Project Submission Processes

Based on your experience level with Grants Portal, there are two options you can choose for submitting costs to FEMA.  

  1. The Standard Program Delivery is the legacy process used for all categories of work. FEMA’s Program Delivery Manager (PDMG) will create all your projects and be closely involved with formulating and submitting projects for FEMA review and obligation. 
  2. Optional: The Direct Application or Streamlined Project Application is the process that began as a result of the COVID disaster. If you have experience with Grants Portal or with submitting the Streamlined Application, this process can be used for your Debris Removal (Category A), Emergency Protective Measures (Category B), & Management Costs (Category Z) projects. Any permanent work (Categories C-G) would still be submitted using the Standard Program Delivery process.  

Applicant Impact Survey (AIS)

Upon approval of the Request for Public Assistance (RPA), the Applicant completes the Applicant Impact Survey (AIS) in Grants Portal. The survey captures high-level information about the Applicant’s experience with the Public Assistance (PA) Program and the type and severity of its incident-related impacts. FEMA and the State uses this information to assess the Applicant’s needs and determine possible assignment of a FEMA Program Delivery Manager (PDMG).


Applicant Impact Survey (PDF) - (hard copy for information purposes)

FEMA Training Videos

Applicant Impact Survey (How to Complete)

Exploratory Call

The assigned FEMA Program Delivery Manager (PDMG) will conduct the Exploratory Call with the Applicant (usually within 7 working days of assignment). It’s an introductory discussion via conference call. The objective of the call is to begin developing a relationship with the Applicant and prepare for the Recovery Scoping Meeting as follows:

  • Understand the Applicant’s incident impacts by gathering information about the type and level of damage and priority needs for assistance.
  • Ensure the Applicant understands the general requirements for a list of impacts.
  • Provide key information on documentation, procurement, and EHP requirements.
  • Schedule the Recovery Scoping Meeting.

After the Exploratory Call and prior to the Recovery Scoping Meeting, the Applicant needs to begin compiling a list of damages/impacts (Damage Inventory).  


Applicant Quick Guide – Exploratory Call and Recovery Scoping Meeting (PDF)

FEMA Training Video

Exploratory Call and Applicant Impact Survey

Recovery Scoping Meeting (RSM)

The RSM should be conducted within 21 working days of FEMA assigning a Program Delivery Manager (PDMG) and attended by FEMA, the State, and the Applicant. The RSM should address the specific needs of the Applicant. The Applicant should ensure staff with knowledge of the incident-related damage, emergency activities performed, and related costs attend the meeting (public works official, finance, etc.). At the RSM, FEMA, the State, and the Applicant will discuss:

  • Public Assistance (PA) process
  • Details of the impacts from the incident
  • Hazard mitigation opportunities
  • Eligibility criteria
  • Logical grouping of damages
  • Procurement requirements
  • Insurance reductions and requirements
  • EHP compliance requirements
  • Documentation requirements
  • Interagency Recovery Coordination
  • Deadlines
  • Appeal process


Applicant Quick Guide – Exploratory Call and Recovery Scoping Meeting (PDF)

Damage Inventory (DI) - List of Impacts

The Applicant is required to identify and report all the incident-related impacts to FEMA within 60 days of the Recovery Scoping Meeting.  FEMA may extend the deadline to identify and report the impacts if the Applicant submits a request with justification based on extenuating circumstances beyond the Applicant’s control.  For example, if a site is inaccessible, FEMA may extend the deadline for that site.

The damage inventory is the first official reporting of disaster related impacts to FEMA.  This information is used by FEMA to logically group damage line items into projects, schedule site inspections for incomplete work, and determine what supporting documents will need to be provided.

The Applicant downloads the template from Grants Portal and then uses the template to record and submit a list of disaster impacts. Supporting documentation is not submitted with the damage inventory.

Each damage line in the inventory will include the following:

  • Category of Work
  • Damage/Facility
    • Examples:
      • Debris Removal
      • Emergency Protective Measures
      • City Hall
      • Brown Road or Roads
      • Owned Vehicles or Equipment
  • Address and GPS Coordinates 
    • For Debris Removal and Emergency Protective Measures activities that may involve multiple locations, the Applicant’s primary address can be used here. 
  • Describe Damage
    • Examples:
      • For Debris Removal – “Vegetative debris removed from right of way and taken to temporary staging site (or landfill).”
      • For Emergency Protective Measures – “Jurisdiction wide emergency protective measures conducted before, during and after the event.” 
      • All other Categories – provide any known dimensions (ex. 23,000 sq ft building, 2500 sq ft basement of 3 story building, # mile road, etc.), describe cause of damage (ex. water intrusion, wind driven rain, flooding, strong winds, etc.), and describe what was damaged (ex. building and contents including flooring, baseboards, doors, paint, insulation; culvert washed out; sink hole in roadway; # flooded vehicles or equipment, etc.)
  • Approximate Cost (this is an estimate; actual costs could be higher or lower) 
  • % of Work Completed
  • Labor Type 
    • MA - Mutual Aid
    • MOU - Memorandum of Understanding
    • FA - Force Account Labor 
    • C - Contract 


Applicant Quick Guide: Developing a Damage Inventory (PDF)

Navigate Grants Portal (Step-by-Step Instructions)

DI – Download Template & Upload Completed Form (PDF)
DI - Add Single Damage (PDF)
DI – Manage/Edit Line Items (PDF)
DI - Upload and Manage Documents (PDF)
DI - Late Submission After DI Signed (PDF)
DI – Sign (PDF)

FEMA Training Video

Creating a Damage Inventory & Grouping Disaster Impacts

Standard Program Delivery Process

Site Inspections

FEMA staff will evaluate damaged infrastructure and collect information about the nature and dimensions of damage.  Most damaged sites will require a physical inspection, which involves a FEMA site inspector and the Applicant (or Applicant’s point of contact).  FEMA is also now utilizing virtual inspections, but the nature of the damage will determine the type of inspection required.


Applicant Information: Damage Information and Inspections (PDF)

FEMA Job Aid: Damage Information, Inspections, and Validation (PDF)

FEMA Training Videos

SI (Site Inspection) Work Completed vs Work to be Completed and Methods of Repair
SI (Site Inspection) for Applicants Part 1 – Introduction to Virtual Site Inspections
SI (Site Inspection) for Applicants Part 2 – Virtual Site Inspection Reports (SIR) and Documentation
SI (Site Inspection) for Applicants Part 3 – Virtual Inspection Operational Planning
SI (Site Inspection) for Applicants Part 4 – Virtual Inspection Scheduling and Completing the SI

Damage Description and Dimensions (DDD)

The DDD provides a detailed listing of the damages obtained from the site inspection. This is the foundational element of a FEMA Project Worksheet. Applicants must approve the Damage Description and Dimensions through Grants Portal. Be sure to check the information carefully to ensure it is correct before approving.

Some of the Information that will be included:

  • Facility Description/Use
  • Year Built
  • Location/GPS
  • Cause of Damage
  • Facility damage broken down by individual damaged components 
  • Dimensions of damaged components


Applicant Quick Guide: Applicant Review of the Damage Description and Dimensions (PDF)

FEMA Training Video

Damage Description & Dimensions (DDD) Review

Essential Elements of Information (EEI)

The EEIs are the key pieces of data necessary to develop the project. The EEIs are based on the category of work and whether it is work completed (Completed Lane) or work to be completed (Standard Lane). The FEMA Program Delivery Manager (PDMG) creates the EEIs for the Applicant to complete based on information from the Recovery Scoping Meeting. The EEIs will gather information and each answer will drill down for more specific information. Based on the work or facilities you select; a list of required documents will be generated. See the EEI Worksheets for a list of potential questions.

  • Completed Lane

    • How was the work performed (labor, contract, equipment, mutual aid)
    • List of potential damaged facilities; select from list and answer questions specific to that facility and the damages incurred.  
    • (NOTE:  if a site inspection is not conducted you will need year built, GPS, dimensions of replaced damaged components for submission with the EEIs)
  • Standard Lane

    • Was the facility maintained?
    • How will work be performed (labor, contract, etc.)

Worksheets (for informational purposes)

EEI Worksheets (PDF)

Navigate grants portal (Step-by-Step Instructions)

EEIs - Answering Questions (PDF)
EEIs - Reviewing Answers (PDF)
EEIs - Upload and Manage Documents (PDF)
EEIs - Add Comments (PDF)

FEMA Training Video

Essential Elements of Information in Grants Portal

Project Reviews in Grants Portal

See Navigating Grants Portal - Approval/Signing the Project at Different Stages

Direct Application (Streamlined Project Application)

If the Applicant chooses, Debris Removal (Category A), Emergency Protective Measures (Category B), and Management Costs (Category Z) can be submitted using the Streamlined Project Application (implemented during the COVID disaster).  Categories C-G for permanent work is not yet available for work and cost claims in order to repair damaged infrastructure (Categories C thru G).

Submitting a Streamlined Project Application

When selecting the applicable disaster from Applicant Event Profiles, there will be a “Start Streamlined Project Application” button in the top right corner of the webpage.

Graphic showing user interface with blue button labeled "Start streamlined project application" next to "Options" and "Reports"
To continue working on a previously created project application, open the project (Applicant Event Profiles, select applicable disaster, scroll down to “Projects” and click on magnifying glass for project to edit).  There will be a yellow header box at the top of the page, click on “Continue Project Application”.


Direct Application (Public Assistance Applicant Information) (PDF)
Management Costs (Category Z) Streamlined Project Application (PDF)

Navigate Grants Portal

Completing and Submitting Streamlined Project Applications (PDF)

Reference Guides Including Project Application

Category A (Debris Removal) – Incidents Declared prior to 01/05/2023 (PDF)
Category A (Debris Removal) – Incidents Declared on/after 01/06/2023 (PDF)
Category B (Emergency Protective Measures)- Incidents Declared prior to 01/05/2023 (PDF)
Category B (Emergency Protective Measures) – Incidents Declared on/after 01/06/2023 (PDF)

Presentation Slides

PA Management Costs (Cat Z) and Streamlined Project Application Process

FEMA Training Videos

Grants Portal – Category B Streamlined Application (non-COVID)
Grants Portal – PA Management Costs (Category Z) and Streamlined Project Application Process


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