Public Assistance

The Public Assistance Office works to provide assistance to citizens, local governments, non-profit associations, state agencies and businesses to help aid in recovery from disasters.

Assistance is provided through the following programs
  • Public Assistance: During a Presidential Disaster Declaration, Public Assistance programs can help provide federal grants to local and state governments, as well as certain non-profit organizations and other political subdivisions, for the repair, replacement or restoration of disaster-damaged, publicly owned facilities. Typically a Presidential Declaration is based on the per capita impact to the State; the amount is $1.84 per capita starting October 2023. This rate changes annually based on the Consumer Price Index. Similarly, a county is added to the declaration based on per capita impact. Beginning October 2023, the county per capita rate is $4.60.

FEMA 4727 Public Assistance Applicant Briefing 


Public Assistance

There are two types of public assistance authorized: “emergency” and “permanent” work. Emergency work includes efforts to save lives, protect property and maintain operation of essential facilities during the first six months following a disaster; however, extensions are available for all work if approved by FEMA. Permanent work involves actions necessary to repair, restore, reconstruct or replace public and certain private non-profit facilities damaged or destroyed by the disaster. The standard time frame for permanent work is 18 months.

“Public damages” can include any damage incurred by a structure or facility which is owned by a public or private non-profit entity. This could include roads, bridges, buildings, utilities, etc. Project applications for public sites may be approved to fund a variety of projects that fall within the following eligible categories:

Category A: Debris Clearance

This category includes all storm induced debris on non-federal public roads, including the right-of-way, non-federal public waterways, other public property and in some cases, private property when undertaken by local government forces. It can also cover the cost of demolition of public structures if those structures were made unsafe by the disaster.

Category B: Emergency Protective Measures

This category addresses the need to provide appropriate emergency measures designed to protect life, safety, property and health (i.e., barricades, sand bags and safety personnel).

Category C: Road System

This category addresses damages to non-federal roads, bridges, streets, culverts and traffic control devices.

Category D: Water Control Facilities

Eligible damages under this category include costs to repair or replace dikes, dams, drainage channels, irrigation works and levees.

Category E: Building and Equipment

Eligible damages under this category include costs to repair public buildings and equipment, supplies/inventories that were damaged and transportation systems such as public transit systems.

Category F: Public Utility Systems

Under this category, assistance is available for damaged water systems, landfills, sanitary sewerage systems, storm drainage systems and light/power facilities.

Category G: Other

The “other” category includes park and recreational facilities, or any other public facility damages that do not reasonably fit in one of the other six categories.

For more information about the Office of Public Assistance, please contact Mike Siler, Public Assistance Office Director at  601-933-6886 or

If you are a Public Assistance applicant you may visit to view your project accounts.