Data Details

The current datasets in include:

Federal Agency Funding Groups/ Programs Projects/ Grants State Agency Applicants Acronyms
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Public Assistance (PA) projects (about 20,000 projects) Funding is awarded by disaster event. Any column for funding program will show the disaster for FEMA projects. Public Assistance projects, aka PA projects, aka PW’s (Project Worksheets) Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP), Louisiana PA group State gov’t Local gov’t Non-profits, both public and non-profit, etc. Overall dataset: ‘Louisiana PA’ or ‘LAPA’ or ‘FEMA PA’ Projects: ‘PW’s’ ‘PA’s
Community Development Block Grants (CDBG)* Allocated amounts are awarded by specific programs within a disaster year, rather than a specific disaster. *

(Long Term Community Recovery)
Local Govt
Officially these are grants but are referred to as projects in the website. Office of Community Development (OCD), Disaster Recovery Unity (DRU) Local governments and schools. (The state is also an applicant but state level projects are not included in the website.) Overall dataset: ‘CDBG’Projects: ‘projects’ or ‘grants’
*Note: CDBG projects are assigned to Katrina/Rita or Gustav/Ike as disaster ‘years’, NOT by individual disasters (hurricanes).

FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), as its name implies, responds to emergencies. FEMA projects provide for a variety of projects starting with the initial emergency debris removal to a wide variety of tasks in the ensuing stages of recovery. Not all expenses related to recovery are eligible for FEMA funding.

CDBG (Community Development Block Grants) program is also consistent with its name, as shown by their concern with the full recovery of the community. This assistance is provided further from the event than most FEMA projects. Some of the CDBG projects cover funding gaps for the ineligible portions of the FEMA PA projects and, as such, may also have a PW number in the project list.

The data from each program will be periodically refreshed. The date of the last updated from each program is shown in the footer of the website.

Additional datasets are expected to be included in future releases.

Explanations of the Data

For users that are not familiar with the FEMA PA or CDBG projects, there will probably be few questions about the information included in the lists and tables, but there will be some users who are intimate with the data structure of either or both programs who may look for specific information or a project that isn’t included. Hopefully this section will explain the nature of what to expect in the website data.
There are some pieces of data that are missing from the portal that will be included later and some that will never be 100% populated, due to the nature of the information and the ongoing status of the rebuilding efforts.

New Redistricting Boundaries:

After the 2010 census, state lawmakers have redrawn the political boundaries for state, local and congressional districts. As a result the boundaries for State Senate District, State House District and U.S. Congressional District have changed. The data and maps on this site reflect these new political boundaries.

Data elements partially populated:

The programs (FEMA PA and CDBG) did not have all of the data fields before the development of and they have not had sufficient time to gather all of the data for the individual projects. Because of the expedited release in recognition of the anniversary of Katrina, these data elements are not fully populated at this time

Project Description: This data element appears on the Project Detail Report. FEMA PA data will not have data in this element until the fall of 2009. (Ultimately it will contain the ‘Scope of Work’ from the FEMA data.)

Project Category: The values available for this field reflect the categories of projects that the OCD-DRU was frequently asked to summarize for the legislature and others. This is a new data element for both programs and the large number of FEMA projects made it impossible to accurately assign a value for all 20,000 projects prior to the initial release of the website. Any projects not assigned to a specific category will be temporarily designated as ‘Not Assigned’.

Projects Included in the Portal

FEMA PA Projects:

CDBG Projects

FEMA De-Obligations

Although this is definitely more detail than anyone wants to have to know, it is important to understand when looking at the details for many FEMA projects.

FEMA PA projects are de-obligated, or partially de-obligated, for a variety of reasons.  The original application, the Project Worksheet (PW) is an estimate of the funding that will be needed.  Over time the project amount is commonly adjusted by means of new ‘Versions’ that increase or decrease the amount.  Reasons vary for the adjustments and may include adjustments for insurance coverage, adjustments for duplicate coverage, changes in project scope, disqualification of a portion of the project by FEMA, etc.  Another common reason is that individual projects are sometimes merged into a single project (PW).  Regardless of the reason, in order to reduce the obligated amount or to remove it entirely, the original projects have their previous obligated amounts ‘de-obligated’ by a ‘version’ that is approved with a negative obligated amount.  Similarly, the payments can be removed with new payments that have negative amounts.  Once the project Version with the reduction of obligated amount is approved (obligated), the obligated amount will be reduced in the next time the data is imported. 

Note: If the payments are not reduced at the same time that the de-obligation occurs, the project can show more disbursements than obligated $’s.

Revised: August 25, 2009