The Federal Emergency Management Agency, an agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security created in 1978 and enacted in 1979, coordinates responses to disasters and state emergencies throughout the U.S. This agency gets involved when disaster response exhausts the resources of local and state authorities. FEMA turns to contractors to provide services and products after a disaster. These contracts can be for short-term (bottles of water) products and long-term (construction) services.
While the agency’s primary role is on-the-ground support during and after emergencies and disasters, the agency is also heavily involved in pre-disaster mitigation. Pre-disaster mitigation includes identifying risks to reduce potential injuries, property loss, and recovery time. The agency regularly assists recovery efforts after hurricanes and other weather-related disasters, wildfires, tornadoes, and snowstorms. It also provides state and local governments with experts in specialized fields, funding for rebuilding efforts, relief funds for infrastructure, and extensive response personnel training.
Unlike other federal agencies, the Department of Homeland Security – which oversees this agency – is not required to solicit competitive bids (though, for some contracts, it does). Instead, when it identifies a service or product it needs, especially services and products that are needed immediately, the agency turns to contractors with whom it has previously worked and to other contractors who have completed a FEMA vendor profile and has been approved to work on these types of contracts.
In order to work on a FEMA contract, a business must have a complete and valid System for Award Management (SAM) Registration and also be registered with FEMA. To register with FEMA, you must complete and submit a FEMA vendor profile form. Once the agency approves your form, you are able to work with them on contracts, including contracts that are not put out to bid.
Contracting for FEMA can be an incredibly lucrative opportunity. In FY15, FEMA awarded 3,957 contracts valued at $1.025 billion. Of the 3,957 contracts, 2,015 were awarded for disaster-related activities, for a total disaster-related contract award value of about $421 million. Of these 2,015 disaster-related contracts, 318 were issued on a noncompetitive basis. The total contract award of the contracts issued on a noncompetitive basis was just north of $87 million. Since 2011, FEMA has awarded more than $18 billion in contracts.
The main types of contracts the agency awards include:
- Architect and Engineering Services
- Professional Services (including cleaning, landscaping, and civic services)
- IT Services
- Program Management
For more information about how we can help your business work on government contracts, including contracts with the Department of Homeland Security and with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, please complete the form below.