An Open Letter From NCPP Executive Director Tammy Rimes, MPA
Having served as a former Purchasing Agent during a past disaster, I understand how responding to the needs of your organization and residents can be trying times for any public procurement team. This worldwide pandemic is truly putting municipal teams to the extreme test. With many impacted personally by having to work from home, please remember that there is a network available to assist you—you are not alone.
Our NCPP Cooperative Partners signed a code of ethics upon joining our association and have vowed to the vision "to support all stakeholders in leveraging and utilizing a Cooperative Procurement strategy to best serve the public good." If you need something and are not sure where to find it, please reach out and we will search through all available resources to help you find what is needed. These are tough times, and please consider NCPP to be an extended resource for your team. NCPP and I will strive to help serve your needs.
General Guidance for Tracking and Applying for Disaster Assistance
Disaster assistance may be provided through several federal, state, and local programs. When the President issues an Emergency Declaration, federal funds become available to eligible public and non-profit (PNP) entities. These funds are released through the FEMA Public Assistance program as provided by the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relieve and Emergency Assistance Act.
According to Dr. Kim Abrego, PT, DPT of Disaster Recovery Services LLC, the following items may be eligible for eventual reimbursement:
Supplies: sanitizing products, sterile gloves, masks and gowns.
Services: x-rays, laboratory, pathology and machine diagnostic tests.
Consumables: purchase and distribution of food, water, ice, medicine and other consumables.
Temporary medical facilities: to manage patients when treatment spaces become overwhelmed and are no longer able to serve those affected by the pandemic.
The FEMA Public Assistance Program will reimburse costs for several emergency protective measures directly related to the pandemic (Category B). Eligible costs include, but are not limited to:
Transportation: movement of supplies and persons.
Health and safety management: sanitizing eligible public facilities and public outreach.
Security: labor, barricades fencing and warning systems.
Search and Rescue
Postmortem care: Storage and internment of human remains and mass mortuary services.
Applying for Assistance During a Pandemic Response
Once the President has issued an Emergency Declaration, each public or PNP entity may apply through the State to enter into FEMA’s Public Assistance Program. Updates to apply for COVID-19 assistance will be posted at https://www.fema.gov/disasters.
In addition to local and state programs, funding may be made available under the Public Health Service Act as administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Food and Drug Administration and the Social Security Administration. To assist municipal teams in tracking those expenses, Disaster Recovery Services LLC has provided a free cost tracking guidance document, which can be accessed here.
Thanks to our NCPP members for supporting best practices in cooperative
procurement and supporting education for public procurement professionals.