Sunday, March 01, 2009

FEMA Assistance in Seeking Grants …


From L’Observateur, Laplace:

Many Louisiana parishes have greatly benefitted from grant information provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which has its own funding and resource development team that specializes in finding possible grant opportunities for recovery projects throughout the state.

Great recovery work is being done by parish and municipal government agencies and by nonprofit organizations in Louisiana, said Jim Stark, director of Louisiana’s Transitional Recovery Office. In addition to providing FEMA Public Assistance funding, we are happy to help facilitate recovery efforts by providing both technical support and aid in the identification of potential non-FEMA sources of funding.

To date, FEMA has developed and maintains approximately two dozen databases, identifying funding programs by sector, including fire departments, affordable housing, libraries, schools, economic development, parks and parkways and a number of other entities. This information is available to the public upon request.
Many resource development professionals now rely on FEMA because it saves them a tremendous amount of time in terms of research.

When I found out that FEMA has someone who searches and sorts through grant announcements, then puts them in a database and sends them to Congressional and other government entities, I was thrilled, said Holly Sibley, staff assistant to U. S. Rep. Charles Boustany. The information I’ve received has been an enormous help when I’m assisting constituents who are trying to locate grants for specific programs.

Smaller agencies and organizations often lack resource development capacity to secure the additional funding that is needed to fully implement their recovery projects. FEMA’s funding and resource development team addresses this need and supports the recovery efforts of these entities as they work to secure grant funding.

Since FEMA programs like Public Assistance are supplemental in nature, the grant opportunities we find help fill in holes for improved or alternative projects, said Paul Bratton, a funding and resource development specialist with FEMA.

FEMA staff typically receives up to three or four dozen funding opportunity announcements a day, information that is readily available to anyone who has access to the Internet. Staff evaluates this information to determine whether certain funding opportunities can benefit Louisiana agencies or organizations. When such information is forwarded, all significant data is highlighted to facilitate quick reference by the potential grant applicants.

If a government official or representative of a nonprofit agency would like assistance from FEMA in obtaining information on potential funding opportunities, please send a detailed written request to Paul Bratton via e-mail at Paul.Bratton@dhs.gov. Paul is also available for one-on-one meetings or for presentations to small groups.

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