Homeland Security and Emergency Services

Public Assistance Liaison Program

In 1998, NYSOEM began employing retired State employees familiar with public works projects - such as engineers - to assist in disaster recovery. The program personnel are Public Assistance Liaisons - PALs. Since the program's inception, the NYSOEM PALs have performed a valuable service. Working in unison with their federal and local counterparts, PALs are expediting the recovery process, resolving problems in the field, and helping localities and individuals receive reimbursement disaster-repair funds in a much quicker fashion.

The PAL program has been arranged to utilize the knowledge and leadership of citizens who have valuable technical and environmental experience by:

  • Providing temporary staff to NYSOEM to conduct disaster/emergency damage assessments in locations that may be designated as eligible for federal and State disaster assistance
  • Supporting applicants for federal and State disaster assistance
  • Assisting the NYSOEM Recovery Section staff to carry out the Public Assistance program
  • Identifying mitigation opportunities to prevent future damage

The PAL program provides a valuable statewide corps of Public Assistance specialists to allow an immediate response to emergencies. The group is mostly comprised of retired engineers and professionals from the Department of Transportation and other State agencies.

A State PAL will be assigned to work with a FEMA Public Assistance Coordinator (PAC) to inspect damage sites and make recommendations for the type and amount of federal and State disaster aid. The partnership of a FEMA PAC and a NYSOEM PAL assures that local municipalities receive a comprehensive assessment of their damage and the appropriate reimbursement for their recovery costs.

Primary Responsibilities and Functions

  • Learn rules and regulations pertaining to the FEMA Public Assistance program
  • Act as partner to the FEMA Public Assistance Coordinator (PAC)
  • Interpret local conditions
  • Assist the FEMA PAC in writing and assembling Project Worksheets
  • Use skills (e.g., engineering, environmental) to enhance the PAC/PAL team
  • Request clarification of policy from FEMA for unusual or complex projects
  • Act as a professional resource for inspections and seek professional expertise as needed
  • Inform the NYSOEM Recovery Section of daily progress by keeping a running log of activities
  • Keep local emergency managers informed on the progress of the process

Minimum Qualifications & Compensation

  • Engineering, environmental, automation, scientific or administrative background
  • Compensation will be commensurate with comparable State service grades, paid on an hourly basis

For More Information

Contact NYSOEM Recovery Section at 518-292-2293


Download the following PDF file and send to NYSOEM Recovery Section: