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Hurricane Harvey: Immediate Considerations for Impacted Public and Non-Profit Entities

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At this time, immediate lifesaving response activities have priority. As soon as they are able, impacted public and non-profit entities must consider the available resources to help defray costs, including insurance and federal disaster assistance programs. The following are critical areas for this review:

  • Procurement and Grant Conditions Compliance. State and local governmental entities and private non-profits providing governmental-type services (e.g., utilities, hospitals, educational providers, emergency and custodial care facilities) may be eligible to receive grants through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and/or the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for debris removal, emergency costs and restoration of infrastructure. These entities should check procurement policies, standards of conduct and forms of contract for any work that might be reimbursable because it is of critical importance that these documents be compliant with federal regulations to protect the eligibility of associated funding. If you need assistance in these efforts, our Disaster Recovery and Government Services Group developed a Procurement Toolkit and other compliance aids. If emergency work to date is not fully compliant, it is not too late to take action to protect against disallowance of assistance that would otherwise be eligible.
  • Document Damages, Work Performed and Costs Incurred. All entities or persons impacted should document damage (including photographs to the extent possible), work performed (including paid and volunteer assistance) and costs incurred (including copies of all receipts and time logs). These records can support insurance claims and will be required to support claims to FEMA for additional assistance.
  • FEMA Registration. Impacted entities should register with FEMA as soon as possible to protect eligibility. Registration also helps to ensure receipt of any updates released regarding response and recovery resources; FEMA assistance availability; extension of any legal deadlines; tax deadline adjustments; and much more. Individuals may register at www.disasterassistance.gov. Public and not-for-profit entities should watch for information on how to initiate FEMA Public Assistance program eligibility review.
  • Health Care Service Providers. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared a public health emergency in Texas, retroactive to August 25, and in Louisiana, retroactive to August 27.
  • Insurance Coverage Awareness. Contact your insurance provider(s) as soon as possible. There are deadlines and procedures that must be followed to protect any reimbursement or payments that might otherwise be owed to you. The Texas Department of Insurance issued numerous orders and alerts, which are available here.

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