FEMA Grant Opportunities Open Soon – Will you be Ready?
MSFA Grants Committee
Many fire and EMS departments across the U.S. depend on grant funding to help acquire the necessary tools, equipment, apparatus, and staffing to meet mission requirements. The application period for the FEMA “Big 3” grant programs (Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG), Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER), and Fire Prevention & Safety (FP&S)) will be opening in the next few months. It is important that any department that is considering an application for any of these grant opportunities take the time to ensure that they have properly registered with FEMA prior to submitting an application.
Registration for any of the FEMA grant programs requires that the applicant be registered with three funding management programs: DUNS, SAM, and FEMA GO.
DUNS is managed by Dun and Bradstreet and assigns a unique nine-digit identifier for all businesses. The DUNS number is used across the business world much like your personal Social Security Number identifies you as an individual. The DUNS number, like your credit report, provides a predictor of financial stability for the organization. Information is collected and maintained about your organization’s business and banking history and is available to other organizations considering business with you. You can register for a DUNS number by accessing DNB.COM
SAM is the U.S. Government’s System for Award Management (SAM). It is used by anyone (organizations or individuals) who needs to register to do business with the federal government. It is important when registering with SAM that you use the same information as your DUNS registration. For example, DO NOT register in one system as the Wise Owl Fire Department and in the second system as the Wise Owl Fire Company. The two systems will be unable to link your business records and your registration will be incomplete. SAM registration also requires that your organization be assigned a Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) code. The CAGE code for your organization is assigned as a part of the SAM registration process. Registration in SAM is completed by accessing SAM.GOV
FEMA GO FEMA currently manages 41 different grant programs using 10 different grant management systems. In order to streamline and update the grants management process, FEMA Grants Outcome (FEMA GO) is being developed as a single grant management system. AFG, FP&S, and SAFER are all transitioning to the new FEMA GO system for submitting applications as well as managing awards. It is important to note that in the legacy grant management system, a department login was be used to apply and manage grants. FEMA GO requires an individual registration and all users must register and obtain their own login identifier. The individual identified as the e-business contact in SAM must first register in FEMA GO and they then authorize other users as Authorized Organization Representatives (AORs) to initiate a new grant application or manage any grant awards. Departments can register in FEMA GO by accessing GO.FEMA.GOV.
It is important that departments understand the linkage between the three registration programs. When registering, the applicant should ensure that the same information is entered for each program. Any inconsistency between the registration may result in the registration being incomplete and you missing out on the FEMA grant application opportunities.
While the process of registering can be cumbersome and sometimes overwhelming, it is important that departments take the time to complete these registrations to make themselves open for application to the FEMA grant programs.
The MSFA Grants Committee stands ready to assist departments in completing the required registrations and preparing for a grant application. The rewards are high, but you have to be willing to put forth the effort. Any questions can be directed to the committee by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Good luck with your application.