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Property Owners and the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program

This web page provides information for property owners—both residential (homeowners) and business who seek to use Hazard Mitigation Grant Program funding.

Resources for Homeowners (Residential Properties)

Eligibility

The president can declare a major disaster for any natural event such as a hurricane, tornado, or earthquake. When a major disaster is declared, Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funding may be available to help homeowners rebuild their homes stronger than they were before the disaster. Mitigation activities help a community to build back better, safer, and stronger in order to reduce the risk of future damage from natural hazards.

To be considered for HMGP funding, your home must be located in a state that received a Presidential Disaster Declaration.

Your state and community must have an approved hazard mitigation plan.  

For projects located within a Special Flood Hazard Area, the local community must be a member of the National Flood Insurance Program in good standing (not on probation, suspended, or withdrawn).

Your home rebuilding project must be cost-effective, technically feasible, environmentally sound, comply with all relevant regulations, and approved by FEMA.

Working with the community to apply

As an individual, you cannot apply directly for Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funding. Rather, you will need to work with your local community as they develop an HMGP grant proposal. Discuss the hazards impacting your property and plans to mitigate with your local community leaders, planners, and engineers. If the community has not already made contact, you should meet with them and request that your property be included as part of a hazard mitigation application. The community will develop a scope of work, work schedule and detailed cost estimate for an HMGP grant application, but your interaction will help inform that process.

If your local jurisdiction is eligible for a grant, you can learn more through local sources, like your local jurisdiction’s website, local media outlets, flyers at the local library or public forums (such as town hall hosted by your local officials where they explain the application process and how to work together), or announcements in newspapers, or on the radio, television and online.

Benefits of Mitigation

  • Reduces losses from natural disasters in the future.
  • Increases the strength of your home to withstand severe weather, flooding, wind, seismic, wildfire, and other natural hazard events .
  • Lowers the cost of your homeowner’s insurance premiums.
  • Increases the value of your property.
  • Reduces the amount of money you spend. Federal funding generally pays up to 75% of mitigation costs, the applicant is responsible for the remaining 25%.

Application Review

Your local government develops and submits Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) project applications to the state based on mitigation strategies identified in their hazard mitigation plan. Completed applications are sent to the respective state office that manages the process for HMGP grants. Based on the FEMA-approved Hazard Mitigation Plan and funding priorities, the state, tribe, or territory will forward completed applications to FEMA for funding.

FEMA will review applications for cost-effectiveness, technical feasibility and environmental planning, and historic preservation compliance. When projects have been approved for funding, FEMA will notify the state, tribe or territory, which will notify local governments. Once funding is approved, the local community is responsible for managing the sub-grant to ensure the scope of work, work schedule, and budget are consistent with the approved application.

Funding for Hazard Mitigation Grant Programs are submitted based on the priorities listed in a community’s FEMA-approved Hazard Mitigation Plan. Government officials at the state, local, tribal and territorial levels prioritize which project plans they will submit.

Work Begins Only After Approval

HMGP funded projects must not begin until the local community has been notified that the project has been approved. Work done prior to FEMA’s review and approval will not be reimbursed by FEMA, except basic repair work necessary to make your home habitable.

After approval, FEMA will work with the state, which will work with the local community to complete the project. Depending upon the nature and complexity of a given proposal, the local community may oversee the entire project; or they may allow the property owner to implement some of the project.

Reimbursement

To meet FEMA’s requirements for reimbursement, you must keep detailed records of payments to contractors. Your local officials will ask you to provide compliance documentation so they can finalize the project and approve reimbursement requests. FEMA will reimburse you only after the approved work has been completed.

Resources for Businesses

The process for inclusion in an HMGP grant application from a local community is the same for business entities as it is for individual homeowners as described above. Additional resources for both homeowners and businesses can be found below.

Additional Resources

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Before the next wildfire comes, you can make changes to reduce the likelihood that your home or business will be damaged or destroyed.

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This brochure answers some common questions homeowners have about implementing post-disaster projects that reduce future damage to their homes.

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This document provides information on Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC) coverage. ICC coverage is one of several resources available for flood insurance policyholders who need additional help rebuilding after a flood.

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This job aid is a form that can be used by a National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policyholder to assign their Increased Cost Compliance (ICC) payment to their community. Some communities use ICC payments assigned to them by NFIP policyholders to cover their fund match requirements for Hazard Mitigation Assistance grants.

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The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has prepared this guide specifically for homeowners who want to protect their homes from flooding. It provides clear information about the options available to you and straightforward guidance that will help you make decisions.

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Having a safe room built for your home can help provide near-absolute protection for you and your family.

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This publication is primarily intended for homeowners, builders, and contractors, but can also be used by design professionals and local officials for decision-making guidance on tornado and hurricane safe rooms. Design professionals and other readers seeking more technical guidance should refer to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA’s) FEMA P-361, Safe Rooms for Tornadoes and Hurricanes: Guidance for Community and Residential Safe Rooms (2015).