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COVID-19 Guidance

Federal Assistance Guidance for Emergency Managers

The information and resources on this page are available for Local Emergency Management Agencies in the State of Tennessee as guidance on the federal funding assistance available to local jurisdictions through the COVID-19 National Emergency Declaration.

The National Emergency Declaration authorizes FEMA is to provide Public Assistance (PA) funding to state and local jurisdictions (counties and municipalities) for Category B Emergency Protective measures, which are those actions a community undertakes before, during, and following a disaster to save lives, protect public health and safety, and eliminate the immediate threat.

On this page you will find links to federal guidance, FAQs, and forms to help Local Emergency Management Agencies understand the processes for capturing, reporting, and receiving reimbursement for proper Category B costs.

This information is only related to the FEMA Category B Assistance available under the Stafford Act for the COVID-19 National Emergency. Information for applicants and assistance for COVID-19 funding from the the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is available at:

State, Territorial, and Indian Tribal Governments
Local Governments

The following types of local governments are eligible Applicants

  • Counties and parishes
  • Municipalities, cities, towns, boroughs, and townships
  • Local public authorities
  • School districts
  • Intrastate districts
  • Councils of governments (regardless of whether incorporated as nonprofit corporations under State law)
  • Regional and interstate government entities
  • Agencies or instrumentalities of local governments
  • State-recognized Tribes
  • Special districts established under State law
    • Community Development Districts are special districts that finance, plan, establish, acquire, construct or reconstruct, operate, and maintain systems, facilities, and basic infrastructure within their respective jurisdictions. To be eligible, a Community Development District must be legally responsible for ownership, maintenance, and operation of an eligible facility that is accessible to the general public.

The State or a political subdivision of the State may submit applications on behalf of rural communities, unincorporated towns or villages, and other public entities not listed above.

Only certain Private Non-Profit (PNP) Organizations are eligible Applicants. To be an eligible PNP Applicant, the PNP must show that it meets the tax-exempt status, own or operate an eligible facility.  An eligible facility is one that provides an eligible service.

Tax-Exempt Status

  • A current ruling letter from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service granting tax exemption under sections 501(c), (d), or (e) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954;
  • Documentation from the State substantiating it is a non-revenue producing, nonprofit entity organized or doing business under State law.

Eligible Services - click here for a chart of Critical, Non-Critical and Non-Eligible Services

  • A facility that provides a critical service, which is defined as education, utility, emergency, or medical; or
  •  A facility that provides a non-critical, but essential social service AND provides those services to the general public. PNP facilities generally meet the requirement of serving the general public if ALL the following conditions are met:

Facility use is not limited to any of the following:

  • A certain number of individuals;
  • A defined group of individuals who have a financial interest in the facility, such as a condominium association;
  •  Certain classes of individuals; or
  • An unreasonably restrictive geographical area, such as a neighborhood within a community;

Facility access is not prohibited with gates or other security systems; and
Any membership fees meet all the following criteria:

  • Are nominal;
  • Are waived when an individual can show inability to pay the fee;
  • Are not of such magnitude to preclude use by a significant portion of the community; and
  • Do not exceed what is appropriate based on other facilities used for similar services.

Certain types of facilities, such as senior centers, that restrict access in a manner clearly related to the nature of the facility, are still considered to provide essential social services to the general public.

In cases where the facility provides multiple services, such as a community center, FEMA reviews additional items to determine the primary service that facility provides, such as:

  • U.S. Internal Revenue Service documentation
  • Pre-disaster charter, bylaws, and amendments
  • Evidence of longstanding, routine (day-to-day) use (e.g., a calendar of activities)

Facilities established or primarily used for political, athletic, recreational, vocational, or academic training, conferences, or similar activities are not eligible.

Applications now being accepted.  There is currently no deadline for application submittals. 

All counties and cities already have an account in the Grants Portal.  To check your account and submit the Request for Public Assistance, fill out the Applicant Registration Form and send to and someone will contact the Primary Point-of-Contact to grant access in your organizations account.

There are different ways to setup an account in the Grants Portal and submit the Request for Public Assistance. 
Those that do not have a grants portal account have two options:  paper or electronic.

  • Paper submissions can be made using the Applicant Registration Form.  When we receive the form, we will set up your account and make sure you have access.  We will also submit the Request for Public Assistance on your behalf.
  • Applicants can create their own account and submit their Request for Public Assistance by following the Applicant Quick Guide Grants Portal Account and RPA (not available for private non-profit organizations).  We ask if this method is used to also complete the Applicant Registration Form and send to
  • If you already have Grants Portal access, log in to the Grants Portal and follow the link at the top of the page to submit your Request for Public Assistance.  You will also need to complete the Applicant Agent Form and send to   
  • The State of Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration's Supplier Direct Deposit form is provided to ensure accurate account connections for direct deposit disaster payments. 

Application and Grants Portal Guidance

Applicant Quick Guide Grants Portal Account and RPA
Applicant Quick Guide Completing and Submitting a COVID-19 Project Application
FEMA Job Aid Requests for Information
FEMA Job Aid COVID-19 Process Overview
COVID-19 Streamlined Project Application
Completing and Submitting a COVID-19 Project Application
Applicant Quick Guide COVID-19 Process Overview
FEMA Job Aid-Expedited Funding for COVID-19

Applicant Briefings for COVID-19 Event FEMA-DR-4514-TN 

There are no Applicant Briefings currently scheduled for COVID-19.  This webpage will be updated if future events are available. 

For Recipient and Applicant Webinars go to:  Grants Portal Webinars - go to PA Active Disasters page

Training Videos: 

  • The following links are to training videos that FEMA has developed to assist applicants through the streamlined application process.                                           


  • COVID-19 Guidance Tutorial: Procurement Under Grants during Periods of Emergency or Exigency: This new 36-minute online tutorial will help participants understand how to properly contract during emergency or exigent circumstances when using federal funds.

Procurement:  All FEMA grant programs are subject to the Federal Procurement standards found at 2 C.F.R. §§ 200.317-326.  FEMA provides the Procurement Disaster Assistance Team website that offers much assistance in this requiremenrt.  Some of the items are provided to help understand how this connects to the COVID-19 environment. 

COVID-19 Assessment Sites
Tennessee Department of Health has a list of assessment sites in Tennessee. Tennesseans should first call their usual source of care. If an assessment cannot be done in that location, individuals should call the assessment sites prior to going onsite. Most locations do a phone assessment to determine if an in-person assessment or test is needed. Most individuals, particularly those with mild or no symptoms do NOT need a test.

County & Municipal State of Emergency Map
Tennessee is currently under a statewide State of Emergency as a result of COVID-19. Additionally, some counties and municiplaities have issued local State of Emergency orders. A map of these locations is below.

County & Municiple State of Emergency Map

PPE Donations
Health care entities and response organizations should be sending their requests for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) directly to their Emergency Management Agency, for the county in which the health facility or response organization is located.

For donations of PPE for the response effort, send an email to

A list of accepted donations and donation locations can be found here.

SBA Information
Small businesses and nonprofit organizations that have suffered economic injury as a result of COVID-19 can apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million per applicant to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses which could have otherwise been met.

The Economic Injury Disaster Loans are administered and processed through the SBA. Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at

Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 for more information on SBA disaster assistance.

COVID-19 Essential Employee Child Care Payment Assistance
The COVID-19 Essential Employee Child Care Payment Assistance program is designed to help support essential workers so they can stay on the job during the COVID-19 emergency.  Through payment assistance and a network of temporary care locations, parents who work as essential employees can access child care at no cost, during the COVID-19 pandemic state of emergency until June 15, 2020. More information and eligibility requirements are on the TN Department of Human Services website.