Fee, fie, foe … FEMA!

Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
June 4, 2018 7:23 p.m.

As the information request below shows, dealing with FEMA to get reimbursed for hurricane relief is not quick or simple.  The City of Fernandina Beach has been working in the FEMA reimbursement gulag for quite some time and has been ably assisted by first-level FEMA contacts. But often they just act as conduits for the higher ups in the FEMA “food chain” who continue to pass requests through them to the city.

The city received the email below from its first-level FEMA contact this afternoon (June 4, 2018) in connection with its request to be reimbursed for expenses associated with Hurricane Irma:

Dean and Patti,

Had another informal RFI from the CRC. I’m sorry for all these request but the CRC as you already know are being sticklers for the information. If you need any assistance please let me know.

  1. Provide sandbag disposal GPS coordinates
  2. Provide documentation for entering private structures: per page 60-61 PAPPG
  3. Provide a detailed explanation documenting the Applicant’s legal authority and responsibility to enter private property for Contract
  4. Provide the basis for the determination that a threat exists to the general public in that community; and
  5. Provide copies of the rights-of-entry and agreements to indemnify and hold harmless the Federal Government.
  6. Provide activity sheet for Joe Cooner in Utilities on 9/10-9/12
  7. Provide time sheet for Gabriel Davis in Utilities on 9/10
  8. Provide time sheet for John Mandrick in Utilities on 9/10
  9. Provide activity sheet for Lawrence Pratt for 9/8/17 for FAE in Street Maintenance
  10. Provide activity sheet for Andre Desilet on 9/9, 9/10, 9/11 for FAE in Stormwater
  11. Provide timesheet for Andre Desilet on 9/9, 9/10 for FAE in Stormwater
  12. Provide timesheet for Michelle Arseneau on 9/10 for FAE Police
  13. Provide documentation for FAE showing what was being done at EOC with vehicles
  14. Clarification of how vehicles at EOC were being used for Michelle Arseneau, David Bishop,
  15. Provide timesheet for David Bishop in Police for 9/9 and 9/10
  16. Provide activity sheet for David Burling in Police for 9/10
  17. Provide GPS coordinates on generator with fire department, and was the generator owned by the fire department or rented. Activity sheet for generator
  18. Provide activity sheet for 9/10 for Marcus Carter in Fire Dept and vehicle proof on 9-10 and 9/11
  19. Provide activity sheet for Rusty Burke in Fire for 9-11
  20. Provide backup documentation of mileage for Fire Dept
  21. Provide activity sheet for Benjamin Forehand on 9-10 in Fire Dept
  22. Provide time sheet for Rufino, Murallo on 9/9 and 9/10 in Fire Dept
  23. Provide time sheet for Harvey Silcox in Fire Dept for 9/10
  24. Provide activity sheet for Duffy Thomas on 9-10 in Utilities
  25. Provide activity sheet for Joe Cooner on 9/10-9/13 in Utilities.
  26. Provide clarification on claiming regular time on CAT B for FAL.
  27. Provide clarification on employee status for Stormwater FAL
  28. Provide Stephen Morena and David Swanson pay and fringe benefit amount for Police FAL.
  29. Provide timesheet for Richie Benton and Ronald Gothard on 9/12 in Police FAL
  30. Provide timesheet for Tracey Hamilton for 9/8-9/12 for Police FAL.
  31. Provide timesheet for William Baughn for 9/10 and 9/11 in Fire Dept
  32. Provide activity sheet with description of activity performed for Benjamin Forehand on 9/10 in Fire Dept.

“CRC” refers to the Consolidated Resource Center.

A FEMA factsheet speaks to a new public assistance delivery model.  The final paragraph reads:

“FEMA’s continued focus on strengthening people, processes, procedures, and tools will expedite community recovery by bringing greater simplicity, accuracy, efficiency, accessibility, and timeliness to the PA program. The success of the new delivery model depends on the strength of internal and external partnerships. A key aspect of the new model is continuous improvement; the agency will monitor progress, receive feedback, and make on-going adjustments and improvements to the process and tools.”


For more information visit: www.fema.gov/new-public-assistance-delivery-model.



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Robert Warner
Robert Warner (@guest_51522)
5 years ago

What does a bureaucracy do when it no longer is allowed to work to help, but is mandated to hurt by a thousand cuts of “procedure” so that it no longer functions? Stuff like this. FEMA is now under the Trump administration folks.

Tommy Miller
Tommy Miller(@pirates4thewin)
5 years ago
Reply to  Robert Warner

Yeah, now that Trump is over things, maybe something will actually get done.

Robert Warner
Robert Warner (@guest_51540)
5 years ago
Reply to  Tommy Miller

Tommy – Trump is “over things”, by having his Agency, FEMA, revise application requirements in the misnamed “Public Assistance Delivery Model”. The top down request came from the CRC.

Christine Corso
Christine Corso (@guest_51523)
5 years ago

Suggesting this is a FEMA generated problem overlooks the content of the email. The preponderance of the requested information (25 of the 32 items listed) is related to City employee time sheets and City employee activity reports which FEMA needs to document payroll expense reimbursement. Assuming payroll records have been appropriately verified, processed, and maintained, managers of the identified departments (utilities, street maintenance, police, fire, etc.), should be able to readily provide the information and resolve the holdup.