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Hurricane Season – Working with FEMA

Hurricane Dorian has the potential to affect a large portion of the South East Coast
How to work with FEMA
FEMA does NOT have a “priority vendor” program.
The Thomas T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, passed in 2007, requires FEMA to contract with businesses located in the affected area when feasible and practicable, which brings unexpected and often substantial contracting opportunities in the wake of a disaster.
In SAM – make sure that you have completed the FEMA relief designation and that you SAM is active.
If the goods or services you provide are relevant to disaster response, the following steps can help you to position yourself to take advantage of such contracting opportunities when a disaster strikes.
There is no central FEMA bid list or approval process, each FEMA Local Business Transition Teams learns about sources in their areas and uses those they know about. If they don’t know of a source, they search the D&B database by NAICS, search DSBS, and if all else fails, Google.  When FEMA uses the terms “FEMA Vetted” and “FEMA Verified” that simply means the vendor has active status in SAM.
FEMA Industry Liaison Program
  • Never rest on special databases or designations. FEMA and other federal buyers don’t necessarily use the Disaster Relief designation in SAM or the GSA Disaster Response designation. The FEMA Industry Liaison Program (http://www.fema.gov/about-industry-liaison-program) is only one point of access for vendors to FEMA buyers, and not necessarily the primary one. Do not depend on these alone for visibility during a disaster.
·        The US General Services Adminstration (GSA) reminds all contractors that when national emergencies or disasters such as floods and hurricanes occur, supplies and services need to be procured and rushed to the affected areas quickly. To expedite this process, the System for Award Management (SAM) contains a Disaster Response Registry in accordance with FAR subparts 4.11 and 26.2.
·        Disaster Response Registry is a voluntary registry of contractors who are willing to perform debris removal, distribution of supplies, reconstruction, and other disaster or emergency relief activities established in accordance with 6 U.S.C. 796, Registry of Disaster Response Contractors. The Registry contains information on contractors who are willing to perform disaster or emergency relief activities within the United States and its outlying areas.
  For more information about the Disaster Response Registry please visit https://www.acquisition.gov/disaster-response-registry.
To complete the FEMA Industry Liaison Program application:
Complete and email to fema-industry@fema.dhs.gov
If you are a contractor and desire to send correspondence, please contact the following FEMA programs:
FEMA - Industry Liaison Program
500 C St. SW
Washington, DC 20024
Phone: 202-646-1895
From FEMA small business webpage – under DISASTERS
Regarding procurement activities during disasters, FEMA and all other federal agencies adhere to the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) Part 18 – Emergency Acquisitions, FAR Subpart 26.2 – Disaster or Emergency Assistance Activities and the Robert T. Stafford Act, Section 307. Vendors seeking to do business with FEMA or other federal agencies during disasters should familiarize themselves with the FAR Parts and the Robert T. Stafford Act section mentioned above.
Acquisition flexibilities used during disasters are specific techniques or procedures that may be used to streamline the standard acquisition process. Additional flexibilities may be authorized in an executive agency supplement to the FAR. Acquisition flexibilities include:
  • Applying FAR Part 18
  • Utilizing local sources
  • Utilizing disaster support tools
  • Utilizing Government Wide Area Contracts, GSA Schedules, Strategic Sourcing Contracts, Multi-Agency Blanket Purchase Agreements, Multi-Agency Indefinite Delivery Contracts, etc.
There are three (3) phases of disaster contracting that take place, Response (1-30 days), Recovery (30+days) and Long Term Recovery (beyond 90 days).The Response phase can include activities to meet basic human needs such as Joint Field Office setup, Search and Rescue support, Individual Assistance support and Public Assistance support.The Recovery phase includes efforts to return communities back to self-sufficiency such as Housing and Medical support.Long-Term Recovery is established when the needs of the community and individuals extend beyond the initial 30 to 90 days.Vendors should contact the state’s Emergency Management Office where the disaster has been declared when seeking to do business with FEMA and other Federal agencies during a disaster.The state’s Emergency Management Office will be actively engaged with first responders, FEMA Regional Offices located near the disaster, and other federal agencies that have been rallied to respond to the emergency.Often, the state’s Emergency Management Office will have valuable information on its website for vendors who want to provide goods or services to the areas affected by the disaster.Other points of contact for potential resource disaster partners include:
  • Army Corps of Engineers
  • American Red Cross
  • Small Business Administration-
Office of Disaster Assistance
  • Defense Logistics Agency
  • Faith Based Information
FEMA Small Business Program
500 C Street, SW
Washington, DC 20472-3210

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