How to Join
The Hazard Mitigation Assistance External Stakeholder Working Group provides an opportunity for FEMA staff to catalyze community partnerships to promote sustained and equitable investments in risk reduction. Mitigation investment is a shared responsibility and FEMA has increased engagement and transparency with non-federal partners in the Hazard Mitigation Assistance programs at the state, local, tribal or territorial levels. FEMA provides pre- and post-disaster funding to implement mitigation actions in communities across the country.
The External Stakeholder Working Group is made up of 12 individuals, including:
- Three state or territory representatives
- Three local/regional representatives
- Three tribe representatives
- Two FEMA Hazard Mitigation Assistance Regional staff representatives
- One FEMA Headquarters Hazard Mitigation Assistance Branch Chief
The External Stakeholder Working Group will provide a venue to open channels of communication between federal representatives and state, local, tribal or territorial stakeholders, gather their perspective and insight into mitigation and/or Hazard Mitigation Assistance program issues, and increase transparency in the program's goals, program priorities and policy development.
ESWG Year in Review 2020
During 2020, ESWG members worked on projects such as: creating simplified FEMA grant tools and materials to reduce the complexity of the HMA grant application process for locals and tribes; conducting exploratory research about Acquisitions; and developing a suite of materials to lower the barriers to entry for subrecipients to apply for Public Assistance Mitigation funding in order to increase nationwide demand for mitigation.
Read about ESWG accomplishments over the years.
Working Group Activities
- Operate as a working body that acts as a bridge between federal staff and state, local, tribal and territorial representatives, by providing individual members insight and external perspective on the program's priorities, issues, and resources.
- Support FEMA as it streamlines and strengthens Hazard Mitigation Assistance program delivery overall.
- Provide appropriate customer service to external stakeholders.
- Delve more deeply into issues identified during the annual Hazard Mitigation Stakeholder Workshop to ensure FEMA is providing a consistent experience for external stakeholders.
- Bring unique perspectives on the program's communications and offer insight into or help craft communication-related resources.
- Act as the points of contact for other non-federal stakeholders.
- Amplify hazard mitigation messages through professional networks.
Testimonials from Members
Read some of the comments from current and past External Stakeholder Working Group (ESWG) members.
“Being a part of the ESWG has allowed me to challenge myself to be a better State Hazard Mitigation Officer and find solutions for my citizens.”
“Being a member of the ESWG has allowed me to see the value of my voice, the value of my experiences, and the value I bring to hazard mitigation. The ESWG has given my community the opportunity to share our story and have representation that helps address issues that restrict smaller tribal communities.”
“The ESWG has provided the opportunity to better understand the world of FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Assistance program. My role on the ESWG has facilitated a stronger relationship with my State Hazard Mitigation Officer as I touch base before and after ESWG meetings to see where and how my state is using these programs.”
“The ESWG provides a voice for our state, local, tribal and territorial partners at the table, influencing policy, program development and opening the eyes of leaders to challenges at the ground level.”
How to Join
Membership is inclusive of state, local, tribal, territorial, and federal government representatives. The member selection process is competitive and balances the diverse perspectives and varied interests of different community types. Membership service periods include two-year term lengths and will rotate regularly to maintain and transfer institutional knowledge from year to year.
If you are interested in joining the External Stakeholder Working Group, please download and submit an Expression of Interest form. The program accepts Expression of Interest forms on a rolling basis. When a seat is vacant and open for a new representative, FEMA reviews the current applications and reaches out directly to possible candidates.
To contact the External Stakeholder Working Group (ESWG) with questions, concerns, or to submit an Expression of Interest form, please email.