HMA - Sandy Recovery Improvement Act (SRIA) 2013
On January 29, 2013, President Obama signed into law the Sandy Recover Improvement Act of 2013. The law authorizes several significant changes to the way the FEMA delivers disaster assistance under HMGP.
SRIA directs FEMA to streamline HMGP activities and implement the program in a timelier manner. During the past few months, Risk Reduction Division staff, regional mitigation staff, and several state hazard mitigation officers reviewed the HMGP process and identified several areas that are opportunities to streamline the HMGP.
The six areas (besides Program Administration by States and Advance Assistance) where FEMA and the States will collaborate to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of HMGP include:
- Minimum criteria for complete application
- Timeframes for review actions and decisions
- Phasing projects
- Industry cost guides for estimates
- Industry design and construction standards
- Pre-calculated benefits
These areas of opportunities are the first phase of our ongoing efforts to seek continuous improvements to HMGP. We will continue to incorporate efficiencies and best practices and encourage state partners, stakeholders and regional staff to identify additional actions as well.
Program Administration by States
SRIA directed FEMA to implement, on a pilot basis, a Hazard Mitigation Grant Program Administration by States (PAS). The PAS provides a framework for FEMA and its partner states to better utilize their collective resources to efficiently and effectively implement HMGP.
Advance Assistance Pilot
SRIA gives FEMA the authority to provide up to 25 percent of the amount of estimated HMGP costs to states in advance of incurring eligible costs. The purpose of Advance Assistance is to provide states resources to develop mitigation strategies and obtain data to prioritize, select and develop complete HMGP applications in a timely manner. FEMA expects states that receive Advance Assistance to submit complete project applications up to or over the HMGP ceiling by the application deadline.
FEMA will implement Advance Assistance on a pilot basis initially in Sandy-declared states, and limit the amount of assistance to 25 percent of HMGP ceiling or $10 million, whichever is less. Advance Assistance is not automatic. States may request Advance Assistance by submitting an HMGP application form (or the attached optional application template) to the Mitigation Division Director. The application must identify the proposed use of the funds, including costs in sufficient detail for each proposed activity and milestones for submitting completed HMGP applications to FEMA. Advance Assistance is subject to the HMGP cost share requirements and strategic funds management (i.e., FEMA will not obligate funds until the state has an immediate need for the funds). Advance Assistance is part of the HMGP ceiling amount. Attached is a list of frequently asked questions that explains how Advance Assistance will work.
- Advance Assistance Frequently Asked Questions
- Advance Assistance Sandy Optional Application
- Advance Assistance Expanded to All States
On April 16, 2013, Roy Wright, Deputy Associate Administrator for Mitigation, FIMA, distributed the attached memorandum “Advance Assistance for HMGP under SRIA” describing implementation of Advance Assistance for Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) costs on a pilot basis in Sandy-declared states.
On May 24, 2013, an amended memorandum (attached) was signed to expand the pilot basis for “any State or Tribe having a declaration with an open application period.
Guidance for Use of Best Available Data
This information will serve as “best available data” for FEMA-funded recovery programs. The memo formalizes the position that FEMA investments in recovery for 4085 are made with up to date science and analysis. The data is expected to be available in mid-December.
As the data is developed and finalized, an extensive public outreach effort will begin, including the Governor’s office; NY Congressional Delegation; local officials; and property owners. Under the NDRF, we are undertaking the same outreach with the recovery support functions.
Advisory Base Flood Elevations will be in effect in New Jersey and New York in the following counties:
New Jersey (Impacting 194 communities)
- Atlantic County
- Bergen County
- Burlington County
- Cape May County
- Essex County
- Hudson County
- Middlesex County
- Monmouth County
- Ocean County
- Union County
New York (Impacting 27 communities)
- Bronx County
- Kings County
- New York County
- Richmond County
- Queens County
- Westchester County
The Advisory Base Flood Elevations will include:
Advisory Data Layers by County: geospatial layers depicting Advisory Base Flood Elevations and zones, Sandy’s impact, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Coastal Barriers that communities can input into existing GIS systems to help drive decision making about zoning, building, and development;
Advisory Maps by County: maps depicting the Advisory Base Flood Elevations and Sandy’s impact as a reference for the updated elevations;
Methodology Report for Advisory Products: a report summarizing the methodologies, assumptions, and data sources used in developing the advisory data layers and maps.