MEMORANDUM TO: Line and Staff Office Directors
FROM: Eduardo J. Ribas Eduardo J. Ribas
Workforce Management Office
SUBJECT: NOAA Implementing Procedures for Use of
Evacuation Pay

the use of Evacuation Pay has been delegated from the Department of Commerce, through VADM Lautenbacher, to Line and Staff Offices. the authority for evacuation payments are broken down into parts: (1) allows for the continuation in pay status at the employee's current rate for the period of time the evacuation order remains in effect, unless terminated earlier, not to exceed 180 days after the effective date of the evacuation order, (2) allows for travel and subsistence payments for employees and their dependents from the date of evacuation to arrival at a safe haven, and (3) allows for advance payments (via electronic funds transfer or cash) not to exceed 30 days to assist in financial hardships associated with the evacuation process. the common theme in these three parts is that an employee must be on a standing MANDATORY evacuation order as declared by Federal, State, or Local Government Officials. Please note that although we technically fall under the title "Federal Official," we (NOAA Management) do not have the authority to issue a MANDATORY evacuation order.

In accordance with this delegation, the following implementing procedures serve for consistent use by all NOAA Line and Staff Offices:

  1. Administrative leave/excused absence is the means for keeping employees in pay status where employees are under standing MANDATORY evacuation orders.
  2. Travel and subsistence payments (reimbursements) will be authorized for all employees and their dependents from time of the MANDATORY evacuation order until return within a reasonable period once the MANDATORY evacuation orders are lifted. Each Line and Staff Office will be responsible for covering these expenses within their existing funds.

Travel orders must be used for authorization and voucher purposes, however, it is understood that the formal authorization may be processed post evacuation order. Employees must have an approved round-trip travel authorization that covers the employee and his or her dependents. In addition, the order must include a listing of the dependent’s names and dates of birth under “Other Authorizations” on the travel authorization, as well as a notation of “Evacuation Travel” under the "Comments" field of the travel authorization. Federal Travel Regulations MUST be followed.

Please note that under evacuation travel, dependents under the age of 12 are entitled to half of the per diem employees and dependents over 12 year of age are entitled. Per diem is further reduced by 60% for the entire family after the first 30 days. Supervisors shouldbe clear on what will and will not be reimbursed since they are ultimately responsible for ensuring appropriate application of this tool for his or her employee(s), and therefore, must use discretion when approving travel orders and vouchers. Employees who have been authorized to receive these payments may use their Government Issued Travel Card as this is Official Government Travel. For further travel regulation information, please visit the travel web site address at

3.On an as needed basis, we stand ready to provide salary advances, up to 30 days to assist in financial hardships associated with the MANDATORY evacuation order. It is important to note that these advances MUST be repaid by employees and there are no provisions for "writing-off" this debt.

It is important to repeat that in order for any of these parts to be used, an employee must be on a standing MANDATORY evacuation order as declared by Federal, State, or Local Government Official, and WE do not fall under the category, for these purposes, as a "Federal Official." For further information on evacuation pay, and other workforce management flexibilities that can be used during emergency situations, please visit the Workforce Management Office website at