NEW from OFBCI: COAD Grant Application Technical Assistance

NEW from OFBCI: COAD Grant Application Technical Assistance

TA call summary and Q & A for organizations applying for the 2012 COAD Partnership Grant


COADs as an Insulator box graphic



Community Organizations Active in Disaster (COAD) Partnership Grant
Due date for proposals:
February 6, 2012

Submission method: Please email to Debbie Pidgeon,

(if files are large or get bounced back then email




The objective of the technical assistance call was to provide an opportunity to learn about the COAD grant, what’s involved in the application process and answer question that are applicable to the whole group. Organizations were asked to contact Debbie Pidgeon with any questions that relate specifically to their circumstance.


I. What are the purposes of OFBCI?

*Break down barriers, leveling the playing field for potential faith partners

*Increase service and volunteerism

A. Programs include COAD, HoosierCorps, AmeriCorps and Mitch’s Kids

B. One Stop Shop web portal (a first in the nation resource)


II. What is OFBCI's responsibility in times of disaster?

A. DHS has assigned OFBCI duties related to Emergency Support Function 6 (mass care) and 14 (long term recovery).

B. Facilitate call center operations to take damage assessments


III. What is the COAD Partnership grant?

A. History: designed to comprehensively address systemic challenges identified during the State’s response and recovery efforts to the 2008 floods. These areas have been identified as areas in need of improvement  or enhancement of capabilities

i. The limited availability of local civilian support (manpower) due to lack organization, planning, training or proper equipment. 

ii. The lack of a comprehensive database to identify all food and/or clothing pantries, resource distribution centers, One-Stop Shop Sites, American Red Cross certified shelters, emergency-use housing stock and CERT teams in coordination with IDHS in response battle rhythms.

iii. Avoiding relief supply vacuums by providing emergency funds for an escrow account to replenish OFBCI certified food pantries that are operating during a flood for a designated period of time. 


B. Purpose:

i. The need to facilitate local emergency managers, district planning councils, and local agencies in :

a. Conducting a “gap analysis” of resources to include but not be limited to personnel, facilities, skill sets training and delivery systems within their community;  

b. Facilitating the research, analysis, and study of disaster housing and emergency services planning;  

c. Assuring the smooth and effective management of donations and volunteer management capabilities' and capacities' needs within one or more identified counties;

d. Assist in the development of an “Action/Operations Manual” to act as an operational resource for each of the 10 Indiana Department of Homeland Security Districts;

e. The creation of Community Organizations Active in Disasters (COAD)s that will activate and mobilize in response to disasters in one or more counties.


Applicant Organization: Experience in grant management, ability and demonstrated success at brining partners together for common cause. Kevin mentioned that applicants can view this as the fiscal agent while many organizations work together to apply.


Community Partners include organizations that work with the applicant organization and serve as a resource for one or more of the deliverable areas.


Steve Cain with Indiana VOAD and Kevin Cox with Hope Crisis Disaster Network noted that the grant is all about creating community. They can help agencies develop and strengthen COADs and share best practices.


Reimbursement: The grant is a reimbursement grant. No funds will be provided prior to completing deliverables.

Department of Homeland Security districts: A map is located at and in the grant reference documents. OFBCI has already granted funding for Districts 1 and 2 and anticipants awarding one grant per district.



Question and Answer responses from the conference call

Q || Can multiple counties could apply rather than applying for the whole district?

A || Ideally the OFBCI wants to award one grant per district, but grants will ultimately be awarded based on the quality of applications that are submitted and based on the geographic area that each proposes to cover. It is not disallowed to apply for fewer counties than the district includes.

Q || What do certified shelters, food pantries, and clothing pantries mean?

A || Sub-grantee ensures that these resources meet minimum standards and provide a safe environment.


Q || What are the allowable expenses and unallowable expenses:

A || Please follow the following Office of Management and Budget Circulars:



A-21 (Educational Institutions)

A-87 (State and Local Governments)

A-122 (Nonprofit Organizations)


Q || What does DRS suitable mean?

A || DRS – suitable Sites for Co-location: Please identify locations that are suitable for a “one stop shop” to coordinate efforts. Those impacted by the disaster would be able to go to that location to receive comprehensive services.

DRS – suitable Sites to be Distribution Centers: Please identify spaces suitable to manage large and small scale donations.


Q || Is the $1,000.00 for the EMAs to go into their general fund, or directly to the EMA Director as a stipend for their work?

A || The EMA stipend is to be distributed to the EMA office. The EMA Director would determine based on their budget where that funding how the funding would be utilized.


Q || On page 2, it reads “Applications for the COAD Partnership program may be submitted electronically by 5 pm (ET) on January 31, 2012.” Later on page 16, it indicates that the deadline is February 6, 2012, which I believed you stated yesterday. Can you clarify the two different dates or whether or not this is just a typo?

A || February 6 is the due date.


Q || On page 12, it discusses some of the types of training to be delivered (i.e. NIMS, CERT, Case Management, and “other certifications relevant to disaster response and recovery”) and that it must be delivered by Webinar. Is this list exhaustive? Or can we train more volunteers in a Red Cross Disaster Response course, for example – even if that doesn’t give a “certification” but certainly gets them trained? If we can demonstrate that the training meets disaster preparedness, prevention, response and recovery goals, is it eligible for submission?

A || No, the list is not exhaustive. Please consider the training you described as eligible for submission.


Q || On page 14, it describes that we need “a detailed plan to conduct at least one (1) district-wide tabletop or in-box exercise” then it lists again “participation in at least one (1) district-wide in-box exercise, including post-exercise follow through.” Are these two different exercises/simulations? It’s a little confusing whether or not this is intended as two exercises or just a clarification on what we should do if we do an in-box exercise.

A || No. Sorry for any confusion. We left some flexibility on this based on how the sub-grantee may deem most appropriate for their exercise to be implemented.


Q || On page 18, it describes that there is one deliverables report per benchmark – are these due at each interval (i.e. April 6th, May 4th, June 29th, August 3rd, September 28th) or with the final grant report due thirty days after grant’s expiration?

A || Yes, deliverables are due at each interval.


Q || Can an agency be the fiscal agent if they are not affiliated with a COAD? Partner agencies are affiliated.

A || No, there is no requirement that an applicant agency be an affiliate of a COAD.


Q || What is reference document 4?

A || On page 13 it mentions reference document 4. Please see our website at to review the reference documents. Document 4 is on page 8.


Q || Does the grant have to address every deliverable?

A || No. Some districts or a portion of the district may already have a portion of the deliverables complete. Please provide an explanation if you are not applying for every deliverable.


Q || How have past sub-grantees met the 25% match? What types of in-kind contributions have been used?

A || Personnel, trainers/speakers, travel funds, supplies/printing, facility for training, communication costs, office space, office equipment


Q || Do you have a template (or example) plan for Deliverable Set 3- “Action/Operations Manual?”

A || Not at this time.


Q || The application checklist asks for letters of intent to participate from CBOs/FBOs, EMA directors, and community partners. We have EMA letters of intent. Since one of our project tasks is to identify participating resources, we’re not sure yet which CBOs and community partners will be appropriate to include. Is this a required component of the application?

A || Letters of commitment help strengthen the application by demonstrating that the applicant organization has support and a collaborative relationship with other major CBO/FBOs that are primary stakeholders in disaster preparedness/planning. Of course, we understand that not all of the partnerships may be developed.


Q || How is the proposal submitted?

A || Page 2 of the RFP addresses this. Electronic submission to Debbie Pidgeon is preferred.


Q || Where can I find a Disaster Housing and Emergency Services Plan to review the situation and assumptions portion?

A || Grantees will create the plan, or in some counties they will revise the plan if the EMA already has some version of it, but you can model it after other counties' plans and reference state DHS plans. COADs will help flesh it out locally creating resource guides and operations manuals tailored to local needs and resources.


Q || What do you mean by "provide identifying media that assists in cataloguing latent community resources"?

A || “Identifying media” refers to pictures, Google mapping, or other location-specific means of identifying where a location is and what the capacity of that location may be. For example, for shelters in a certain region, COADs may find it useful to take pictures of the shelters exterior and interior facilities so it may be cataloged for better use.

Though this is not a primary function of the grant and is more applicable to physical/locational resources, it provides valuable context as to the capacity of each location (like shelters, food pantries, hospitals, etc). It allows for COAD partners to get more familiar with resources, kind of like the difference between looking phone book listing for a business and pulling a business up on Google, where you can see the street view of the location, see it on a map, and get a few reviews highlighting the special qualities of the location.

Q || Is OFBCI in charge of all the volunteers in times of disaster?

A || OFBCI has been identified by the Indiana Department of Homeland Security as an agency in charge of Volunteer and Donations Management according to the State Disaster Management Plan. The OFBCI does this collaboratively with other state agencies and faith and community based organizations across the state. It also involves our office coordinating a call center to respond to interested individuals who want to volunteer and/or donate items.

Organizations on the local level are in charge of their volunteers. OFBCI does not manage volunteers on the local level and would refer volunteers to the local level to be processed through a Volunteer Reception Center (VRC). The OFBCI will want to know details of how volunteers are being locally managed, who is managing the VRC and where offers of additional volunteer support can be referred. 




If you have additional questions, please refer to our website at


You may also contact Debbie Pidgeon at 317-233-0901.