of administering that assistance; and
  • Expedite assistance to SLTTs or PNPs for restoring and protecting damaged facilities.  

Hagerty has successfully supported clients in obtaining more than $5.8 billion of Section 428 PAAP project funding. This work is focused on projects that repair, replace, and/or protect damaged public facilities and to remove disaster-related debris.  

We understand the nuances of Alternative Procedures; and, based on client recovery needs, we advise if Section 428 is the best path to PA funding. This includes determining if project cost estimates are sufficient to accept capped Alternative Procedures funding for permanent work and how to leverage the full range of flexibilities available.


The Disaster Recovery Reform Act (DRRA) of 2018 includes 56 provisions that amend FEMA policy or regulation – including significant changes to the PA Program. It fundamentally alters how SLTTs and private non-profits (PNPs) must understand FEMA assistance – and it is still not fully implemented more than two years after it was signed into law. Hagerty professionals have experience with early DRRA implementation and advises clients on how changes to PA might affect their recovery.


FEMA leveraged its PA Program to assist SLTTs and PNPs affected by the unprecedented Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID-19). While the response is ongoing, FEMA quickly leveraged existing and issued new policy and guidance in response to COVID-19 by expanding emergency work funding to reimburse emergency food distribution, non-congregate sheltering, and other activities critical to response efforts during the pandemic. Hagerty is helping clients nationwide to understand the complexities of COVID-19 policy and leverage PA funding.