The Safeguarding Tomorrow Revolving Loan Fund is a program that enables states, eligible tribes, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia to issue loans to local governments for hazard mitigation.
The Safeguarding Tomorrow through Ongoing Risk Mitigation (STORM) Act became law on Jan. 1, 2021 and authorizes FEMA to provide capitalization grants to states, eligible federally recognized tribes, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia to establish revolving loan funds that provide hazard mitigation assistance for local governments to reduce risks from natural hazards and disasters. The Act amends the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act.
Federally recognized tribes must have received a major disaster declaration during the five-year period ending on Jan. 1, 2021 to be a participating entity.
Proposed Future Funding Opportunity
On Aug. 29, 2022, FEMA published the Notice of Intent for a future funding opportunity to provide no less than $50 million through the STORM Act's new Revolving Loan Fund program.
These low interest loans will allow jurisdictions to reduce vulnerability to natural disasters, foster greater community resilience and reduce disaster suffering.
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) became law on Nov. 15, 2021, fully funding the Safeguarding Tomorrow Revolving Loan Fund program and appropriating $100 million per year over five years for a total of $500 million. This will last through Fiscal Year 2026.
In other Hazard Mitigation Assistance grant programs, states and federally recognized tribes are pass-through entities which route subapplicant requests to FEMA for review. The STORM Act allows FEMA to empower these entities to make funding decisions and award loans directly.
As a new program, FEMA is ensuring that the Safeguarding Tomorrow Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) program development aligns with the intent of the STORM Act.
We are implementing necessary measures to prepare states, federally recognized tribes, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to apply for capitalization grants as well as manage and initiate loans to local communities.
Use Lessons Learned
A good first step is to work with your emergency management office to learn from others that have received revolving loan funds.
Guidelines for this funding are being developed to help participating and eligible entities be better positioned to increase climate resilience and recover from disasters more quickly. An Intended Use Plan is required for any participating entity receiving a capitalization grant for a revolving loan fund.
Comments may be submitted to FEMA-STORMRLF@fema.dhs.gov.