FEMA Public Assistance for Houses of Worship Starts March 23, 2022

Private nonprofits, including houses of worship and other faith-based organizations, in
Crockett, Fayette, Haywood, Lauderdale, Shelby, Tipton and Weakley counties may be
eligible for FEMA Public Assistance to help cover the cost of emergency protective
measures, debris removal and repair or replacement of facilities damaged during the
February 3-4, 2022, severe winter storm. The program is funded by FEMA and
administered through the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA).

FEMA Public Assistance Grants

FEMA Public Assistance grants can help communities in seven designated Tennessee counties recover following the
February 2022 severe winter storm. FEMA grants do not have to be paid back. FEMA also encourages rebuilding
better and stronger to withstand potential damage from future events by providing hazard mitigation assistance
during the recovery process.

To be eligible, a private nonprofit, including houses of worship and faith-based organizations, must:

▪ Have damage caused by the February 2022 severe winter storm.
▪ Have either been denied funding or received insufficient funding after applying for a U.S. Small Business
Administration (SBA) disaster loan to repair or replace a facility (see below).
▪ Provide a current ruling letter from the IRS granting tax exemption under Section 501 (c) (d) or (e) of the IRS
Code or provide documentation from the state confirming it is a nonprofit.

First Step: Attend an Applicant Briefing

TEMA will host three informational Applicant Briefings for interested parties in Crockett, Fayette, Haywood,
Lauderdale, Shelby, Tipton and Weakley counties March 23-24, 2022.

▪ At each briefing, information will be presented on becoming an applicant, eligibility, and documentation.
▪ A TEMA representative will go over program requirements, special issues (Time Extensions, Progress Reports,
Improved/Alternate Projects), payments, final inspections, and closeout.
▪ It is very important those who need to know about eligibility attend, as well as those who will be responsible for
documenting the costs, submitting pay requests and quarterly reports, and managing the projects through
closeout.

Applicant Briefings Schedule
The Applicant Briefing schedule is listed below; there is no charge to attend a briefing. You may also find additional information online at TEMA Active Disasters; click on FEMA 4645 for disaster assistance on the February 2022 severe winter storm.

Second Step: Submit a Request for Public Assistance

Following the Applicant Briefing, interested parties must submit a Request for Public Assistance (RPA) within 30 days of the Public Assistance declaration; the FEMA Request for Public Assistance deadline is April 10, 2022. To access an applicant registration form, please visit the TEMA website.

Additional Application Information:

  • Private nonprofits, including houses of worship and other faith-based organizations, are required to provide proof of active and good standing with the state or U.S. Internal Revenue Service by providing a letter or other document that shows their tax-exempt status and pre-disaster articles of incorporation.
  • The organization’s leadership must also demonstrate they own or have legal responsibility to operate out of the facility.
  • Houses of worship and other faith-based organizations that do not provide critical services of a governmental nature (see description in next bullet) may be eligible to apply for an SBA low-interest disaster loan before they can be considered for FEMA Public Assistance grants. This is a requirement for permanent, not emergency, work.
    • Non-critical but essential services may include senior citizen and community centers, food programs, educational-enrichment activities, custodial and daycare services, disability residential services, assisted living and low-income housing, homeless shelters and rehabilitation services, and performing and community arts centers.
    • Following a Major Disaster Declaration, SBA low-interest physical loss disaster loans are available for certain nonprofits with up to $2 million of property damage.
  • FEMA may be able to provide assistance once an SBA loan application is denied or if the loan is insufficient to cover the total cost of repairs.

For more information on the Tennessee severe winter storm in February 2022, visit www.tn.gov/tema.html and click on FEMA 4645, or go to fema.gov/disaster/4645. You may also follow FEMA on www.facebook.com/FEMA/ and Twitter@FEMARegion4.