Current Disasters

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The following announcement is available in Spanish here

Cultural institutions and arts organizations that have been impacted by Hurricanes Irma and/or Maria may be eligible for Federal disaster assistance via:

If your organization or institution is affiliated with a government entity, such as a university or a municipality, you should communicate with that government entity regarding your damage and any expenditures (overtime of personnel, purchases, etc.) to protect your facilities. The information below doesn’t necessarily apply to your institution or organization because your expenditures will be included as part of your government entity – but only if that government entity is aware of your damage.

In a Nutshell: File, File, File

  1. File a claim with your insurance company immediately. Follow all the deadlines set by the insurance company, and submit all documents and information requested within the deadlines set by the insurance company. FEMA will want to see a settlement or denial letter from your insurance company to ensure that benefits are not duplicated, so be sure to file an insurance claim promptly. If you still have unmet needs or damages that the insurance company does not cover, then FEMA may be able to provide you with assistance.
  2. File for FEMA Public Assistance. Don’t hesitate to file a claim for FEMA Public Assistance; FEMA will determine your organization’s eligibility status. The new filing deadline is Tuesday, April 3, 2018. If you miss the deadline, you will not have access to Public Assistance funds.
  3. File for a Small Business Administration disaster loan as well. Complete and submit the application as soon as possible. Returning the application does not obligate you to accept an SBA loan, but it is a necessary step to being considered for other forms of federal disaster assistance, including FEMA Public Assistance. Please be aware that there is a filing deadline of Tuesday, March 20, 2018, for a Business or “Physical” Loan. See below.

FEMA Public Assistance

If you are a private nonprofit organization, you need to apply for a Small Business Administration disaster loan through the SBA and for FEMA Public Assistance (PA) through the Governor’s Authorized Representative (GAR) in the Oficina de Gerencia y Presupuesto (OGP).

Only certain private nonprofit (PNP) organizations are eligible under FEMA’s Public Assistance grant program. To be an eligible applicant, the PNP must show that it has:

Additionally, for a facility to be eligible, the PNP must own or operate the facility and provide a service that is:

For more information on eligibility of PNPs, refer to the Public Assistance Program and Policy Guide at

To be considered an eligible applicant, the following forms and documents must accompany your application:

Applicants should send the above documents to: with a copy to

Questions? Please contact DCMC Partners or GAR at the above email addresses.

Small Business Administration Disaster Loan Program

Non-Critical PNPs – most arts organizations and cultural institutions – must first apply to the Small Business Administration for disaster assistance. If denied by SBA or if your costs exceed what SBA covers, then FEMA may be able to provide assistance.

Several types of loan programs are available to private nonprofits. They include:

Types of Loans Borrowers Purpose Maximum Amount
Business Loans “Physical” Businesses and private nonprofits Repair or replace real estate, equipment, furniture, etc. $2 Million
Economic Injury Loans Small businesses and private nonprofits Economic injury disaster loans or working capital loans $2 Million
Mitigation Businesses, private nonprofits and homeowners. Mitigate / prevent future loss to real property 20% of verified physical damage. Homeowners limited to $200,000.

Additional Disaster Assistance Programs for Cultural Institutions and Arts Organizations

If your museum (of any size) suffered damage as a result of a recently declared federal disaster, you may be eligible for an Emergency CAP assessment. Limited funds are available. For more information, visit

FEMA and the Smithsonian Institution co-sponsor the Heritage Emergency National Task Force, a partnership of 42 national service organizations and federal agencies created to protect cultural heritage from the damaging effects of natural disasters and other emergencies.