This document provides answers to frequently asked questions relating to the Fiscal Year 2023 Regional Catastrophic Preparedness Grant Program.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Fiscal Year 2023 Regional Catastrophic Preparedness Grant Program?
The Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 Regional Catastrophic Preparedness Grant Program (RCPGP), as authorized and appropriated by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023 (Pub. L. No. 117-328), provides funding to close known preparedness capability gaps, encourage innovative regional solutions to issues related to catastrophic incidents, and build on existing regional preparedness efforts.
What is the purpose of the FY 2023 RCPGP?
The purpose of the FY 2023 RCPGP is to build regional capacity to manage catastrophic incidents by improving and expanding collaboration for catastrophic incident preparedness. In support of the 2022-2026 FEMA Strategic Plan, the strategic priorities for the FY 2023 RCPGP are housing, equity, climate resilience, and readiness.
Recognizing the value of all-hazards emergency preparedness planning and consistent with the strategic priorities, FY 2023 RCPGP applicants are expected to focus their project proposals on the Core Capabilities of Housing, Community Resilience, and Long-Term Vulnerability Reduction based on need identified through the Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (THIRA)/Stakeholder Preparedness Review (SPR) process. Additionally, applicants should consider the specific needs of disadvantaged communities and involve representatives from the affected communities in the development and execution of proposed projects to ensure their needs are sufficiently addressed.
How much funding is available under the FY 2023 RCPGP?
In FY 2023, the RCPGP will competitively award $12 million, which is consistent with FY 2022.
How many awards are anticipated?
FEMA anticipates that approximately 5-10 awards will be made. Applicants are eligible to apply for up to, but no more than, $3 million.
Where is the FY 2023 RCPGP Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) located?
Who is eligible to apply?
States, as defined by 2 C.F.R. § 200.1 (this definition includes the District of Columbia and territories), and local governments, as defined by 2 C.F.R. § 200.1, are eligible to apply for FY 2023 RCPGP funds. The following eligibility restrictions for these groups apply:
- A state or territory is eligible to apply if one or more of the 100 most populous Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) per the Census Bureau’s 2021 Population Estimates (as listed in Appendix A of the FY 2023 RCPGP NOFO: 100 Most Populous Metropolitan Statistical Areas ) is located within the state or territory.
- Additionally, the state or territory must obtain the support of the relevant MSA to apply on its behalf. See Section D.10.b Program-Specific Required Forms and Information in the FY 2023 RCPGP NOFO for additional details on this requirement.
- Local governments must be located within one of the 100 most populous MSAs. FEMA will accept no more than one application per MSA.
Additional guidance on RCPGP-specific eligibility is available in the NOFO.
What must applications include?
In addition to the required project narrative, budget worksheet and narrative, and standard application forms and agreements as noted in Section D.11 of the NOFO, FY 2023 RCPGP applications must include:
- For States and Territories Only: A written, signed statement explaining the statewide or multi-state impact of the proposed investment and attesting to the advance coordination and support of at least one of the Nation’s 100 most populous MSAs located within the state or territory.
- For Local Governments Only: A written, signed statement certifying that the applicant’s chief executive (e.g., mayor, city manager, county executive) and, as applicable, the chief executive of the first principal city of the MSA, supports the application as the local government’s single application being submitted for consideration by FEMA.
- All Applicants: Names of all entities partnering on the project, including but not limited to state, local, tribal, and territorial governments, non-profit organizations, and other non-government entities. Partner entities can extend beyond the boundaries of the state/territory or MSA and can be in other states/territories or MSAs for the purposes of regional collaboration.
- All Applicants: Letters of support from partner entities or a written, signed statement certifying the involvement and support of all partner entities that will participate in the proposed project and, if applicable, information on the relationship between the applicant and partnering entities (e.g., existing letters of cooperation/support or administrative agreements, such as Memoranda of Understanding [MOU]).
- All Applicants: A list of all counties and disadvantaged communities that will be involved in the project and will directly benefit from the project, including the Census tract numbers associated with each disadvantaged community based on the Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool (CEJST).
How must the applications be submitted?
Applying for an RCPGP award is a multi-step process; the registration process can take four weeks or more to complete. Therefore, applicants are encouraged to register in sufficient time to not hinder their ability to meet required submission deadlines. Please refer to Section D in the FY 2023 RCPGP NOFO for detailed information and instructions.
Eligible applicants should submit their initial application at least three days prior to the 5 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) July 24, 2023 application deadline through the Grants.gov portal at www.grants.gov. For Grants.gov support, applicants should contact the Grants.gov customer support hotline at (800) 518-4726 or firstname.lastname@example.org 24 hours a day, seven days a week except federal holidays.
After the initial application is submitted in Grants.gov, applicants will be notified by FEMA to proceed with submitting their complete application package in the Non-Disaster (ND) Grants System by the application deadline. If technical support is needed with the ND Grants System, applicants should contact email@example.com or (800) 865- 4076, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. ET.
Completed applications must be submitted no later than 5 p.m. ET on July 24, 2023. Please refer to the FY 2023 RCPGP NOFO for more details.
- What are the key dates associated with the FY 2023 RCPGP?
- May 23, 2023: Release date for the FY 2023 RCPGP NOFO and opening of application period.
- July 24, 2023, 5 p.m. ET: Applications due to FEMA.
- September 1, 2023: Anticipated allocation announcement date.
- No later than September 30, 2023: All FY 2023 RCPGP awards made.
What is the period of performance?
The period of performance is 36 months.
How will applications be evaluated?
Applications must conform to the guidance provided in the FY 2023 RCPGP NOFO. Applications that do not meet eligibility and submission requirements will not be evaluated. Accepted applications will be evaluated by a review panel comprised of FEMA subject matter experts using a scoring rubric. Below is a summary of the evaluation criteria. The needs of disadvantaged communities are factored into the scoring criteria. The full criteria can be found in Appendix C of the NOFO, which details the specific criteria aligned to each of the project narrative requirements and the maximum number of points an application can receive for each criterion. The four (4) base criteria earn up to 100 total possible points. The bonus criterion brings the total to 130 possible points.
1) Need: The applicant demonstrates a need for grant funds, including identifying their current capability and a gap/need for a project to build beyond current capability within the core capability of interest. (Possible Points: 0 – 20 maximum)
2) Project Design: The applicant demonstrates an effective and sustainable project approach for building their current capability within the 36-month period of performance, including the specific project implementation, project management, and regional collaboration approaches. (Possible Points: 0 – 35 maximum)
3) Impact: The applicant demonstrates the proposed project’s regional impact, including how the project will build the applicant’s capability, performance measures the project is expected to achieve, and how the project can be scaled or replicated to benefit national preparedness. (Possible Points: 0 – 25 maximum)
4) Budget:The applicant demonstrates a reasonable and cost-effective budget (based on the budget detail worksheet and project narrative), including explanation of reasonable project costs across the requested categories, the project’s relative cost effectiveness and sustainability, and the applicant’s ability to manage federal grants. (Possible Points: 0 – 20 maximum)
5) Bonus: Up to 30 bonus points will be applied for project proposals that:
- Provide education, tools, and training for emergency managers and other key stakeholders to identify and address the emerging risks and future conditions caused by climate change and increase community-level resilience within the identified disadvantaged communities;
- Provide education, tools, and training for emergency managers and other key stakeholders to support integration of climate change data into local planning, including hazard mitigation, emergency management, and community planning processes;
- Plan for and develop research-supported, proactive investments in community resilience;
- Benefit a relatively large number of census tracts that are identified as a disadvantaged community;
- Benefit multiple states or more than one of the top 100 most-populous MSAs; and/or
- Are submitted by a new or previously unsuccessful RCPGP applicant.
See Appendix C: Evaluation Criteria and Scoring in the FY 2023 RCPGP NOFO for additional details on scoring including how bonus points will be applied.
What other resources are available to address programmatic, technical, and financial questions?
FEMA Regional Offices issue, manage, and close out RCPGP awards. This includes conducting cash analysis, financial and programmatic monitoring, and audit resolution for the RCPGP program. The Regional Offices also provide technical assistance to RCPGP recipients. FEMA Regional Office contact information is available at fema.gov/fema-regional-contacts.
- Where can I go for more information?
- The FEMA Program Office provides support in addressing specific programmatic questions regarding the FY 2023 RCPGP. The Program Office can be reached by e-mail at FEMA-RCPGP@fema.dhs.gov.
- For additional program-specific information, please contact the FEMA Grants Information Desk at firstname.lastname@example.org OR at (800) 368-6498. Hours of operation are from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday.
- For support regarding financial grants management and budgetary technical assistance, applicants may contact the FEMA Award Administration Division Help Desk via e-mail at ASK-GMD@fema.dhs.gov.
- All inquiries and communications regarding the FEMA Environmental and Historic Preservation (EHP) review process, including the submittal of EHP review materials, should be sent to email@example.com. EHP Technical Assistance, including the EHP Screening Form, can be found online at www.fema.gov/grants/tools/environmental-historic/preparation-resources.