FEMA Takes Lead on Federal Response to Coronavirus: Here’s What You Need to Know

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) now leads operations on behalf of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, which oversees the overall federal government response to the pandemic. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will continue to oversee the health and medical response.

FEMA regional administrators will continue to coordinate closely with governors, state emergency managers, and state public health officials to determine the type and level of support necessary at the state and local levels of government.

According to FEMA:

On March 13, 2020, President Trump took decisive, unprecedented action by declaring a nationwide emergency pursuant to Sec. 501(b) of Stafford Act. The President’s action cuts red tape and bureaucracy and avoids Governors needing to request individual emergency declarations. The nationwide emergency declaration increases federal support to the White House Task Force as it leads the ongoing federal response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Pursuant to this declaration, FEMA, in coordination with HHS, will assist state, local, tribal, territorial governments and other eligible entities with the health and safety actions they take on behalf of the American public.

Additional information on FEMA’s response efforts, including eligibility under the National Emergency Declaration, Community Based Testing Sites (CBTS) and the Defense Production Act.

FEMA provides financial assistance to states, territories, tribes, local governments, nonprofits, institutions of higher education, and other non-Federal entities. All FEMA grant programs are subject to the Federal procurement standards found at 2 C.F.R. §§ 200.317 – 200.326.

Recognizing that recipients and subrecipients may face exigencies or emergencies when carrying out a FEMA award, FEMA has developed this fact sheet in order to provide key information for using contracted resources under exigent or emergency circumstances.

Useful Links

Previous Conduit Street Coverage: MACo Compiles List of Local Resources During COVID-19 Response

FEMA Fact Sheet: Procurement Under Grants: Under Exigent or Emergency Circumstances

FEMA Fact Sheet: Use of Defense Production Act Authorities to Support the Pandemic Response

For up-to-date information and state resources regarding coronavirus, including confirmed case counts and clinician guidance, visit http://health.maryland.gov/coronavirus.