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Build Resiliency in Your Community: 5 Reasons to Apply for FEMA’s Direct Technical Assistance

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Every community should take steps to be disaster resilient. However, not every community has the resources they need to make that happen. FEMA’s Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities Direct Technical Assistance (BRIC DTA) initiative empowers underserved communities and Tribal nations to request hands-on, non-financial technical support from BRIC DTA. FEMA then works with the community to give them the tools they need to build disaster resiliency. 

There are currently 74 communities and tribal nations that are receiving this type of assistance. This includes 26 communities and 20 Tribal nations that are part of the BRIC DTA initiative over the next year. 

Here are five reasons why your community should consider requesting BRIC Direct Technical Assistance. 

1 – It provides no cost assistance with hazard planning. 

When a community or Tribal Nation is selected, FEMA provides free technical support to help advance mitigation planning, project development and BRIC application-specific needs throughout the grant lifecycle, from pre-sub application activities to closeout.  

2 – Your community is likely eligible.

Most communities are eligible for BRIC DTA. Those eligible to apply include:

  • Cities.
  • Towns/Townships.
  • Boroughs.
  • Parishes.
  • Counties.
  • Territories.
  • Special District Governments.
  • Federally recognized Tribal governments.
  • Groups of two or more communities that fit the above criteria.

3 – It helps you understand your communities’ risks.

BRIC DTA helps you to understand the natural hazards your community may face, and then assists you in developing a plan to address them.

Jamestown, New York is an example of one community that receives direct technical assistance. Jamestown’s infrastructure is aging, and the town is threatened with floods, high winds and other severe weather incidents. FEMA has helped them to:

  • Inventory their infrastructure assets and assess their vulnerability.
  • Organize a stakeholder group and community engagement strategy.
  • Develop a holistic and equitable Climate Action Plan and scope mitigation projects for future funding opportunities that will help address their vulnerabilities. 

4 – It assists you with developing partnerships in your community.

The BRIC DTA initiative supports efforts to leverage partnerships that can enhance a community’s capability and capacity to be more competitive in applying for disaster resilience funding.

In the neighborhood of Eastwick, in Philadelphia, PA, the BRIC Direct Technical Assistance team acted as the interagency coordination lead, bringing together partners who could help the community assess and plan for flood risk. This included the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Housing and Urban Development (HUD), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  They also had the opportunity to engage with community-based organizations and local non-profits. 

The support the community received led to a successful BRIC sub application for project scoping, which was selected for further review in this year’s BRIC grant cycle. 

5 – You receive assistance when applying for grant funding.

Some communities may not have the funding and/or resources to make their communities disaster resilient. BRIC Direct Technical Assistance can help your community complete risk assessments, analyze projects, identify the right funding opportunities, and provide support throughout the sub application process.

The federally recognized Chippewa Cree Tribe, located on the Rocky Boy’s Reservation in north-central Montana, used BRIC Direct Technical Assistance. The tribe is dependent on a local rural electric cooperative and—even though the reservation is the largest customer base—they experience regular power outages and long lead times for service restoration.

FEMA supported the tribe in developing a project scoping sub application that was selected for further review under this year’s BRIC grant cycle. The project focuses on conceptualizing a solar array project to connect to a micro-grid. The micro grid will supply power to multiple critical tribal buildings, including Stone Child College and the Rocky Boy Health Center.

FEMA will continue to provide support to the Tribe throughout grant management and project closeout. 

How can your community learn more about BRIC DTA?

If you’re interested in requesting BRIC Direct Technical Assistance, you can learn more in the upcoming webinar on Sept. 13, 2 – 3:30 pm ET. To register visit: Webinar: BRIC Direct Technical Assistance | FEMA.gov

To learn more about the BRIC Direct Technical Assistance initiative, visit BRIC Direct Technical Assistance | FEMA.gov. For questions, please email: FEMA-BRIC-DTA-Submission@fema.dhs.gov.

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