Main Content

Safe Room Funding

Individual homeowners do not apply directly to FEMA for safe room funding. To find out about potential federal funding for safe rooms, contact your State Emergency Manager and/or State Hazard Mitigation Officer. FEMA provides Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) funding to eligible states, tribes, and territories that, in turn, provide the funding to local governments to assist in reducing overall risk to people and property.

If you are considering building a safe room you can find information about various types funding below.

Some of the available funding include:

  • Community Development Block Grant Funds (CDBG)
  • FHA Mortgage Insured Financing
  • Hazard Mitigation Grant Program Funds (HMGP)
  • Pre-Disaster Mitigation Program Funds (PDM)

For project eligibility and financial assistance questions, please contact your State Hazard Mitigation Officer (SHMO). Your SHMO can advise you on what information must be provided for your project to be considered for funding, as well as any applicable federal, state and local design requirements. Your SHMO will also be able to provide you with information on funding sources.

Residential Funding

The information below will help you understand how having a safe room in your home can protect your family and save the lives of those you care about.

Grants, funding opportunities are available for individuals wishing to build a residential safe room.  For project eligibility and financial assistance questions, please contact your State Hazard Mitigation Officer (SHMO). Your SHMO can tell you what information must be provided for your project to be considered for funding, as well as any applicable federal, state and local design requirements. Your SHMO can also provide you with information on funding sources.

Find answers to your Questions about Building a Safe Room, including:

  • What is the cost of installing a safe room?
  • Can I install a safe room in an existing home?
  • Can I build the safe room myself?
  • Where is the best location for the safe room?
  • Where can I find plans for safe room construction?
  • And more....

Community Development Block Grant Funds

On December 3, 2003, the President signed into law the Tornado Shelters Act (Public Law 108-146), which amends the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, authorizing communities to use community development block grant funds to construct tornado-safe shelters in manufactured home parks. To be eligible, a shelter must be located in a neighborhood or park that contains at least 20 units, consists predominately of low- and moderate-income households and is in a state where a tornado has occurred within the current year or last three years. The shelter must comply with tornado-appropriate safety and construction standards, be large enough to accommodate all members of the park/neighborhood and be located in a park/neighborhood that has a warning siren. Community development block grant funds are funded through HUD.

FHA Mortgage Insured Financing

On January 14, 2000, as part of The Housing and Urban Development (HUD)/ The Federal Housing Administration's (FHA’s) continuing efforts to be responsive to public safety concerns, HUD began allowing borrowers to include windstorm shelters as an eligible work item for FHA 203(k) rehabilitation loans and FHA 203(b) financed new construction (see HUD Disaster Recovery Assistance). Shelters financed with FHA-insured mortgages must be constructed consistent with the guidelines presented in FEMA P-320, Taking Shelter from the Storm: Building a Safe Room for Your Home or Small Business.

Hazard Mitigation Grant Program Funds

FEMA's Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) assists states and local communities in implementing long-term hazard mitigation measures following a major disaster declaration. As of November 1, 2004, all communities must have an approved hazard mitigation plan in place to remain eligible for HMGP funding. HMGP grants can be used to fund projects that provide protection to both public as well as private properties. Projects that are eligible under the HMGP grant include (but are not limited to) acquiring and demolishing or relocating structures from hazard-prone areas; retrofitting structures to protect them from floods, high winds, earthquakes or other natural hazards and constructing residential and community shelters in tornado-prone areas.

FEMA can fund up to 75 percent of the eligible costs of each project. The state or local match does not have to be cash; in-kind services or materials may be used. Federal funding under the HMGP is based on 7.5 percent of the federal funds spent on the Public and Individual Assistance programs (minus administrative expenses) for each disaster. Eligible applicants must apply for the HMGP through the State Hazard Mitigation Officer (See the HMGP main page).

Pre-Disaster Mitigation Program Funds

FEMA's Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) Funds provide both planning and project funding to eligible communities. Communities must complete an approved hazard mitigation plan by November 1, 2004, to remain eligible for PDM funds. PDM project funding is nationally competitive; there is no "base" amount guaranteed to each state. A national priority is placed on projects that address National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) repetitive loss properties and a benefit cost analysis is required for each proposed project. Projects are awarded priority based on the state's analysis and resulting ranking and on factors such as cost-effectiveness, addressing critical facilities and the percent of the population that benefits from the project. FEMA funds up to 75 percent of the cost of the project or up to 90 percent for small, impoverished communities. There is a $3 million cap on the federal share of the cost per project (See the PDM main page).

Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP), Pre-Disaster Mitigation Grants (PDM) and Safe Rooms

This Fact Sheet provides general information on the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) including definition, funding, eligibility, process and the roles and responsibilities associated with the program. Additionally, it provides specific information regarding the HMGP and the construction of Community and Residential Safe Rooms as well as information on FEMA’s Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) program.

Visit Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) for information on grants. If you need additional information on HMA grants, contact the HMA Helpline by calling (866) 222-3580.

Last Updated: 
08/15/2018 - 13:18