Private Nonprofit Organizations are Invited to Apply for FEMA Public Assistance

Listen to this Article
2 minutes
Loading Audio... Article will play after ad...
Playing in :00

Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency announced that Faith-based organizations, in addition to other community, volunteer, and non-profit organizations located on the island of Hawai‘i with expenses or damage related to the ongoing Kīlauea lava event, may be eligible for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Public Assistance program as part of a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration.

As part of its mission, FEMA provides grants to state, local, tribal and territorial governments and certain private nonprofits through its Public Assistance program.  Community, volunteer, faith-based, and private nonprofit organizations conducting critical and essential services of a governmental nature that sustained disaster damage may be able to receive FEMA Public Assistance (PA) grants to repair or replace their facilities so they can continue offering critical and essential community services.

Types of organizations that provide critical services that may qualify for FEMA PA grants include:

  • Private schools that provide elementary or secondary education or an institution of higher education;
  • Hospitals and other medical-treatment facilities; and
  • Utilities including water, sewer, and electrical systems.

Types of non-critical, essential services that may be eligible for PA grants include:

  • Senior citizen and community centers or other community services;
  • Food programs;
  • Educational enrichment activities;
  • Custodial and day care services;
  • Disability residential services;
  • Assisted living and low-income housing;
  • Homeless shelters and rehabilitation services; and
  • Performing and community arts centers.

Additionally, when any organization, such as faith-based organizations, schools, or community centers, provide emergency protective measures such as sheltering and feeding survivors on behalf of state, local, tribal, or territorial governments, FEMA may reimburse the costs of those services to the state, local, tribal, or territorial government. The government and the organization must enter into an agreement for these services, even if the agreement is post-event; and the government could then reimburse the organization.

Only organizations with state or IRS tax exempt status may be considered.  For more information about eligible essential and critical service providers, go online to and reference the Public Assistance Program and Policy Guide.

Organizations that provide services of a non-critical, essential governmental nature must first apply for a low-interest disaster loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) before being considered for a PA grant. Public Assistance grants may be able to provide assistance to organizations that provide non-critical, essential governmental services for repair or replacement costs that SBA loans do not cover.


Interested private non-profit organizations should email or call (808) 733-4300 extension 801 for information or to receive a Request for Public Assistance.

Deadline for all applications is July 7.

Under the PA Program, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) awards grants to assist State and local governments and eligible Private Nonprofit (PNP) entities with their recovery efforts.  The declaration currently provides funds for eligible debris removal, emergency protective measures, and permanent work.  The federal share of the funding is 75% of the eligible costs.


Sponsored Content

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Stay in-the-know with daily or weekly
headlines delivered straight to your inbox.


This comments section is a public community forum for the purpose of free expression. Although Big Island Now encourages respectful communication only, some content may be considered offensive. Please view at your own discretion. View Comments