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Emergency Preparedness FAQ

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A declared disaster puts into motion long-term federal recovery programs, some of which are matched by state programs and designed to help disaster survivors, businesses and public entities. A disaster can be a result of hurricanes, earthquakes, flood, tornados or major fires; the president then determines warrants supplemental federal aid. The event must be clearly more than state or local governments can handle alone. If declared, funding comes from the president's disaster relief fund, managed by Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) and disaster aid programs of other participating federal agencies. FEMA’s declaration process >​

An emergen​cy declaration is more limited in scope, is usually the state of Oregon’s response to an event that is more than a local government can handle alone. If federal support is needed, it is without the long-term federal recovery programs of a major disaster declaration. Generally, federal assistance and funding are provided to meet a specific emergency need or to help prevent a major disaster from occurring. Oregon’s declaration process >​

Follow Oregon’s procurement rules, OAR 125-247-0280. An authorized agency may, in its discretion, enter into a contract without competitive solicitation if an emergency exists. Emergency means circumstances that could not have been reasonably foreseen that create a substantial risk of loss, damage, interruption of services or threat to public health or safety that requires prompt execution of a contract to remedy the condition. Regardless of the dollar value of the contract, the authorized agency entering into an emergency contract must encourage competition that is reasonable and appropriate under the emergency circumstances. However, for the emergency procurement of construction services that are not public improvements, see ORS 279B.080(2).​

During a declared emergency or disaster, Procurement Services serves as the Office of Emergency Management (OEM)’s procurement resource and assists state agencies and local governments with their procurement needs as neces​sary. Procurement Services continues providing 24/7 assistance until the declaration is cancelled. Procurement Services receives all emergency purchasing requests through the OEM during a declared emergency or disaster.​

What does your agency business continuity plan say?  A state agency may assume multiple roles during a declared emergency. The first is ensuring safety of its employees and property, the second is identifying what is needed to ensure continuity of operations, the third is being available to assist in any role needed by the state and local government.  Particularly if a procurement is needed during a declared emergency or disaster, agencies need to be communicating their needs to OEM.​

Document everything generally required by procurement rule (OAR 125-247-0280(4)) for a complete contract file,  particularly since this documentation is necessary in ensuring the purchase is reimbursed by FEMA if procured in response to a declared disaster.  Ensure that a copy of the declaration is in each contract file. During a declared emergency or disaster, follow applicable procurement rules and policies. Follow the archive rules regarding document retention schedules.

Federal Emergency Management Administration will only reimburse for purchas​es related to the declared disaster. The governor will ask the federal government to declare a disaster, in doing so FEMA becomes the controlling entity.  Any cost associated with a declared disaster can be reimbursed, the work must be tied to the assigned OEM action number, the work must be documented using the FEMA reimbursement forms, and that documentation is sent to FEMA for processing. Good documentation is the key for reimbursement.​​