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5% Initiative

The 5 Percent Initiative allows Grantees under the HMGP to use up to five percent of total HMGP grant funds for projects that are difficult to evaluate using FEMA-approved cost-effectiveness methodologies, but which otherwise meet HMGP eligibility requirements.  To demonstrate cost-effectiveness under the 5 Percent Initiative, applicants and subapplicants must provide a narrative description of the project’s cost-effectiveness in lieu of a standard FEMA benefit-cost analysis (BCA).
Applicants cannot use the 5 Percent Initiative to fund mitigation activities that do not meet the required BCA threshold using a FEMA approved methodology.  Activities funded under the 5 Percent Initiative must:

  • Comply with all applicable HMGP eligibility criteria and Federal, State, and local laws and ordinances;
  • Be consistent with the goals and objectives of the State or Indian Tribal (Standard or Enhanced) and local or Tribal mitigation plans; and
  • Be submitted for review with a narrative indicating there is a reasonable expectation that future damage or loss of life or injury will be reduced or prevented by the activity.

Activities that might be funded under the 5 Percent Initiative include:

  • The use, evaluation, and application of new, unproven mitigation techniques, technologies, methods, procedures, or products;
  • Equipment and systems for the purpose of warning citizens of impending hazards;
  • Purchase of generators or related equipment, such as generator hook-ups;
  • Mitigation-related hazard identification or mapping and related equipment;
  • GIS software, hardware, and data acquisition whose primary aim is mitigation;
  • Public awareness or education campaigns about mitigation; and
  • Evaluation of model building codes in support of future adoption and/or implementation.

For major disasters declarations for tornados and high winds, Grantees may request an additional 5 percent of available HMGP funds for activities that address the unique hazards posed by tornadoes.