Powering Strong Communities
Disaster Response and Mutual Aid

FMEA Holds Workshop With Fla. Agency to Expedite Public Assistance Recovery

The Florida Municipal Electric Association on Sept. 15 partnered with the Florida Division of Emergency Management to help its members expedite FEMA recovery after disaster strikes public power communities.

The FDEM recently launched a new initiative, Florida Recovery Obligation Calculation -- or F-ROC -- with the goal of standardizing, streamlining and simplifying the FEMA Public Assistance process, resulting in quicker recovery and reduced risk for applicants.

The new F-ROC program within FDEM seeks to cut down the wait time and get money back into those eligible communities more expeditiously. F-ROC will standardize:

  • Applicant’s Projects: all projects will have the same look and feel which will result in fewer questions, faster approvals, and a more streamlined Public Assistance process.
  • Forms and Documentation: simplifying the process by using intuitive features such as drop-down menus, limited free text, structured data, and essential data fields.

Held at host utility Orlando Utilities Commission, 14 Florida public power communities registered to join FMEA to learn about how their communities can take advantage of the new FDEM program.

Florida public power utility JEA in Jacksonville is an early program participant, while Gainesville Regional Utilities is involved in the initiative as a pilot participant. Following the demonstration, several other public power utilities indicated they would also be opting in.

“For years, FMEA has been working to expedite the recovery process for our members who work so diligently to restore power to their communities after disaster,” said FMEA executive director Amy Zubaly. “From advocating for Congressional action to expedite FEMA reimbursements and raise awareness of the need for FEMA reform to identifying opportunities to help FMEA members streamline processes and procedures, we continue to work with policymakers and industry partners to bring relief to public power communities more quickly.

Across the nationwide emergency management community, Florida is often looked to as a leader in emergency management. According to the FDEM, no other state in the U.S. is conducting a program like F-ROC -- however, many are watching as Florida implements its pioneering program, FMEA said.

“We sincerely thank Director Kevin Guthrie for his visionary leadership and responsiveness to Public Assistance applicants and the entire Florida Division of Emergency Management team for all they do for Florida and our public power communities,” continued Zubaly.

Participation in the program is not required to receive FEMA reimbursement.

The opt-in deadline to take advantage of the F-ROC program for the 2023 and 2024 Atlantic Hurricane Seasons is September 30.

More information on the FDEM F-ROC program is available at https://www.floridadisaster.org/froc/.