APPLYING FOR FEDERAL DISASTER ASSISTANCE IN PUERTO RICO
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:
- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Public Assistance (PA)
- Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster loans
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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
- 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, or
- Documentation from the Territory substantiating it is a non-revenue producing, nonprofit entity organized or doing business under Territorial law.
Additionally, for a facility to be eligible, the PNP must own or operate the facility and provide a service that is:
- Critical in nature (e.g., education, utility, emergency, or medical); or
- A non-critical facility that provides an essential government service AND is open to the public.
For more information on eligibility of PNPs, refer to the Public Assistance Program and Policy Guide at https://www.fema.gov/public-assistance-policy-and-guidance.
To be considered an eligible applicant, the following forms and documents must accompany your application:
Applicants should send the above documents to:
email@example.com with a copy to firstname.lastname@example.org
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
|Business Loans “Physical”
||Businesses and private nonprofits
||Repair or replace real estate, equipment, furniture, etc.
|Economic Injury Loans
||Small businesses and private nonprofits
||Economic injury disaster loans or working capital loans
||Businesses, private nonprofits and homeowners.
||Mitigate / prevent future loss to real property
||20% of verified physical damage. Homeowners limited to $200,000.
- Businesses and private nonprofit organizations of any size may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets.
- Applicants may be eligible for a loan amount increase up to 20 percent of their physical damages, as verified by the SBA for mitigation purposes.
- Interest rates are as low as 2.5 percent for nonprofit organizations. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.
- The deadline to apply for an SBA Business or “Physical” Loan is Tuesday, March 20, 2018.
- Economic Injury Loans are also available for businesses that did not receive physical damage but were economically impacted due to the disaster.
- The deadline to apply for an SBA Economic Injury Loan for losses incurred by Hurricane Irma is Monday, June 11, 2018; by Hurricane Maria, Wednesday, June 20, 2018.
- To apply online for SBA Disaster Assistance for Hurricanes Irma and/or Maria, go to https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/Account/Login.
- More information is available at https://disasterloan.sba.gov. You can also email email@example.com or call 800-659-2955. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing may call 800-877-8339.
Additional Disaster Assistance Programs for Cultural Institutions and Arts Organizations
- The National Heritage Responders, a cadre of trained conservators and collections care professionals, can provide free phone advice to cultural institutions following a disaster. Call the 24-hour hotline at 202-661-8068. They are also available to conduct on-site assessments and provide guidance on salvage. To be considered for a site visit, please fill out this form: https://goo.gl/forms/LplEWWEqvawUkSgE3. For additional information, visit http://www.conservation-us.org/emergencies/national-heritage-responders.
- The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is supporting the recovery of the arts and cultural communities devastated by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria in the regions designated a major disaster area by FEMA in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The NEA is coordinating support through its state arts agency partners to direct funds to those arts and cultural entities in need of support. For more information, visit https://www.arts.gov/sites/default/files/EmergencyFunding_12.5.17.pdf.
- The Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries invites applications to rebuild libraries at hurricane-affected schools. For more information and a link to the application, visit http://www.laurabushfoundation.com/how-to-apply/index.html.
- The Society of American Archivists is awarding grants up to $5,000 for the direct recovery of damaged or at-risk archival materials; such services as freeze drying, storage, transportation of materials, and rental facilities; supplies, including acid-free boxes and folders, storage cartons, cleaning materials, plastic milk crates, and protective gear; and to defray the costs for volunteers or other laborers who assist with the recovery. For more information and a link to the application, visit https://www2.archivists.org/groups/saa-foundation-board-of-directors/national-disaster-recovery-fund-for-archives.
- The Collections Assessment for Preservation (CAP) program, administered by the Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation and funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, provides small and mid-size museums with partial funding toward a general conservation assessment. The assessment examines the institution's collections, buildings, and building systems, as well as its policies and procedures relating to collections care. Participants who complete the program receive an assessment report with prioritized recommendations to improve collections care. CAP is often a first step for small institutions that wish to improve the condition of their collections. For more information and a link to the application, visit http://www.conservation-us.org/grants/cap.
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 http://www.conservation-us.org/docs/default-source/default-document-library/CAP/emergency-cap-release.pdf?sfvrsn=2.
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.