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FEMA's Pandemic Operational Guidance for 2020 Hurricane Season

FEMA releases the COVID-19 Pandemic Operational Guidance for the 2020 Hurricane Season to help emergency managers and public health officials better prepare for all-hazards disasters while continuing to respond to and recover from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.The private sector and non-governmental organizations can use this guidance to understand the federal government's posture and associated planning and readiness efforts.

Response and Recovery Operations Amid Pandemic
The guide outlines emergency managers and public officials' key actions to prepare for response and recovery operations during ongoing COVID-19 pandemic response efforts. Specifically, the guidance:

  • Outlines funding of Emergency Protective Measures by state;
  • Describes anticipated challenges to disaster operations; 
  • Highlights planning considerations for emergency managers based on current challenges; 
  • Outlines how FEMA plans to adapt response and recovery operations; 
  • Creates a shared understanding of expectations between FEMA and emergency managers; and,
  • Provides guidance, checklists, and resources to support response and recovery planning. 

While aspects of FEMA program delivery are different this year, FEMA does not anticipate significant changes in program eligibility, timeliness of grant awards, or level of assistance provided under the Individual and Households Program. Readers can apply planning considerations identified in the guidance to any disaster operation during the COVID-19 pandemic, including no-notice incidents. 

Pandemic and hurricane responses are locally executed, state-managed, and federal supported. This guide reinforces this shared understanding among federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial partners. As a result, the nation will be better positioned to achieve operational outcomes in disaster response and recovery efforts. 

To expand awareness and understanding of the guidance, FEMA’s National Preparedness Directorate is conducting four webinars. The webinars will allow emergency managers an opportunity to discuss how the guidance can assist jurisdictions review and modify their plans given the constraints and limitations of the ongoing pandemic. To register, please click on the link for the preferred webinar from the list below:

If you have any questions regarding this FEMA Advisory, please contact FEMA Office of External Affairs, Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs Division:

Download the Pandemic Operational Guidance for 2020 Hurricane Season (PDF) here

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