The president can declare a major disaster for any natural event such as a hurricane, tornado or earthquake. When a major disaster is declared, Hazard Mitigation Grant Program funding may be available to homeowners to help rebuild their homes stronger than they were before the disaster. This act of building back stronger is called mitigation.
Work with Your Community to Apply for Funding
As an individual, you must apply for Hazard Mitigation Grant Program funding through your community. Discuss your plans to mitigate with your local community leaders, planners and engineers. You must meet with them and request that your community apply for funding on your behalf. Be prepared to submit a narrative with the scope of work, work schedule and detailed cost estimate.
If your local jurisdiction is eligible for a grant, you can learn more through local sources, like your local jurisdiction’s website, local media outlets, flyers at the local library or public forums (such as town hall hosted by your local officials where they explain the application process and how to work together), or announcements in newspapers, or on the radio, television and online.
Benefits of Rebuilding Your Home Stronger
Reduces losses from natural disasters in the future.
Increases the strength of your home to withstand severe weather or high winds.
Lowers the cost of your homeowner’s insurance premiums.
Increases the value of your property.
Reduces the amount of money you spend. Federal funding generally pays up to 75 percent of mitigation costs, the applicant is responsible for the remaining 25 percent.
To Be Considered for an HMGP Application
Your home must be located in the state that received a presidential major disaster declaration.
Your community must have an approved hazard mitigation plan and be a member of the National Flood Insurance Program in good standing (not on probation, suspended, or withdrawn).
Your home rebuilding project must be cost-effective, technically feasible, environmentally sound and approved by FEMA.
Your local government administers the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program and reviews project applications based on their administrative plan and mitigation strategy. Completed applications are sent to the respective state office, which manages the process for HMGP grants. Based on the FEMA-approved Hazard Mitigation Plan, the state, tribe or territory will forward completed applications to FEMA for funding.
FEMA will review applications for cost-effectiveness, technical feasibility and environmental planning, and historic preservation compliance. When projects have been approved for funding, FEMA will notify the state, tribe or territory, which will notify local governments.
Funding for Hazard Mitigation Grant Programs are submitted based on the priorities listed in the FEMA-approved Hazard Mitigation Plan. Government officials at the state, local, tribal and territorial levels have to prioritize project plans to submit.
Work Begins Only After Approval
Only start Hazard Mitigation Grant Program-funded projects after you are notified of approval. Any work started before FEMA’s review and approval will not be reimbursed by FEMA, except basic repair work necessary to make your home habitable.
After approval, FEMA will work with the state, which will work with the local community to complete the project. The local community may oversee the project or they may allow the property owner to implement the project.
To meet FEMA’s requirements for reimbursement, you must keep detailed records of payments to contractors. Your local officials will ask you to provide compliance documentation so they can finalize the project and approve reimbursement requests. FEMA will reimburse you only after the approved work has been completed.