WASHINGTON -- As part of FEMA’s commitment to make communities stronger and more resilient, the agency is adding two additional measures to help eligible homeowners in areas covered by Presidential Disaster Declarations due to wildfire damage. FEMA has been providing mitigation assistance to eligible homeowners under the individuals and households program (IHP) for several hazard mitigation measures since June 2021. These new measures are a continued effort to expand the types of hazard mitigation items FEMA may provide assistance under the IHP.
“Communities across the nation are experiencing an increasing number of larger and more destructive wildfires in urban, suburban and rural areas adjacent to or intermixed with the wildland,” said U.S. Fire Administrator Dr. Lori Moore-Merrell. “It is imperative that we rebuild after a fire, but do so in a way that promotes strong building codes, helps prevent fires from starting in the first place and shorter recovery when future fires do occur.”
Homeowners who are affected by wildfire damage and eligible for IHP home repair assistance may receive additional funds for specific mitigation measures based on the cause and amount of damage to their home. After receiving their award letter, applicants whose home repair assistance includes additional funds for mitigation measures receive a follow-up letter explaining the intended mitigation measures. This additional assistance is available for all wildfire disasters declared on or after July 27, 2022.
While disasters can happen unexpectedly, taking steps to strengthen, repair and rebuild is vital for personal and community resilience.
The following mitigation measures may now be covered for eligible applicants affected by wildfires:
- Covering attic vents, crawlspace vents and vents in enclosures below decks with metal screens to help prevent embers from entering and spreading fires inside of homes (FEMA Technical Fact Sheet: Vents).
- Installing non-combustible leaf guards over gutters to avoid future fire damage (FEMA Technical Fact Sheet: Gutters and Downspouts).
These measures will allow homeowners to repair in ways that make their homes more resilient to severe weather and wildfire events, reducing disaster suffering and the likelihood future federal assistance will be needed.
In June 2021, FEMA announced the initial phase of additional eligible mitigation measures related to roof repair, elevating water heaters or furnaces and elevating or moving electrical panels. For additional information on these eligible expenses, please visit Hazard Mitigation Under the Individuals and Households Program | FEMA.gov.