Faculty Contact:

Norma Houston, nhouston@sog.unc.edu

See Also:  

North Carolina Emergency Management (School of Government general resource page on North Carolina emergency managment for local governments)
Click here to sign up for the SOG's emergency management listserv to get updated information and announcements.

This page provides resources for North Carolina local governments on emergency managment law and related guidance in responding to COVID-19.  Please check back frequently - information will be added on an ongoing basis as it becomes available.


The North Carolina Pandemic Recovery Office (NCPRO) is administering approximately $4 billion in federal COVID-19 relief funds allocated to North Carolina.  Among these funds is the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF).  The General Assembly appropriated $300 million in CRF funding to assist counties and municipalities with COVID-19 expenses.  More information is available on the NCPRO website.  Questions may be sent to NCPRO at NCPRO@osbm.nc.gov

County and municipal CRF allocations are available on the NCPRO website here.

S.L. 2020-80 requires counties to allocate 25% of the county's CRF funding to municipalities within the county.  The North Carolina Association of County Commissioners, in collaboration with the Local Government Commission and the School of Government, has developed a sample interlocal agreement which counties may consider using in allocating CRF funds to municipalities.  The sample interlocal agreement is linked below in downloadable Word format.  Counties should consult with their attorneys in reviewing and modifying the sample interlocal agreement.


Applicant Briefing Webinar (On-Demand): All North Carolina local governments and certain nonprofits are eligible to apply to the FEMA Public Assistance Program for FEMA reimbursement to assist with emergency expenses related to responding to COVID-19.  NCEM and the SOG have produced an on-demand applicant briefing that gives instructions on how to register for FEMA reimbursement, information on general reimbursement eligibility of COVID-19 expenses, tips on documenting expenses, and COVID-19 federal procurement requirements.  A link to the on-demand applicant briefing, presentation slides, and a summary of the FEMA Public Assistance program is below.  For questions, email the NCEM Public Assistance Hotline at PAHotline@ncem.org

Online Tutorials (click here): NCEM and the School of Government have partnered to produce a series of online tutorials that provide helpful information about the FEMA reimbursement process and FEMA Grants Portal.  The tutorial series is available at this link. The Tutorial Series will be expanded as local governments and eligible nonprofits work through COVID-19 recovery.  A summary of the tutorials is listed below. 

FEMA Grants Portal Registration: As part of the FEMA reimbursment process, all eligible applicants (public entities and eligible non-profits) must register in the FEMA Grants Portal and submit a Request for Public Assistance (RPA). NCEM has provided the following information to assist eligible applicants with registering in the grants portal and submitting a RPA:



In response to COVID-19, Governor Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency on March 10, 2020.  Executive orders and related guidance are listed below.


The Small Business Development and Technology Center (SBTDC) administers SBA disaster assistance programs, and is available to help small businesses apply for emergency loans and offer business counseling. SBTDC's Procurement Technical Assistance Center (NC PTAC) can help businesses understand how to participate in disaster recovery efforts as a government contractor.  For more information, see SBTDC's COVID-19 small business resource site and NC PTAC's weekly free webinar on federal disaster contracting.



For general information on FEMA's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, see FEMA's COVID-19 Response website.  For specific information on FEMA reimbursement and procurement requirements, see below.


Pursuant to President Donald Trump's state of emergency declaration issued March 13, 2020, state agencies, local governments, and non-profits are eligible for reimbursement under the Robert T. Stafford Act for eligible costs of COVID-19 related emergency protective measures.  Reimbursement will be made under Category B of the FEMA Public Assistance Program.  FEMA has advised that it will not require local governments to issue local state of emergency declarations to be eligible for FEMA reimbursement.

Contact NCEM's Public Assistance Hotline for questions and assistance: pahotline@ncem.org or 919-825-2548.


For information on Uniform Guidance/FEMA and state procurement requirements, see the School of Government's COVID-19 Procurement resource site.


Local governments in North Carolina have experience with disasters.  See below for suggested best practices and sample documents to guide compliance with FEMA procurement requirements and documenting expenses for FEMA reimursement.


To be eligible for FEMA reimbursement for overtime/hazard duty pay, specific personnel policy requirements must be satistfied.  See this guide sheet prepared by the School of Government on personnel policy requirements for disaster overtime compensation under FEMA reimbursement requirements PDF icon Personnel Policy Disaster Overtime Pay Sample Provision.pdf



Counties and cities have authority under the North Carolina Emergency Management Act to declare a state of emergency within their jurisdictions in response to an occurrence or imminent threat of widespread or severe damage, injury, or loss of life or property resulting from a variety of natural and man-made incidents, including public health incidents such as the current COVID-19 pandemic.  When a local state of emergency is declared, a county or city may impose emergency restrictions or prohibitions deemed necessary to protect public health and safety.  These restrictions and prohibitions must be included in the jurisdiction's local ordinance as provided for under state law.  Only the county or city official authorized by local ordinance to declare a local state of emergency may do so; county health directors are not authorized under state law to declare a public health emergency or enforce emergency restrictions and prohibitions that fall outside of the health director's existing statutory authority (such as ordering quarantine or isolation, or enforcing communicable disease control measures).  A local state of emergency is not required to enforce a restriction or prohibition imposed by the Governor under a gubernatorial state of emergency declaration.  Counties and cities may impose local restrictions and prohibitions that are more restrictive than those imposed by the Governor, but cannot impose restrictions that conflict with or attempt to override gubernatorial restrictions.  A local state of emergency applies only within the jurisdiction that issued it.  For more information about local state of emergency declarations and emergency restrictions and prohibitions, see the blog posts listed in the next section.

Below are template state of emergency declarations in editable Word format.  Counties and cities should consult with their local emergency managers and attorneys in issuing declarations and imposing restrictions and prohibitions to ensure compliance with local ordinances and state law.



The blog posts listed below are also available on the SOG Coates' Canons Local Government Law Blog.  For other COVID-19 related blogs, see the main menu of the SOG COVID-19 resource site.