What to Know about your Immediate Response Program (IRP)

Preplanning. You hear this term often in life, but preplanning for your company and its employees is beneficial and can avoid chaos. Many disasters, such as hurricanes, can be identified before they strike. Others, such as tornadoes, earthquakes, or manmade disasters cannot. For those that can be anticipated, preplanning can make your Immediate Response Program work much more smoothly than reacting after a disaster has struck. It is important to know that the IRP is designed to meet regulations for a regulatory defined “Qualified Disaster” only.

According to the IRS, A qualified disaster is:

  • A disaster which results from a terrorist or military action.
  • A federally declared disaster.
  • A disaster which results from an accident involving a common carrier.
  • Any event, which is determined to be catastrophic by the Secretary of the Treasury or his or her delegate.

How does the IRP process work?

  1. The IRP is part of an ongoing Disaster or Hardship Fund and cannot be a targeted approach to a single disaster. The IRP cannot be used as an initial grant for a disaster and hardship relief program.
  2. A disaster strikes and impacts employees in the area. Please note that this program is only available for employees that need aid in the immediate aftermath of the disaster. This includes employees who need shelter, food, transportation, or other immediate needs due to disaster conditions depriving them of such needs. Essentially, only employees whose needs arise from the emergency situation qualify.

The IRP must be part of an ongoing Employee Relief Fund, then receiving the immediate assistance does not disqualify the employee from applying for a grant when they are ready (nor does it guarantee they will receive a grant).  However, it does reduce the grant amount they are qualified to receive. For example, if the maximum grant is $5,000 and they received a $500 debit card or payment, then the maximum additional grant they may receive is $4,500.

Each disaster event has unique nuances which impact the Immediate Response Program.


Doug Stockham

Lori Rogers
Director of Corporate Operations

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