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April 30, 2020

Webinar Accessibility/Technology Questions and Answers:

Q: I did not see an agency prompt upon sign in. What tips do you have to find it?
A: Go up to "Attendees" and click on the down arrow. It will allow you to edit your information.

Q: My passkey is not working. How do I enter the briefing?
A: Call In: 1-877-820-7829 or 1-720-279-0026 then enter Participant Access Code: 644574; make sure to press # after entering the access code.

Q: I cannot call into the briefing. What should I do?
A: Try calling the other telephone number; there are two call-in numbers.

Q: Our microphones are muted. How do we ask a question?
A: There is a question and answer portion at the end of the presentation. During that time press *6 to unmute your phone. Or you can type a question into the chat box and someone will respond. If your question is not answered during the presentation portion of the briefing, you can type it into the chat box, which will be active for 15-20 minutes after the presentation, and it will be addressed in the FAQs to be uploaded to the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division’s web site at:,4643,7-123-72297_60152_99665---,00.html


FEMA Public Assistance Questions and Answers:

Q: It was my understanding that non-profit agencies do not use the grants portal. Did that change?
A: Private non-profit organizations cannot create a FEMA Grants Portal account without the assistance of State Public Assistance staff. They should email Tiffany Vedder, State Public Assistance Officer, at to obtain Grants Portal access.

Q: Do you know if cities/townships can be reimbursed for paying essential employees, including value of benefit package, we sent home due to possible infection while they were quarantined for duration of quarantine?
A: The cost of sending employees home is not an eligible expense under FEMA Public Assistance.

Q: Will the state retain a percentage of the grant?
A: The state receives management costs directly from FEMA for managing the grant. Nothing is retained by the state for projects. This is a 75% federal share reimbursement grant. Applicants have a 25% share.

Q: Once we have access to grants portal is there anything that we have to submit right now or is it an ongoing submission as we go along?
A: The next step after the creation of a FEMA Grants Portal account and submittal of a Request for Public Assistance in Grants Portal is to continue to incur and document costs then submit a Project Application and supporting documentation into Grants Portal.

Q: Will the power point be posted somewhere?
A: Yes, the presentation slides will be posted on the MSP/EMHSD website at:,4643,7-123-72297_60152_99665---,00.html

Q: What form was due today?
A: A Request for Public Assistance was to be submitted by state departments, and Tribal and local governments directly in the Grants Portal and private non-profit organizations were to submit a Request for Public Assistance to the State Public Assistance Officer via email. If you submitted the forms by email we are replying to you by email with next steps.

Q: If we submitted our RPA form through email to Tiffany but also have access to the Grants Portal, do we need to complete the RPA form on the Grants Portal?
A: Yes, Grants Portal will still require completion of a Request for Public Assistance (RPA); however, the questions are the same, and it only takes a couple minutes.

Q: 1) We needed to purchase some equipment for Wi-Fi work at home by our detectives. Will this be covered 75% (several at $801 each); 2) Our retirement costs are recorded as a flat amount per person. Do we divide by 2080 hours and multiply by the hours worked to add to the Force Account fringe benefit percentage or is it non-reimbursable since did not vary by the number of hours worked; 3) When we upload labor forms, we can use our own or tweak to fit the forms on the portal?
A: 1) No, the purchase of equipment to allow employees to work from home will not be an eligible expense; 2) You will be required to provide FEMA with your organization’s labor policy. Reimbursement for force account labor, including fringe benefits, will be reimbursed at 75% federal cost share according to your labor policy; 3) FEMA does not require use of FEMA forms to documents costs; however, the elements of information must be captured.

Q: Are physical therapy clinics eligible for this grant?
A: No, only private non-profit organizations with eligible costs for emergency protective measures as defined by FEMA are eligible for direct FEMA Public Assistance.

Q: How should we answer this question: What fee, if any, is charged for the use of facility? We are a hospital organization and do not really charge fee per se, except patient care.
A: Other hospitals have answered by simply stating fees are charged for patient care.

Q: To ensure the safety of our employee and other employees we did not allow someone who displayed or complained of partial or full COVID symptoms to remain at work. They had to go home, call their doctor and hope to qualify for a test. Many were initially told they did not qualify for a test, but we followed guidelines and required them to stay at home for different periods of time, depending on the guidance at the time, and we continued to pay them. They would not have been sent home or stayed home except for the Pandemic. What about paying for someone to work overtime in place of the quarantined personnel. Do contractual minimum staffing requirements factor into the equation?
A: Overtime to cover for someone in quarantine could be covered if conducting eligible emergency protective measures work. No, the contractual minimum staffing would be ineligible.


***FEMA makes the final decision on eligibility and funding***