Hazard Mitigation Grants
PEMA administers three mitigation grant programs for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) under the umbrella of Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA):
- Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP)
- Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) program
- Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) program
Each fiscal year (on or around June 1), FEMA releases unified guidance for all five of the HMA programs.
While the goals and types of projects for these programs are similar, there are important differences in eligibility and application procedures. Applicants for any of these grant programs must have a FEMA-approved hazard mitigation plan to be eligible for funding. Here is a brief summary of each program.
Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP)
The HMGP is a post-disaster mitigation program. It is made available to states by FEMA after each federal disaster declaration. The HMGP can provide up to 75 percent funding for hazard mitigation measures. The HMGP's objective is to support cost-effective measures implemented during the recovery from a disaster that will reduce the risk of damage and suffering from future disasters.
Applicants who are eligible for the HMGP are state and local governments, certain private non-profit organizations or institutions that perform essential government services, and Indian tribes and authorized tribal organizations. Individuals or homeowners cannot apply directly for the HMGP; a local government must apply on their behalf.
The HMGP can be used to fund cost-effective projects that will protect public or private property in an area covered by a federal disaster declaration. Projects must fit into an overall mitigation strategy for the area identified as part of a local planning effort. Applications must demonstrate a need for the proposed project and the potential to provide a long-term solution to problems that are repetitive or pose a significant threat to public health and safety if left unresolved. Equipment purchases such as generators and warning systems are not eligible under HMGP funding guidelines. Examples of fundable projects include: acquisition and demolition of structures in hazard prone areas; flood proofing or elevation to reduce future damage; minor structural improvements; and development of state or local standards. HMGP funds may not be used for disaster repairs, since other federal programs support these.
In general, after a federal disaster is declared, eligible applicants are briefed about the HMGP by PEMA. A two-step grant application process is used to distribute HMGP funding to eligible applicants.
The first step involves the submission of a Letter of Interest/Pre-Application Form from eligible applicants for the development of hazard mitigation projects or multi-hazard mitigation plans. The Letter of Interest/Pre-Application Form can be found on the on the Hazard Mitigation Forms Page.
The second step is the submission of detailed planning grant and project applications for the Letters of Interest/Pre-Application Forms that have been approved by PEMA for HMGP application submission process. Only eligible applicants with FEMA approved/adopted mitigation plans, or who will have such plans approved by the time of grant award, will be eligible to compete for project funding. Planning grant applications will be accepted from eligible entities that do not currently have approved plans or are developing such plans with prior grant awards.
Once returned to PEMA, planning and project applications are reviewed by a special team and placed in rank order for available funding and submitted to FEMA for final approval. Eligible projects not selected for funding are placed in an inactive status and may be considered as additional HMGP funding becomes available.
The HMGP differs from mitigation funded by the Public Assistance Program. FEMA's Public Assistance Program helps pay for repairs to public and certain nonprofit facilities damaged by a disaster. Public Assistance repairs may incorporate mitigation upgrades to protect a facility from future disaster damage. Unlike Public Assistance, the HMGP may fund measures that affect properties that were not damaged by a recent disaster, but which remain vulnerable to future disasters. The HMGP may also be used for projects that protect private property from future disaster damage as long as an eligible public or nonprofit organization applies for and administers the grant and other program guidelines are met.
For more information about Mitigation under the Public Assistance Program (Section 406), see PEMA's Public Assistance page.
Flood Mitigation Assistance Program (FMA)
The FMA is a pre-disaster mitigation program. FMA is funded annually with no federal disaster declaration required. FMA funding comes from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Only NFIP-insured homes and businesses are eligible for mitigation in this program. Funding for FMA is very limited; individuals cannot apply directly for the program.
Applications must come from local governments or other eligible organizations. The federal cost share for an FMA project is 75 percent.
The focus of the FMA program is to fund mitigation projects that reduce claims to the National Flood Insurance Program, though some funding is available for NFIP-participating communities to create flood mitigation plans.
Pre-Disaster Mitigation Program (PDM)
The PDM program is an annually funded, nationwide, competitive grant program. As with the FMA program, PDM funding is open to any and all local governments or eligible organizations. No disaster declaration is required. Federal funds will cover up to 75 percent of a project's cost.
The PDM program is designed to assist states, territories, Indian tribal governments, and local communities to implement a sustained pre-disaster natural hazard mitigation program to reduce overall risk to the population and structures from future hazard events, while also reducing reliance on federal funding from future disasters. PDM funding is available for local hazard mitigation projects and for the development of local hazard mitigation plans.
PEMA has created a guide for PDM Project and Planning Funding Assistance (PA PDM Guide). The PA PDM Guide provides PDM sub-applicants with information on how to select eligible mitigation projects and apply for PDM funding through eGrants. It includes program requirement information, helpful tips, examples, and application forms. Access the PA PDM Guide on the Hazard Mitigation Forms Page.