o The Alabama Emergency Management Agency (AEMA) submitted an HMGP project application under the 5% Initiative for the purchase of three portable, automated sandbag filling machines for deployment during flood fighting activities. Region IV denied the application and 1st appeal, because FEMA does not approve HMGP funding for sandbagging machines and similar activities.
• Reason for Denial
o FEMA could not approve the activity because it did not meet minimum HMGP eligibility criteria, specifically the requirement that any funded activity provide a long-term mitigation solution.
o 44 CFR 206.440 Appeals; 44 CFR 206.434(c) Eligibility
o AEMA argued that sandbaggers offer the same, if not more, mitigation benefits than generators, and that the use of sandbaggers would contribute to Alabama's comprehensive program to mitigate flooding disasters and increase resiliency.
• FEMA Findings
o FEMA HQ upheld Region IV’s decision to deny the 1st appeal.
o The rationale for the 2nd level appeal decision was that the guidelines established for the 5% Initiative provide that projects must meet any other applicable HMGP criteria in force at the time of the disaster declaration on May 8, 2009; Eligible 5% Initiative projects, including warning sirens and generators, have either been designated as eligible via memorandum or are permanent installations requiring no, or minimum, human intervention at the time of disaster to provide mitigation benefits.
o Reference(s): 44 CFR 206.440 Appeals; 44 CFR 206.434(c) Eligibility; HMGP Desk Reference