Earthquakes cannot be prevented, but their impacts on life, property and the economy can be managed. Congress first authorized the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) in 1977 (Public Law 95-124) to “reduce the risks of life and property from future earthquakes in the United States.” The most recent reauthorization was Public Law 115-307, signed in December 2018.
FEMA makes federal funds available annually through its NEHRP State Assistance Grant. This grant is made to individual states and territories at high and very high-risk of earthquakes, and nonprofit organizations as defined by Title 2 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 200.70 and institutions of higher education as defined by Title 2 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 200.55.
All activities funded by FEMA must be consistent with the following National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program vision, mission, and strategic goals:
A nation that is ready and capable to withstand, respond to, and recover from earthquakes and their consequences.
Develop, advance and disseminate knowledge, tools, practices, and policies to enhance the nation’s capabilities to withstand, respond to, and recover from earthquakes and their consequences.
The program prioritizes reducing the risks to life and property from future earthquakes in the United States through the establishment and maintenance of an effective earthquake hazards reduction program. The NEHRP program goals are:
- Advance the understanding of earthquake processes and their consequences.
- Enhance existing and develop new information, tools, and practices for protecting the nation from earthquake consequences.
- Promote the dissemination of knowledge and implementation of tools, practices, and policies that enhance strategies to withstand, respond to, and recover from earthquakes.
- Learn from post-earthquake investigations to enhance the effectiveness of available information, tools, practices, and policies to improve earthquake resilience.
For Fiscal Year 2023, FEMA will distribute $2,145,416 to individual states and territories determined to have a high to very high-risk of earthquakes and up to $1.159 million to nonprofit organizations and institutions of higher education to reduce seismic risk.
Individual State Earthquake Assistance. states and territories that have been determined to have a high or very high-risk of earthquakes. Eligibility is further limited to those states or territories who can provide the statutory 25% non-federal cost share.
Multi-State and National Earthquake Assistance. Nonprofit organizations as defined by Title 2 Code of Federal Regulations (2 C.F.R.) Section 200.70 and higher education institutions as defined by 2 C.F.R. Section 200.55 with a demonstrated capability and capacity to develop, promote and deliver national and/or multi-state seismic risk reduction activities.
Determination of Risk
Individual State Earthquake Assistance (ISEA) funding is allocated based on a determination of risk, and not as a competitive grant award process. The risk determination is made and published annually by FEMA as the State Assistance Target Allocation Plan.
The Fiscal Year 2023 plan determination is based on the Seismic Design Category (SDC) per the 2020 NEHRP Recommended Seismic Provisions for New Buildings and Other Structures FEMA P-2082 as outlined by the following:
- American Society of Civil Engineers and Structural Engineering Institute ASCE/SEI 7-22 Minimum Design Loads and Associated Criteria for Buildings and Other Structures
- International Code Council (ICC) approved 2024 International Building Code (IBC) SDC map and at-risk population in a state
- A state or territory of high earthquake risk (with areas in the state boundary designated as SDC D or above per the 2024 IBC SDC map and at-risk population more than 50,000 based on 2020 US Census population. A state that has over 1000 square miles of high seismic area (SDC D or above per 2024 IBC SDC map) will be eligible for a baseline amount plus an additional risk-based award amount.
Applicants should be aware that changes in areas of earthquake hazard within the state or territory and changes in population size affect the determination.
The additional amount is in proportion to the state or territory’s Annualized Earthquake Loss (AEL), which is from the FEMA P-366 HAZUS Estimated Annualized Earthquake Losses for the United States.
A cost share is required for all Individual State Earthquake Assistance grants funded under this program. The non-federal cost share may consist of cash, donated or third-party in-kind services, materials, or any combination thereof.
- FEMA will provide 100% federal funding for management costs. The cost share for Individual Earthquake Assistance grants is 75% federal/25% non-federal.
- For insular areas, including Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands, FEMA automatically waives the non-federal cost share for the recipient when the non-federal cost share for the entire award is under $200,000.
A cost share is not required for Multi-state and National Earthquake Assistance grants funded under this program.
National Review Panel
Multi-State and National Earthquake Assistance grant funding is determined through a competitive process that includes an Initial Eligibility Review and National Panel Review.
- Prior to application consideration, FEMA will conduct an initial review of all applications to verify applicant eligibility and ensure each application is complete. FEMA will not process incomplete applications for further review and will not consider them for funding.
- All eligible and complete applications will progress to the FEMA Program Office where it will be evaluated and scored by a National Panel of FEMA subject matter experts.
- Applications will be reviewed and scored by a review panel comprised of personnel from FEMA.
- Applicants that do not meet initial eligibility and application submission requirements will not be evaluated and scored by the national review panel.
- The panel will evaluate each applicant’s experience, proposed work plan, deliverable schedule, anticipated outcomes, and proposed budget.
Application and Funding Deadlines
To apply for funding made available for Fiscal Year 2023 through the FEMA NEHRP State Assistance Grant Program, applicants must adhere to the following application and funding deadlines:
Application Opening: May 8, 2023
Application Deadline: June 7, 2023, at 5 p.m. Eastern Time
Anticipated Funding Selection Date: July 10, 2023
Anticipated Award Date: July 24, 2023
Period of Performance (POP) Start Date: Aug. 1, 2023
End Date: Jan. 31, 2025
- Applicants must submit their final application using FEMA’s Grants Outcomes System (FEMA GO).
Applicants needing technical assistance with the FEMA GO system should contact the FEMA GO Helpdesk at email@example.com or 877- 611-4700, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. ET. We encourage you to visit the FEMA Grants Outcomes (FEMA GO) webpage that includes the following resources:
The resources below provide additional information about NEHRP, the FEMA NEHRP State Assistance program and the National Earthquake Technical Assistance Program:
General questions about the FEMA NEHRP State Assistance Grant Program can be sent to FEMA-NEHRP@fema.dhs.gov.