When a facility must be repaired or replaced, FEMA may pay for upgrades that are necessary to meet specific requirements of reasonable current Codes and Standards. This situation typically occurs when older facilities must be repaired in accordance with codes and standards that were adopted after the original construction.
For the cost of an upgrade to be eligible, the code or standard requiring the upgrade must meet the five criteria listed below:
1. Apply to the repair work being performed. If a facility must be replaced, an upgrade would apply throughout the facility. However, if a facility needs repair work only, then upgrades would apply to the damaged elements only. For example, FEMA would pay to install a code-required sprinkler system throughout a building if that building were being replaced; FEMA would not pay for such a
system if the only eligible work involved repair only, unless a code or standard required the installation based on the amount of repair.
2. Be appropriate to the pre-disaster use of the facility.
3. Be reasonable, in writing, formally adopted, and implemented prior to the disaster declaration date or be a legal Federal requirement. The appropriate legislative authority within the applicable jurisdiction must have taken all requisite actions to implement the code or standard.
4. Apply uniformly to all facilities of the type being repaired within the applicant’s jurisdiction. The standard cannot allow selective application; it cannot be subject to discretionary enforcement by public officials. The standard must be applied regardless of the source or availability of funding for the upgrade work.
5. Be enforced during the time that it was in effect. FEMA may require documentation showing prior application of the standard if there was opportunity to apply the code.
For additional information regarding standards, see Bridges, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Seismic Safety.
References: Section 406(e) of the Stafford Act
44 CFR §206.221(i) and §206.226(d)
Public Assistance Guide, FEMA 322, pages 33-36, 79, 83, 125