News Releases

FEMA launches COVID funeral assistance program

April 13, 2021

Wyoming residents who lost a loved one to COVID-19 may apply for federal reimbursement of funeral expenses to help ease some of the financial stress and burden caused by the pandemic.

A dedicated toll-free phone number to call is 844-684-6333. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) representatives are available to assist callers from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mountain Daylight Time, Monday through Friday.

The helpline has received thousands of call, which is causing some callers to receive a busy signal. Having the required documents ready when calling can ease some of the congestion.

To be eligible for COVID-19 funeral assistance:

· The applicant must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien who incurred funeral expenses after Jan. 20, 2020 for a death related to COVID-19.

· If multiple individuals contributed toward funeral expenses, they should apply under a single application as applicant and co-applicant. FEMA will also consider documentation from other individuals not listed as the applicant and co-applicant who may have incurred funeral expenses as part of the registration for the deceased individual.

· An applicant may apply for multiple deceased individuals.

· The COVID-19-related death must have occurred in the United States, including the U.S. territories and the District of Columbia.

· This assistance is limited to a maximum financial amount of $9,000 per funeral and a maximum of $35,500 per applicant.

· Funeral assistance is intended to help with expenses for funeral services and interment or cremation.

The below documentation is needed to submit the application.

· An official death certificate that attributes the death to COVID-19 and shows that the death occurred in the United States. The death certificate must indicate the death “may have been caused by” or “was likely the result of” COVID-19 or COVID-19-like symptoms. Similar phrases that indicate a high likelihood of COVID-19 are considered sufficient attribution.

· Funeral expense documents (receipts, funeral home contract, etc.) that include the applicant’s name, the deceased individual’s name, the amount of funeral expenses and dates the funeral expenses were incurred.

· Proof of funds received from other sources specifically for use toward funeral costs. Funeral assistance may not duplicate benefits received from burial or funeral insurance, financial assistance received from voluntary agencies, federal/state/local/tribal/territorial government programs or agencies, or other sources.

For more information about this assistance, visit COVID-19 Funeral Assistance | FEMA.gov.

Individuals that feel they need crisis counseling are encouraged to call Wyoming 2-1-1. This service provides free, confidential, health and human services information and referrals.

Related Links

Funeral Assistance FAQ

March 9, 2020
Homeland Security Grants available for Wyoming communities

The Wyoming Office of Homeland Security invites eligible entities to apply for grant funding. The fiscal year 2021 State Homeland Security Grant and the Nonprofit Security Grant Program grants are open for applications.

Both of these grants are 100 percent federally funded and provide funding to eligible applicants based on Wyoming’s homeland security strategies and priorities.

The State Homeland Security Grant Program (SHSP) provides grants to support the implementation of risk-driven, capabilities-based state homeland security strategies to address capability gaps and sustain existing capabilities.

This year, the priority areas defined within the grant are Enhancing Cyber Security, Enhancing of Soft Targets/Crowded Places, Enhancing Information and Intelligence Sharing, Combating Domestic Violent Extremism and Addressing Emergent Threats.

“This grant allows our communities the opportunity to apply for funding to help mitigate the consequences of ever-increasing and changing threats,” Wyoming Office of Homeland Director Lynn Budd said.

The SHSP provides funds to assist state, local and tribal efforts to build, sustain, and deliver the capabilities necessary to prevent, prepare for, protect against, and respond to acts of terrorism. The fiscal year 2021 SHSP grant award for Wyoming is approximately $4.5 million.

State, local, tribal governments and other special districts are eligible to apply for funding. At least 25 percent of the combined SHSP funds allocated must be dedicated toward law enforcement terrorism prevention activities. The state must pass through 80 percent of the grant allocation to local entities.

The Nonprofit Security Grant Program provides funding support for target hardening and other physical security enhancements and activities to nonprofit organizations that are at high risk of terrorist attack due to their ideology, beliefs or mission. Eligible applicants include organizations that meet the IRS 501 (c)(3) requirements. The total award for Wyoming is approximately $1 million.

These grant awards are preliminary figures and are subject to change. The deadline for grant applications is April 16, 2021. For more information about these grants, visit the Wyoming Office of Homeland Security website at hls.wyo.gov or call 307-777-4900.

June 3, 2020
Wyoming communities have mitigation plans

Years of hard work and planning have led to all Wyoming communities having an approved mitigation plan. As a result, the state of Wyoming is more prepared to respond to, and recover from all-hazards.

Every community in the state now has a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved mitigation plan. This achievement better positions Wyoming communities and will minimize the impact of natural disasters. Historically only about 70 percent of Wyoming communities had an approved mitigation plan.

The Wyoming Office of Homeland Security initiated the planning process in 2014 and local communities, counties, tribes, and emergency response regions joined together to complete mitigation plans. In the mitigation planning process communities review natural hazards and their jurisdiction's capacity to respond to, and recover from natural events. Mitigation projects are then developed to help communities be more resilient and minimize the impact of natural hazards.

“Wyoming communities are the places where we work and raise our families – the place we call home,” Director Lynn Budd, Wyoming Office of Homeland Security said. “The time dedicated by these communities to complete these plans ensures our neighborhoods become more resilient and prepared to deal with natural and manmade disasters.”

Counties and jurisdictions with current mitigation plans are eligible to apply for federal grant funding recover from disasters and to complete mitigation projects to become more resilient.

The Wyoming Office of Homeland Security created a partnership in 2014 with local emergency managers to reach the goal of all jurisdictions having an approved mitigation plan.

In recent history local communities have submitted successful mitigation grant applications to protect communities and critical infrastructure through riverbank stabilization projects, detention/retention pond projects, property acquisitions in the floodplain, and electrical grid hardening.

FEMA mitigation grants cover up to 75% of the cost of the project, with the community covering the remaining 25 percent.


July 2, 2020
WOHS supports businesses by providing PPE

WOHS is supporting 1,266 Wyoming non-healthcare related businesses by providing personal protective equipment (PPE) to aid public safety efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In May, Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon allocated $2 million from the CARES Act funding to the Wyoming Office of Homeland Security to purchase and distribute this vital equipment to assist businesses in keeping their employees and customers safe.

“We are pleased to be able to supply our Wyoming businesses and communities with the equipment they need to be safer as we navigate through this process,” Director Lynn Budd, Wyoming Office of Homeland Security said. “Working together and helping each other is the standard in Wyoming and exemplifies our true western spirit.”

The first round of PPE was distributed in mid-June. The final round of requests closed July 1 and supplies will be distributed to businesses as soon as possible.


June 3, 2020
Wyoming communities have mitigation plans

Years of hard work and planning have led to all Wyoming communities having an approved mitigation plan. As a result, the state of Wyoming is more prepared to respond to, and recover from all-hazards.

Every community in the state now has a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved mitigation plan. This achievement better positions Wyoming communities and will minimize the impact of natural disasters. Historically only about 70 percent of Wyoming communities had an approved mitigation plan.

The Wyoming Office of Homeland Security initiated the planning process in 2014 and local communities, counties, tribes, and emergency response regions joined together to complete mitigation plans. In the mitigation planning process communities review natural hazards and their jurisdiction's capacity to respond to, and recover from natural events. Mitigation projects are then developed to help communities be more resilient and minimize the impact of natural hazards.

“Wyoming communities are the places where we work and raise our families – the place we call home,” Director Lynn Budd, Wyoming Office of Homeland Security said. “The time dedicated by these communities to complete these plans ensures our neighborhoods become more resilient and prepared to deal with natural and manmade disasters.”

Counties and jurisdictions with current mitigation plans are eligible to apply for federal grant funding recover from disasters and to complete mitigation projects to become more resilient.

The Wyoming Office of Homeland Security created a partnership in 2014 with local emergency managers to reach the goal of all jurisdictions having an approved mitigation plan.

In recent history local communities have submitted successful mitigation grant applications to protect communities and critical infrastructure through riverbank stabilization projects, detention/retention pond projects, property acquisitions in the floodplain, and electrical grid hardening.

FEMA mitigation grants cover up to 75% of the cost of the project, with the community covering the remaining 25 percent.


May 15, 2020
Funds allocated for Wyoming businesses to receive PPE

Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon has allocated $2 million to the Wyoming Office of Homeland Security to purchase and distribute Personal Protective Equipment to non-health care related entities. This effort will support public safety for businesses and communities across the state under the new health orders.

WOHS will be working with the Wyoming Business Council to assess the specific needs as restrictions are eased. Needs of businesses will be assessed in future communications with WOHS and the Business Council.

“We are happy to help our Wyoming businesses as we move forward in easing restrictions,” Director Lynn Budd, Wyoming Office of Homeland Security said. “Ensuring our communities have the essential needs to navigate this process is important to our state’s recovery."

Information will be available on the Wyoming Office of Homeland Security website at hls.wyo.gov and questions may be emailed to wohsppeinfo@wyo.gov.

April 16, 2020
Cowboy State Volunteers conduct flights to support COVID-19 response

Volunteers from across the state flew into action to assist with delivering test kits for COVID-19.

Three members of the Cowboy State Volunteers flew private aircraft to deliver Abbott ID NOW COVID-19 equipment and test kits across the state on April 14, 2020. The organization is comprised of volunteer pilots who provide support for search and rescue operations, disaster relief and organ transportation.

“Wyoming has a well-deserved reputation for helping our neighbors in times of trouble,” Ken Johnston, Cowboy State Volunteers president said. “During the ‘great blizzard of 1949’ volunteer pilots, using their own airplanes delivered food, medicine, and also transported medical personnel to snowbound people across Wyoming. The Cowboy State Volunteers has been created to continue that tradition.”

The volunteers delivered 10 Abbott machines with 12 testing kits each across the state.

Heather Tottingham, Wyoming Department of Health accompanied Mike Gray, in his Twin Comanche and flew from Cheyenne to Casper with crews and transferred the equipment and kits, and then continued their flight to Gillette and Newcastle.

“I'm very grateful to the Cowboy State Volunteers. With their help, we were able to make deliveries to 10 Wyoming communities in one day,” Tottingham said. “They generously donated their time and fuel cost to help Unified Command with this important task. Mike and Ken were great to work with, and it gave me the unique opportunity to personally make sure these machines made it to their destinations safely.”

The aircraft used are provided by Wyoming pilots. “We fly our own airplanes and no one gets paid except for the fuel and oil used on a flight,” Johnston said.

Twenty pilots and five crew members volunteer their time to the Cowboy State Volunteers. The organization has 18 fixed-wing aircraft and two helicopters across the state.

The flights were a joint effort among pilots and crew. Chad Kuhn (Pinedale), and Alex Heil flew equipment in Kuhn’s Cessna210 to Lander, Rawlins, Rock Springs and Kemmerer. Joe Feiler (Casper) and Dallas Chopping flew Feiler’s Cessna 177 Cardinal to deliver supplies to Thermopolis and Cody.