DFA for Municipalities

When a widespread natural disaster strikes and creates an unreasonable financial burden, Disaster Financial Assistance (DFA) may be available to help local authorities including municipalities restore eligible infrastructure to a functional state. Manitoba EMO administers the DFA program in accordance with the Disaster Financial Assistance Policies and Guidelines (Public Sector) Regulation.

Local authorities include councils of a municipality, an incorporated city, town or village, a community as defined in the Northern Affairs Act, a local government district (LGD), a conservation district, or any other local authority as defined in the Emergency Measures Act.

The Mitigation and Preparedness Program assists eligible local authorities to mitigate against future disasters by investing an amount equal to the municipal DFA deductible into a disaster mitigation and preparedness project for DFA programs that meet certain criteria.

If your municipality has been impacted by a disaster, check first with your insurance provider to review your policy coverage. Then follow these steps:

Manitoba EMO publishes Fact Sheets that help explain the DFA program in an easy-to-understand format. Reviewing these fact sheets will help you meet the requirements of the DFA program and will ensure you receive all the assistance you are entitled to, with less chance of deferred payments.

After a disaster, Manitoba EMO requires information to determine the impacts on communities. This is necessary to:

  • evaluate the immediate assistance that might be required,
  • ensure community impacts are included in the broader assessment of damages, and
  • begin evaluating the possibility of Disaster Financial Assistance (DFA).

Manitoba EMO requests communities complete the Community Impact Assessment (CIA) as soon as possible after the event. Whoever has the best knowledge of the damages can complete the CIA. This will typically be Public Works staff, the Municipal Emergency Coordinator, or other municipal staff. The longer communities wait to complete their CIA, the harder it is to re-construct what has happened. The CIA is only a preliminary assessment of damages. It can be modified or updated, and it will become more detailed once the community has carefully inspected damages.

A CIA is critical to determining if a DFA program will be established and should be prepared accurately and submitted as soon as possible; the CIA helps Manitoba EMO to determine the scale and scope of the disaster event.

Flood-related expenses should be kept in a separate flood ledger. This will help ensure the municipality receives the maximum amount of DFA they are entitled to.

The information communities provide in their CIA does not limit or determine the level of DFA assistance that might be made available and it should not be taken as an indication that DFA will be provided.

A DFA program may be approved if the criteria of widespread, mainly uninsurable damage and unreasonable financial burden are met. If a DFA program is established for a disaster event, a Council Resolution requesting assistance within 90 days of a DFA program announcement must be submitted. This is a mandatory step in the DFA process. A Council Resolution is a formal record of a local government’s request for financial assistance from the Manitoba Government. Sample Wording for Council Resolution:

A detailed CIA should be sent with the Council Resolution if one has not already been submitted, or if more detailed information has become available.

The Applying for Disaster Financial Assistance Fact Sheet provides additional information about applying.

Manitoba EMO assesses all CIAs received from the event as well as applications from private sector residents to understand the full impact of the disaster. If a DFA program is established, your local authority will be notified in writing. Your municipality will also be notified in writing if a DFA program is not established. This process takes time because it can take several weeks to receive a reasonably accurate picture of the impacts from the disaster. When a DFA program is approved, Manitoba EMO will assign a recovery advisor to:

  • Answer your questions regarding eligibility and procedures;
  • Contact you if additional information is required;
  • Be available to answer questions; and
  • Process your claim.

After you receive written confirmation that your municipality has been accepted into the DFA program, Manitoba EMO will arrange for a contracted engineering consultant to inspect and document your damages. You can ensure the process goes smoothly by preparing for the inspection in advance. The Inspecting Damaged Sites after a Disaster Fact Sheet provides additional information about the municipal inspection. Be sure to:

  • Identify the damaged sites in a document.
  • Prepare a map of your municipality locating all damaged sites and number the damaged sites consecutively.
  • Take photos of all damaged sites.
  • Identify sites where pre-emptive action was taken or where emergency repairs were done.
  • Identify a municipal employee to accompany the consultant during inspection.

Manitoba EMO understands that temporary and emergency repairs may be necessary to maintain a safe community. It is up to the local authority to decide if temporary repairs are necessary. Ensure the damages are photographed prior to repairs and track machine hours, materials used, etc.; this documentation will be reviewed during the inspection.

The inspector along with a local representative (e.g. public works foreman) will inspect each damaged site. The inspector will:

  • determine if the site is damaged as a result of the eligible event,
  • estimate the type of repair, amount of material and equipment required to repair the site to pre-disaster conditions, and
  • ensure the site report is signed by both the inspector and municipal representative.

Once the inspection report is complete, Manitoba EMO will review the Individual Site Damage Report (ISDR) to determine what is eligible for assistance under the DFA program. If you find that a site requires more work than noted in the inspection report when repairs are underway, notify Manitoba EMO immediately so that the DFA program may assist with the additional work.

Any questions or concerns regarding your site inspections are to be directed to EMO.

Once the inspection and site report are complete and approved, the you can proceed with restorations. The Repairing and Restoring Public Infrastructure Fact Sheet provides additional information. Upgrades are not eligible for DFA.

  • Contact EMO immediately if you find a site requires more work than previously noted during inspection or additional equipment time is needed. Failure to notify EMO of any changes may result in that portion of the claim being denied.
  • It is the responsibility of the municipality to ensure they have received approval for work beyond that noted in the inspection report.
  • Track expenses separately from regular operating costs.

The municipality will be requested to prepare and submit to EMO claim submission(s) in accordance with DFA policies and guidelines. Best practice is to submit one or several completed sites per submission.

Municipalities can upload files related to their DFA claims through Manitoba Municipalities Online (MMO) - Userguide

Upon receipt of a claim submission, EMO will:

  • evaluate the submission(s) in accordance with DFA policies and guidelines
  • issue payment and prepare a reconciliation statement identifying eligible, ineligible and deferred items
  • advise about deferred items and request additional supporting documentation to determine eligibility or ineligibility; and
  • supply a full reconciliation statement with the final payment identifying eligible and ineligible items

Claim Forms  - Updated August 2023
Claim Forms Procedures  - Updated August 2023

The municipality must prepare and submit a DFA claim submissions to Manitoba EMO in order to receive payment.

Not all damages are eligible for DFA. The following items are typically eligible, but it is always best to contact Manitoba EMO if you have specific questions about eligibility:

  • Construction and removal of temporary dikes.
  • Operation of water pumps and/or other equipment and machinery to prevent or limit damage to eligible infrastructure.
  • Set up and operation of an emergency operations centre.
  • Evacuation costs for mandatory evacuations based on an order from an authorized official.
  • Clean-up and debris removal from ditches and culverts.
  • Infrastructure damages: repair of roads, streets, bridges or other public facilities.

The following items are typically ineligible for DFA:

  • Costs related to dry conditions.
  • Losses that could have been covered by insurance.
  • Normal operating costs, like salaries and wages of regular employees (other than paid overtime), regular road grading, regular maintenance of drains, ditches and culverts and snow removal
  • Purchase or acquisition of capital assets like pumps or signs.
  • Upgrades or improvements to infrastructure made during repairs (unless approved in advance by Manitoba EMO).
  • Costs recoverable through another government program.
  • Losses that are recoverable through legal proceedings.
  • Any cost or expense not directly resulting from the specific disaster event.

The DFA program helps local authorities recover from natural disasters by providing financial assistance for eligible costs. Advance payments and progress payments can be considered under the DFA program; review the DFA Payments to Municipalities Fact Sheet for more information.

Solid record keeping ensures that your local authority recovers eligible costs after the disaster and is key to the smooth processing of your claim. Review the Record-Keeping Fact Sheet for more information.

DFA is only paid out for costs that are incurred by the local authority. You must provide invoices and proof of payments for items in order to receive DFA. All required documents must be submitted to Manitoba EMO before payment will be issued.

DFA payments to municipalities are subject to a deduction based on the Provincial/Municipal DFA cost sharing formula. The formula increases annually to align with the Consumer Price Index. Use the Public Sector Cost Sharing Calculator found below the cost-sharing table to determine the municipal share of expenses.

Eligible local authorities have the option investing an amount equal to the DFA deductible into a disaster and mitigation preparedness project with the Mitigation and Preparedness Program (MPP).

DFA programs are open for a period of one year from the DFA program is established.

All repairs must be done and all required documents must be submitted to Manitoba EMO by the program closure date.

In exceptional circumstances, an extension may be granted if more time is required to repair damages to their pre-disaster condition. Formal extension requests must be submitted in writing before the program closure date. Contact Manitoba EMO for more information on extensions.

If you feel that your local authority has not received all of the assistance eligible under the DFA program, there is an appeal process available to you. You can base your appeal on two grounds: that your application was deemed ineligible or you feel your claim amount is less than what you are entitled to. Information on submitting an appeal is provided once your claim is closed. A request for an appeal must be in writing and must clearly state the reason for the appeal.

  • Step 1 – Internal Review. This step involves an internal review of your claim decision by the Director of Recovery and Mitigation of Manitoba EMO. The appeal must be submitted within 30 days of receiving Manitoba EMO’s written decision regarding your application, or receiving your final payment. The Director of Recovery and Mitigation will conduct the internal review and then confirm, set aside, or change the original decision.
  • Step 2 – Appeal to the Manitoba Disaster Assistance Appeal Board. If you are not satisfied with the internal review, a second-stage appeal can be submitted, in writing, to the Manitoba Disaster Assistance Appeal Board. All decisions made by the Board are final and binding. To appeal, you must include:
    • Your internal review decision from Step 1 above.
    • The grounds for your appeal.
    • Reference to the provincial Disaster Financial Assistance Regulation or the federal Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements to support your appeal request.