Before You Apply: Things to Know and Do Before for Hazard Mitigation Grant Program Funds



Cost Share Requirements and Pre-Awards

Management Costs


This page provides information state, local, tribal and territorial governments need to know before applying for HMGP funding. If you are a home or business owner, check out the property owners web page.

Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) may fund projects for:

  • Developing or updating a FEMA approved mitigation plan to help state, local, tribal, and territorial governments identify risks and plan for ways to reduce vulnerabilities from current and future hazards.
  • Planning-related activities related to the update of FEMA-approved Hazard Mitigation Plans, integrating risk assessment or mitigation strategy information from mitigation plans, building capacity through technical assistance, and evaluating the adoption of risk reduction ordinances.
  • Retrofitting existing buildings to make them less susceptible to damage from a variety of natural hazards.
  • Purchasing hazard prone property to remove people and structures from harm’s way. 
  • Utility and infrastructure retrofits to reduce risk of failure caused by natural hazards.
  • Drainage improvement projects to reduce potential for flood damage.
  • Slope stabilization projects to reduce risk to people and structures
  • Developing and adopting hazard mitigation plans, which are required for state, local, tribal and territorial governments to receive funding for their hazard mitigation projects.
  • Using aquifer storage and recovery, floodplain and stream restoration, flood diversion and storage, or green infrastructure methods to reduce the impacts of flood and drought.

Projects must:

  • Be cost-effective.
  • Be both feasible and effective at mitigating the risks of the hazard(s) for which the project was designed.
  • Must comply with all applicable Environmental Planning and Historic Preservation laws and regulations.
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A sampling of eligible project types is profiled in the Mitigation Action Portfolio (MAP) and serve as case studies in innovative mitigation at a variety of project scales.


presidential major disaster declaration makes HMGP funds available if requested by a governor or tribal executive in eligible communities in a state, tribe or territory. The amount of funding is based on the estimated total federal assistance, subject to a sliding scale formula.

Funding is based on the estimated total or aggregate cost of disaster assistance:

  • Up to 15% of the first $2 billion
  • Up to 10% for amounts between $2 billion and $10 billion
  • Up to 7.5% for amounts between $10 billion and $35.333 billion
  • States with enhanced mitigation plans: Up to 20%, not to exceed $35.333 billion.


Eligible states, territories, and federally recognized tribes can submit applications on behalf of subapplicants for HMGP funding via the National Emergency Management Information System (NEMIS), the grants management system to apply for and manage grants.

Homeowners, business operators, and non-profit organizations cannot apply directly to FEMA, but can be included in a subapplication submitted by an eligible subapplicant. For more information, please contact your local government or state to apply for HMGP funding.

Preliminary Damage Assessment

Following a hazard event, states, local governments, federally recognized tribes and territories are required to perform a joint preliminary disaster assessment of the impacted area with FEMA. This helps determine if a major disaster declaration is warranted and the amount and type of federal assistance needed. The PDA also helps to identify potential mitigation opportunities for FEMA funding.

Requests for Major Disaster Declarations

When a hazard event occurs in a state, the governor of a state, or the acting governor in his/her absence, may request a major disaster declaration. The governor should submit the request to the President through the appropriate Regional Administrator to ensure prompt acknowledgment and processing. The request must be submitted within 30 days of the occurrence of the incident in order to be considered. The 30-day period may be extended by the assistant administrator for the disaster assistance directorate, provided that a written request for an extension is submitted by the Governor, or Acting Governor, during this 30-day period (44 CFR, 206.36).

If the severity of the damage warrants a major disaster declaration, the Individual Assistance (IA)Public Assistance (PA) programs and the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program become potentially eligible for funding.

Applicants and Subapplicants

Applicants often determine mitigation priorities, which are generally aligned with HMGP’s visions and goals. Contacting the State Hazard Mitigation Officer (SHMO), or equivalent representative for a respective tribal government (federally recognized) or territory can be helpful in choosing which hazards pose the greatest threat and determining the best strategy for mitigation. From these broad mitigation strategies, subapplicants weigh public interest while targeting specific mitigation projects beneficial to their communities.

Entities interested in creating HMGP subapplications may contact town/city/county managers, planning, and or emergency management offices within local governments, including cities, townships, counties, special district governments, and tribal governments. For local governments, please contact your State Hazard Mitigation Officer to learn about the applicant’s priorities, deadlines, and additional requirements.

Applicant Eligibility Requirements

  • Applicants may include states, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories, and federally recognized tribes. federally recognized tribes are those under the Federally Recognized Indian Tribe List Act of 1994.
  • Each state, the District of Columbia, territory, and federally recognized tribes shall designate one agency to serve as the Applicant for HMGP funding. Each Applicant’s designated agency may submit only one HMGP grant application to FEMA. An application can be made up of an unlimited number of subapplications.
  • Applicants must have a FEMA-approved state or tribal Hazard Mitigation Plan at the time of the major presidential disaster declaration and at the time of obligation of grant funds.

Subapplicant Eligibility Requirements

  • Local governments, including cities, townships, counties, special district governments, state agencies, and tribal governments (including federally recognized tribes who choose to apply as subapplicants) can be considered subapplicants and must submit subapplications to their state/territory/tribal applicant agency.
  • Federally recognized tribes and non-federally recognized tribes can choose to apply as a subapplicant to an eligible state or territory.
  • Subapplicants, including special districts, must have an approved mitigation plan, which includes adoption, as part of the eligibility requirements.  

Cost Share Requirements and Pre-Award Costs

A non-federal cost share is required for all subapplications funded under HMGP and may consist of cash, donated or third-party in-kind services, materials, or any combination thereof. The cost share for HMGP is as follows:

  • Generally, the cost share is 75% federal and 25% non-federal funding. The 25% can come from the state or local government,  an individual, construction labor, Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC) funds from a flood insurance policy, or Small Business Administration loans. Check with your respective community, state, or tribe to determine your specific cost-share requirements.
  • For insular areas, including American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, 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. The applicant may request the waiver in its application.
  • One exception to the cost share requirement is FEMA will provide 100% federal funding for recipient and subrecipient management costs.

HMGP management costs are calculated as a percentage of the federal funds provided. There is no additional cost-share requirement for management costs.

When starting a funded project, remember the Period of Performance, which is the time when grant activities must be completed.

Pre-Award Costs

Pre-award costs are costs incurred after the HMA application period has opened, but prior to the date of the federal award or final approval, are identified as pre-award costs. For HMGP, the opening of the application period is the date when HMGP is authorized, which is generally the date of the Presidential Disaster Declaration.

Pre-award costs are costs directly related to developing the HMGP grant application or subapplication. Applicants and subapplicants who are not granted awards or subawards will not receive reimbursement for the corresponding pre-award costs.

Pre-award costs are incurred prior to the date of the grant award. There is no start date for when they can be incurred. They can be incurred any time prior to award. 

Management Costs

Management costs are any indirect costs and administrative expenses that are reasonably incurred by a Recipient or subrecipient in administering an award or subaward.

Eligible Applicant or subapplicant management cost activities may include:

  • Solicitation, review, and processing of subapplications and subawards
  • Subapplication development and technical assistance to subapplicants regarding feasibility and effectiveness and BCA
  • Geocoding mitigation projects identified for further review by FEMA
  • Delivery of technical assistance (e.g., plan reviews, planning workshops, training) to support the implementation of mitigation activities
  • Managing awards (e.g., quarterly reporting, closeout)
  • Technical monitoring (e.g., site visits, technical meetings)
  • Purchase of equipment, per diem and travel expenses, and professional development that is directly related to the implementation of HMA programs
  • Staff salary costs directly related to performing the activities listed above

Management costs are only awarded in conjunction with project or planning grants and subawards. For more information regarding management costs for HMGP, see Part VIII, A.5 of FY15 Hazard Mitigation Assistance Guidance.

Additional Resources

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Learn more about the topics on this page and other important ones (i.e., ineligible activities; cost-effectiveness; feasibility and Effectiveness) in FY15 Hazard Mitigation Assistance Guidance.

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For property acquisition and structure demolition or relocation projects for the purpose of creating open space, Applicants and subapplicants must comply with Title 44 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 80 and this guidance. Learn more in, Addendum to the Hazard Mitigation Assistance Guidance.

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With the publication FEMA Policy #104-11-1 Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) Management Costs (Interim), this checklist replaces and updates the Administrative Plan checklist in NEMIS. The checklist identifies the minimum criteria a plan must contain to be approvable by FEMA. Learn more in, The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program Administrative Checklist.

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This brochure answers some common questions homeowners have about implementing post-disaster projects that reduce future damage to their home, Homeowner's Guide to the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.

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Contact us by calling the HMA Helpline at 1-866-222-3580, or finding your State Hazard Mitigation Officer (SHMO).

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