Emergency Relief Program

The Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Emergency Relief (ER) Program was authorized by Congress to repair or reconstruct federal-aid routes that have suffered serious damage as a direct result of a declared event (see Title 23, United States Code, Section 125). The program is available to State and Local Agency transportation departments with roads suffering serious damage from natural disasters or catastrophic failures from external causes. ER funding is intended to supplement resources from States, localities and other Federal agencies to help in the repair of facilities damaged by eligible events.

Important: Local agencies reporting disaster damage information must report their damages to both CalOES and Caltrans. CalOES and Caltrans separately administer different disaster relief funding programs, with very different requirements. For this reason, local agencies will need to make sure they are sharing all their disaster damage information separately, with both CalOES and Caltrans. Local agencies should not assume the information shared with Caltrans will be shared with CalOES. If the local agency is unsure of who their CalOES contact is they should call their CalOES region to find out. CalOES regional contact information can be obtained on the web at: Regional Operations.

Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) authorized by Congress, continues the ER program with some important changes. Included in the changes are better defined deadlines for Local Agency submittal packages to the program. These include the following:

From MAP-21 Act:

  • MAP-21 Section 1107 require DAFs must be submitted within two years, although the forms should be submitted for approval within three months (see below bullet item), of the disaster event start date specified in the Disaster Declaration. 23 USC 125(d)(1)(B)

Additional subsequent FHWA regulations, for expeditious construction of ER projects:

  • The Initial Damage Assessment (a.k.a. Survey Summary Report) is generally due within six weeks following the disaster event start date specified in the Disaster Declaration. 23 CFR 668.111(b)(2).
  • The Damage Assessment Form (a.k.a. Damage Survey Report) is generally due within three months following the disaster event start date specified in the Disaster Declaration. 23 CFR 668.113(a).
  • For the ER projects with PR, they must have received PR CON Authorization by the end of the second FFY following the disaster event start date specified in the Disaster Declaration. 23 CFR 668.105(h).
  • For the ER projects with EO, they must have received EO work by the end of the second FFY following the disaster event start date specified in the Disaster Declaration. 23 CFR 668.105(h).

It is important to note, missing one or more of the above deadlines can disqualify Local Agencies for ER funding now or in the future, on current or future projects.

Contacts:  District Local Assistance Engineers
                   Bill Huang, ER Coordinator, Division of Local Assistance