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Getting Started and Applying to the Safeguarding Tomorrow RLF Program

Getting Started

Establish a Revolving Loan Fund

To apply, eligible entities must establish a revolving loan fund to be administered by the agency responsible for emergency management.  Entities are not required to enact enabling legislation to be eligible for participation in the program. Entities may use existing authorities that give their emergency management agency the authority to apply for and manage the Safeguarding Tomorrow RLF program.

An entity may combine the financial administration of the entity loan fund with the financial administration of any other revolving fund established by the entity, given certain requirements are met.

Develop a Required Intended Use Plan and Local Government Project Proposal List

Entities interested in applying must complete a capitalization grant application, develop an Intended Use Plan and a local government project proposal list. The capitalization grant application materials are  available at the bottom of this page under the Capitalization Grant Application Materials section.

The Intended Use Plan provides information to FEMA about goals for the entity loan fund, the criteria for the distribution of loans, and the process for management of the loan fund. FEMA will review the Intended Use Plan to ensure it is developed in accordance with the statutory requirements. Entities will be required to update it on an annual basis to ensure continued compliance. The entity must provide the Intended Use Plan to the public for review and comment before submitting it with the application. This also must be documented in the application.

  • Entities must also develop local government project proposal list. FEMA will require applications to include local government project proposals and documentation showing the entity provided public notice at least six weeks prior to submission of their application which invited local governments within their jurisdiction to submit hazard mitigation project proposals.  .
  • Entities may use the public notice process that best reaches their local communities. Documentation must be included with an application indicating this public notice requirement.
  • Entities will determine their planned uses for this funding based on their unique mitigation needs and priorities.
  • Entities will work with their local governments to solicit project proposals and will determine which projects and activities to include within their grant application materials. FEMA will provide guidance materials, training, and technical assistance to eligible entities for completing application materials.

The program will prioritize partnerships between entities for projects which account for larger, regional impacts, or address major economic sectors or infrastructure.  These partnerships are to occur between two eligible entities working together to support a project. Each entity may list these projects on their respective project proposal lists as appropriate.

FEMA will not require applicants to submit a benefit-cost analysis (BCA).

Loan recipients must establish a dedicated source of revenue for repayment. Entities are encouraged to work with local governments to understand potential revenue streams that can support projects and activities. Entities should incorporate into the appropriate section of their Intended Use Plan any entity-specific revenue stream requirements for their entity loan fund.

Hazard Mitigation Plan

An entity must have a FEMA-approved State or Tribal Hazard Mitigation Plan.  As part of the application process, entities must include an assessment of recurring major disaster vulnerabilities that demonstrate a risk to life and property. In addition, a proposal of the systematic and regional approach to achieve resilience in a vulnerable area must be provided. This information should be in the FEMA-approved hazard mitigation plans and entities can cite and link to their existing plans.

Cost-Match

Capitalization grant recipients must deposit an amount that is at least 10% of the amount of the grant into the loan fund, as a condition of receiving funding. On or before the date on which the capitalization grant is received, entities must contribute to the entity loan fund an amount equal to at least 10% of the capitalization grant. If an entity contributes less than 10%, FEMA will reduce the amount of the capitalization grant to whatever amount is 10 times that of what the entity contributes. To ensure the accessibility of loans from local communities, entities may not use contributions from loan recipients to source the entity contribution.

Capitalization Grant Award

FEMA has considered the administrative burden on entities and anticipates making available no less than $5.1 million per capitalization grant application selected for funding with this first funding opportunity.

FEMA will leverage a variety of factors in making awards. If necessary, applications that pass the eligibility criteria review may be evaluated further. Grant application materials will be reviewed and entities will be awarded amounts based on availability of funds, quality of applications, and other applicable considerations such as alignment with the priorities established in Section 205(d)(3) of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Recovery and Emergency Assistance Act.  In addition, grants awarded will align with the agency’s resilience and equity goals.

FEMA will incorporate best practices learned from participating entities into subsequent funding opportunities and program policies.  FEMA will also collaborate with eligible entities to develop their capitalization grant applications.

Applying

  • To apply for funding made available, applicants must adhere to the application and funding deadlines. The application period opens on Feb. 1, 2023.
  • Eligible applicants must apply for funding using the Non-Disaster (ND) Grants management system. Applications must be received by April 28, 2023 (3 p.m. Eastern Time).
  • The period of performance for capitalization grants will be 24 months from the date of award. The projected period of performance start date will vary by award.

Capitalization Grant Application Materials

Initial applications are processed through the Grants.gov portal. Final applications are to be completed and submitted through FEMA’s Non-Disaster (ND Grants) System.

To be eligible, applicants must submit to FEMA’s ND Grants System:

  • Completed Capitalization Grant Application.
  • Intended Use Plan that has been published by the applicant for public review and comment prior to submitting an application.
  • (Local Government) Project Proposal List that results from a public notice of no less than six weeks in length, inviting hazard mitigation project proposals from local governments. A template for that project proposal is available.

More detailed eligibility information and application instructions are available within the NOFO on Grants.gov.

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For more information, contact FEMA-STORMRLF@fema.dhs.gov.