Begin Main Content Area

Grants Programs

Emergency Management Performance Grant

The Emergency Management Performance Grant (EMPG) encourages the development of comprehensive disaster preparedness and assistance plans, programs, capabilities, and organizations by the states and by county governments.

Financial and technical assistance is provided to support state and county governments' efforts to improve their emergency response capabilities. By providing this assistance, the federal government stresses the importance of, and the fact that there is a national interest in, all jurisdictions having emergency management programs that:

  • Have a dedicated staff to conduct and coordinate emergency management activities
  • Prepare and maintain comprehensive Emergency Operations Plans (EOP) that address relevant hazards
  • Ensure that all members of the emergency response organization receive the necessary training
  • Ensure that there is an aggressive exercise program that provides a means to evaluate and test plans, people, procedures, equipment, etc.
  • Apply the results and lessons learned from self assessments, deficiencies identified during the conduct of exercises, EOP reviews, and post-disaster response critiques to improve the jurisdiction's emergency response capabilities.

Such organizations and programs are expected to play a key role in cooperation and coordination with Federal departments and agencies and private sector organizations in developing, maintaining and improving a comprehensive, national emergency management system.

Funds under this program are appropriated by Congress for allocation to the states by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The states, in turn, are responsible for subgranting these funds to county emergency management organizations for reimbursement of salaries and benefits. Grants are available on a 50 percent matching basis.

County Employment Opportunities

County governments participating in the EMPG are subject to the federal merit system and the State Civil Service Commission (SCSC) rules and procedures. Counties may also participate in the EMPG if they have a county merit system. The following classifications are those most commonly used by county participants.

  • Clerk Typist 2 - L0032
  • Administrative Assistant 1 - L0111
  • Operations and Training Officer - L0530

For more information on these local employment opportunities, please visit the SCSC website.

EMPG Resources and Contact Information

EMPG Subrecipient Guidance and Instructions for Federal Fiscal Year 2019 (PDF)

For more information about EMPGs, contact:

Barb Kehler

Flood Mitigation Assistance Program

The Flood Mitigation Assistance Program (FMAP) is a pre-disaster mitigation program.

FMAP is funded annually; a federal disaster declaration is not required. FMAP funding comes from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Only NFIP-insured homes and businesses are eligible for mitigation in this program.

Funding for the FMAP is very limited. Applications must come from local governments or other eligible organizations; individuals cannot apply directly for the program. Applications for the FMAP are done electronically through FEMA’s e-Grants System. The federal cost share for an FMAP project is 75 percent.

At minimum, a FEMA-approved local flood mitigation plan is required before a project can be approved. Some funding is available for planning.

For more information about FMAP, contact:

Tom Hughes

Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness Planning and Training Grants

Federal Hazardous Material Law authorizes the U. S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) to provide assistance to public sector employees through planning and training grants to States, Territories, and Native American tribes for emergency response.

The purpose of this grant program is to increase effectiveness in safely handling hazardous materials accidents and incidents, enhance implementation of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986 (EPCRA), and encourage a comprehensive approach to emergency training and planning by incorporating the unique challenges of responses to transportation situations. The U.S. DOT Research and Special Programs Administration, under a program that began in 1993, provides a reimbursable grant to every state to assist in hazardous materials response planning and related training activities. States are required to apply each year for the funding. Of funding received, 75% is earmarked for local planning and training activities.

The commonwealth’s 67 counties are eligible to apply for grants provided under this program. While these grants require a 20 percent county match, the match may be accomplished with county or state Hazardous Materials Response Fund grants, or as a "soft-match", such as the value of in-kind contributions. Counties may receive grants in both planning and training programs. Grants under this program are on a reimbursable basis - expenditures are reimbursed after completion of activities or contractual obligations.

For more information about these grants, contact: 
Cheryl Heishman

Hazardous Materials Response Fund

The Hazardous Materials Response Fund (HMRF), supported by fees assessed to the chemical industry, is designed to provide supplemental emergency preparedness funding for chemical emergency preparedness at county and state levels.

These funds are to be used for the preparation of chemical emergency plans by local emergency planning committees (LEPCs) and industry, acquisition of hazardous materials response team equipment, public Right-to-Know education, chemical industry awareness and compliance, and the conduct of training and exercises.

All 67 counties of the commonwealth are eligible to apply for grants under the guidance of Act 1990-165, as amended.

HMRF Resources and Contact Information

HMRF Subrecipient Guidance and Instructions for State Fiscal Year 2019-2020 (PDF)

For more information about HMRF, contact:

Cheryl Heishman

Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP)

The Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) is a federal program administered by the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA). The purpose of this program is to provide funding to eligible nonprofit organizations, generally limited to target hardening and physical security enhancements. The focus is on organizations that are at high risk of a potential terrorist attack.

The program further seeks the integration of preparedness activities of the nonprofit sector with the local and state preparedness efforts, while promoting emergency preparedness collaboration and coordination.

Learn more about NSGP.

Pre-Disaster Mitigation Program

The Pre-Disaster Mitigation Program (PDM) is an annually funded nationwide competitive grant program; a federal disaster declaration is not required.

As with the FMAP, the program is open to any local governments or eligible organizations; individuals cannot apply directly for the program. Applications for the FMAP are done electronically through FEMA’s e-Grants System. The federal cost share for an FMAP project is 75 percent. At minimum, a FEMA-approved local flood mitigation plan is required before a project can be approved. Some funding is available for planning.

Because PDM is a nationwide program, applications from across the United States compete for available funds. The information required to compete a PDM application can be extensive because of the level of competition for funds. PEMA mitigation staff are available to assist local applicants with those demands and completing their e-Grant applications.

For more information about PDM, contact:

Tom Hughes

Radiation Transportation Emergency Response Fund

The Radiation Transportation Emergency Response Fund (RTERF), which is supported by fees assessed each shipper of spent nuclear fuel to, within, through, or across the commonwealth, is designed to provide financial assistance to train and equip local agencies and volunteer organizations to respond to accidents involving the shipment of spent nuclear fuel.

The fund provides grants to the 47 counties that have an approved Nuclear Regulatory Commission/Commonwealth of Pennsylvania route for the shipment of spent nuclear fuel within 5 miles of their jurisdictional borders.

Counties may apply one time during a fiscal year for a maximum grant amount of $5,000.00.

*At the current time, this grant program is not available due to lack of funds.

For more information about RTERF, contact:

Cheryl Heishman

Radiological Emergency Response Fund

The Radiological Emergency Response Fund (RERF), supported by fees assessed to nuclear power plants, is designed to provide financial assistance to the 26 designated risk and support counties, municipalities, school districts, volunteer organizations, and state agencies in order to carry out the purposes of the Radiological Emergency Response Program.

The Radiological Emergency Response Program provides for the development of a detailed fixed nuclear emergency response plan for areas surrounding each nuclear electrical generation facility, nuclear fabrication and away-from-reactor storage facility located in the commonwealth, the training and equipping of state and local emergency response personnel, the periodic exercise of the accident scenarios designated in the Nuclear Regulatory Commission emergency response plan applicable to each fixed nuclear facility, and the procurement of specialized supplies and equipment.

RERF Resources and Contact Information

RERF Grant Guidance and Application for State Fiscal Year 2019-2020 (PDF)

For more information about RERF, contact:

Cheryl Heishman

Additional Grant Resources