Hazard Mitigation Grant Programs: Frequently Ask Questions

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What Is The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program?
The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) provides grants to States and local governments to implement long-term hazard mitigation measures after a major disaster declaration. Authorized under Section 404 of the Stafford Act and administered by FEMA, HMGP was created to reduce the loss of life and property due to natural disasters. The program enables mitigation measures to be implemented during the immediate recovery from a disaster.

What Types Of Projects Can Be Funded By The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program?
Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funds may be used to fund projects that will reduce or eliminate the losses from future disasters. Projects must provide a long-term solution to a problem, for example, elevation of a home to reduce the risk of flood damages as opposed to buying sandbags and pumps to fight the flood. In addition, a project's potential savings must be more than the cost of implementing the project. Funds may be used to protect either public or private property or to purchase property that has been subjected to, or is in danger of, repetitive damage. Examples of projects include, but are not limited to: Acquisition of real property for willing sellers and demolition or relocation of buildings to convert the property to open space use, Retrofitting structures and facilities to minimize damages from high winds, earthquake, flood, wildfire, or other natural hazards, Elevation of flood prone structures, Development and initial implementation of vegetative management programs, Minor flood control projects that do not duplicate the flood prevention activities of other federal agencies Localized flood control projects, such as certain ring levees and floodwall systems, that are designed specifically to protect critical facilities, and Post-disaster building code related activities that support building code officials during the reconstruction process.

Who is Eligible to Apply?
Hazard Mitigation Grant Program funding is available, when authorized under a Presidential major disaster declaration, in the areas of the State requested by the Governor.  At the State’s request, HMGP may also be available statewide. Eligible applicants include: State and local governments Indian tribes or other tribal organizations Certain non-profit organizations Individual homeowners and businesses may not apply directly to the program; however a community may apply on their behalf.

How do I apply for the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program?
Following a disaster declaration, the state will advertise that Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funding is available to fund mitigation projects in the state. Those interested in applying to the HMGP should contact their local government to begin the application process. Local governments should contact their State Hazard Mitigation Officer.

 

How can I get more information about the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program?
For more information on the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, contact your State Hazard Mitigation Officer or the FEMA Regional Office in your area


How much money is available in the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program?
The amount of funding available for the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) under a particular disaster declaration is limited. The program may provide a state with up to 15 percent of the total disaster grants awarded by FEMA. States that meet higher mitigation planning criteria may qualify for a higher percentage under the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000. FEMA can fund up to 75 percent of the eligible costs of each project. The state or grantee must provide a 25 percent match, which can be fashioned from a combination of cash and in-kind sources. Funding from other federal sources cannot be used for the 25 percent share with one exception. Funding provided to states under the Community Development Block Grant program from the Department of Housing and Urban Development can be used to meet the non-federal share requirement.


What Is The Deadline for Applying for The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program funds?
Applications for mitigation projects are encouraged as soon as possible after the disaster occurs so that opportunities to do mitigation are not lost during reconstruction. The state will set a deadline for application submittal. You should contact your State Hazard Mitigation Officer for specific application dates.


What Are The Minimum Project Criteria?
There are five issues you must consider when determining the eligibility of a proposed project.

  • Does your project conform to your State's Hazard Mitigation Plan?
  • Does your project provide a beneficial impact on the disaster area, i.e. the State?
  • Does your application meet the environmental requirements?
  • Does your project solve a problem independently?
  • Is your project cost-effective?


How are potential projects selected and identified?
The state's administrative plan governs how projects are selected for funding. However, proposed projects must meet certain minimum criteria. These criteria are designed to ensure that the most cost-effective and appropriate projects are selected for funding. Both the law and the regulations require that the projects are part of an overall mitigation strategy for the disaster area. The state prioritizes and selects project applications developed and submitted by local jurisdictions. The state forwards applications consistent with state mitigation planning objectives to FEMA for eligibility review. Funding for this grant program is limited and states and local communities must make difficult decisions as to the most effective use of grant funds.


How long will it take to get my project approved?
It is important for applicants to understand the approval process. Once eligible projects are selected by the state, they are forwarded to the FEMA Regional Office where they are reviewed to ensure compliance with federal laws and regulations. One such law is the National Environmental Policy Act, passed by Congress in 1970, which requires FEMA to evaluate the potential environmental impacts of each proposed project. The time required for the environmental review depends on the complexity of the project.


Why Didn't I Receive Hazard Mitigation Grant Program Funds When Some Of My Neighbors Did?
The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) is administered by the state, which prioritizes and selects project applications developed and submitted by local jurisdictions. The state forwards applications consistent with state mitigation planning objectives to FEMA for eligibility review. Although individuals may not apply directly to the state for assistance, local governments may sponsor an application on their behalf. Funding for the grant program is limited and states and local communities must make difficult decisions as to the most effective use of available grant funds.


Will I Be Forced To Sell My Home If My Community Is Granted Funding for A Hazard Mitigation Grant Program Acquisition Project?
Acquisition projects funded under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) are voluntary and you are under no obligation to sell your home. Communities consider other options when preparing projects, but it may be determined by state and local officials that the most effective mitigation measure in a location is the acquisition of properties and the removal of residents and structures from the hazard area. Despite the effectiveness of property acquisitions, it may not make you or your family whole again. Acquisition projects are based on the principle of fair compensation for property. Property acquisitions present owners with an opportunity to recoup a large part of their investment in property that probably has lost some, if not most of its value due to damage. But, it will not compensate you or your family for your entire emotional and financial loss.




Will Someone Be Able To Rebuild & Make A Profit On The Property I Sell in A Hazard Mitigation Grant Program Acquisition Project?
Under the Stafford Act, any land purchased with Hazard Mitigation Grant Program funds must be restricted to open space, recreational, and wetlands management uses in perpetuity. Most often, a local government takes responsibility, but even if a state or federal agency takes ownership of the land, the deed restrictions still apply.

Last Updated: 
06/24/2013 - 09:13
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