MAY 13, 2011
Alabama Emergency Management Agency
Post Office Drawer 2160
Clanton, Alabama 35046·2160
Dear Mr. Faulkner:
Thank you for your letter dated March 11, 2011, to the Department of Homeland Security. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to appeal denial of a Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) application for funding of the proposed "Sandbagger (5% Initiative Program)" project under DR-1836.
The proposed project consists of the purchase of three portable, automated sandbag filling machines for deployment during flood fighting activities. FEMA does not approve HMGP funding for sandbagging machines and similar activities because they do not meet minimum HMGP criteria, specifically the requirement that any funded activity provide a long-term mitigation solution.
Under the guidelines established for the 5% Initiative, projects must still meet "any other applicable HMGP criteria" per the HMGP Desk Reference, which was the guidance in force at the time of the disaster declaration on May 8, 2009. This includes the general understanding that equipment that fulfills a preparedness or response purpose, and is therefore only used at the time a disaster event is occurring, is not an eligible use of HMGP funding. Other 5% Initiative projects that are eligible, including warning sirens and generators, have either been clearly and specifically designated as eligible via memorandum or are permanent installations that require little, if any, human intervention at the time of disaster to provide mitigation benefits.
After reviewing your letter and the appeal documentation, I must deny this appeal as the proposed project does not fit within the FEMA HMGP funding guidelines.
Sandra K. Knight, PhD, PE
Deputy Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administrator, Mitigation