How to Apply For and Manage Grants

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The Hazard Mitigation Application (HMA) grant application process is briefly outlined below. 

The entire grant application process is explained in detail in the FY15 HMA Guidance document.

Are you an eligible subapplicant?

Individuals and businesses are not eligible to apply directly to FEMA for HMA grant funding; however, an eligible Applicant can apply to FEMA on your behalf.  Generally, state agencies, federally-recognized tribes, and local governments and communities may apply to all 3 HMA grant programs (HMG, FMA, and PDM). Private non-profit organizations can apply for HMGP funding only.  [link to a description of the different grant programs]  A table of eligible subapplicants is listed below.   

Eligible Subapplicants

State Agencies, Federally-Recognized Tribes, and Local Governments and Communities may apply to all three HMA grant programs. Private non-profit organizations can apply for HMGP funding only.

(1) Local governments/community may include non-federally recognized tribes, or consistent with definition of local government at 44 CFR 201.2, may include any Indian tribe or authorized tribal organization, or Alaska Native village or organization that is not federally recognized per 25 U.S.C. 479a et seq.


What mitigation activity do you want to accomplish?

Only specific types of mitigation activities are funded by HMA programs; these are referred to as eligible activities.  Generally, a mitigation project must reduce the risk to people, structures, or infrastructure in order to be eligible.  A project must be “stand-alone” and not dependent on a contingent action to be effective or feasible.  Preparedness activities or temporary measures are not funded under HMA programs.  Activities required as a result of negligence or unperformed maintenance (i.e. repairs for a code violation) are also not eligible for HMA funding. A comprehensive table of all eligible mitigation project types can be found in the guidance or through this eligible activities link. 

Some of the more common eligible expenses and their associated project types are:

  • Property Acquisition: closing costs, demolition, real popery appraisal, fair market value of the property or rental assistance
  • Elevation: engineering services, new foundation, elevation of structure, survey and soil sampling, or utility connection
  • Residential Safe Room: construction of a new safe room and pre-fabricated safe room installation


Who pays for the project?

Generally, FEMA pays up to 75 percent for hazard mitigation projects. The remaining 25 percent is the responsibility of the homeowner, unless the subapplicant has identified an alternative payment method. The state, territory, or federally-recognized tribe may have a different cost-sharing strategy.

For example, if your mitigation project cost is $200,000, FEMA will pay 75 percent ($150,000) of the cost. The homeowner is responsible for the remaining 25 percent (or $50,000)

Homeowners may receive funding assistance through:

  • Increased Cost of Compliance payments
  • Insurance payments
  • U.S. Small Business Administration disaster loans
  • State, territory, federally-recognized tribe, and/or local government
  • Donated resources


How are applications generally submitted to FEMA?

Generally, local governments develop HMA applications in coordination with State’s mitigation strategies.  The applications are submitted to the state, territory, or Federally-recognized tribal government and then to FEMA. Depending on grant type, the submittal process will be slightly different for HMGP, PDM, and FMA.


What is the FEMA review process for applications?

FEMA reviews the submitted applications for: eligibility, cost effectiveness, feasibility, and environmental laws and regulations that may impact the project.  FEMA reviews the application to validate the accuracy and credibility of data provided.  For more information on the FEMA review process, please refer to the FY15 HMA Guidance.


Common Do’s and Don’ts

  • Do contact your mitigation point of contact. Contact your State Hazard Mitigation Officer, Federally-recognized tribe, or local government official to obtain further information on the HMA application process.
  • Do consider other funding sources. The HMA application process may take several months and may not cover all required construction costs.

Do NOT start work until receiving notification from your state/tribal/local government official. FEMA does not reimburse costs for work already started or completed prior to FEMA review and approval. Other than basic repair work to make your residence habitable, any significant structural modification work will not only be ineligible for reimbursement but also make ineligible for the program


Last Updated: 
08/25/2015 - 16:54
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