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Understanding the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program as an Individual

This page hosts Hazard Mitigation Grant Program information that is specific to the general public..

The information provides key points to consider regarding the HMGP process. It is also important to keep in mind that individuals or the general public cannot apply directly for HMGP assistance. Individuals should coordinate directly with their respective local governments, who in turn work with their respective state, tribe or territory. Lastly, HMGP funding is often limited and must be prioritized based on a state, tribe, or territory’s particular mitigation strategy.

HMGP Process for Individuals

Disaster strikes/President declares disaster.Contact your local emergency management agency for support and to provide requested information.Work with the community to develop and submit a project application through your State.FEMA approves project and awards funding.Work may begin on approved project.Provide compliance documentation to local officials to finalize and close out project.


HMGP Process for Individuals

Disaster strikes / President declares disaster

icon for disaster strikes showing arrow with zigzag linesImmediately after a disaster, before you return to your home or any area that has sustained damage, wait until local officials have declared it is safe to return to your community.

Following a disaster the state, tribal, territorial, and local officials in a joint effort with FEMA will perform Preliminary Damage Assessments (PDA) of the areas that sustained damage. The state, Federally-recognized tribe, or territory submits, through the FEMA Regional Office, the information collected along with a damage estimate to request a declaration from the President. If a Presidential Major Disaster is declared based on damage sustained, Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funding may be available in the areas of the state, tribal lands, or territory for which the declaration request was made by the Governor or Tribal Executive.

Individuals who want to apply for assistance related to a Federally-declared disaster may call 1-800-621-3362, download FEMA’s Mobile App, or visit the Disaster Assistance webpage. To see if a Major Disaster has been declared, visit FEMA’s Disaster Declarations page.

Contact your local emergency management agency for support and to provide any requested information

icon showing outline of buildingIndividuals may decide to:

  • Contact their local community and apply for HMGP Assistance
  • Mitigate their home using another funding source
  • Or not mitigate at all

Incorporating hazard mitigation measures into your home offers multiple benefits, including:

  • Reduce risk and avoid losses from natural hazards
  • Increase the strength of your home to withstand severe weather
  • Lower insurance premiums
  • Increase your property value
  • Reduce individual costs for mitigation activities (the federal cost share for an HMGP project)

Key points to consider:

  •  FEMA 75%, Non-Federal 25%Your home must be located in an area that received a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration.
  • It is the state, tribe, or territory’s responsibility to prioritize HMGP projects and administer the program.
  • Your community must have an approved hazard mitigation plan.
  • Your community must be a participating member of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and in good standing (not on probation, suspended, or withdrawn) with the NFIP.
  • There is a cost-share requirement. FEMA generally pays up to 75 percent of the cost of the mitigation action, and the individual typically is responsible for the other 25 percent. Please check with your respective community, state, or tribe to determine your specific cost-share requirements.
  • The project must be cost-effective, technically feasible, environmentally sound, and approved by FEMA.

As an individual, you must apply through your community. You will need to meet with community officials and request that the community apply for funding on your behalf.

The local government may share information about HMGP through different outlets, such as town hall meetings, newspapers, media (radio, television, etc.), and the Internet.

Work with the community to develop and submit a project application

For individuals, applying for HMGP funding is voluntary. It is critical that you communicate and engage with local community leaders, planners, and engineers, who will host public forums to:

  • Announce intent to apply
  • Continue to gather support
  • Explain benefits in detail
  • Collect additional data

HMGP Application Flow

 State Agencies; Federally-Recognized Tribes; Tribal Agencies; Local Government/Communities to Applicants: Territories; Federally-Recognized Tribes; States to FEMA.

Because HMGP funding is limited, the local government must make difficult decisions as to the most effective use of grant funds. The state, tribe, or territory administers the program and prioritizes projects based on the state or tribal Administrative Plan and mitigation strategy. All applications submitted must include, but are not limited to, a scoping narrative (scope of work, work schedule, and detailed cost estimate) and additional forms. After reviewing project applications to determine whether they meet the program’s requirements, the state, tribe, or territory forwards applications to FEMA for review and approval.

FEMA will notify the state, tribe, or territory, who in turn will notify local governments, of projects that have been approved for funding.

FEMA approves project and awards funding

FEMA will review all applications for eligibility and completeness, such as cost-effectiveness, technical feasibility, and Environmental Planning and Historic Preservation (EHP) compliance. Even after an announcement of an award, no work may begin until building permit and construction plans are approved.

Individuals may start their HMGP-funded projects only after they are notified of approval by their state, tribal, territorial, or local government official. Any work started before FEMA’s review and approval will not be funded by FEMA. This does not include basic repair work necessary to make your residence habitable.

Work may begin on approved project

 The entity, such as a community/local government, Federally-recognized tribe, or private nonprofit, that submits a subapplication to the applicant for FEMA assistance. Once funding is awarded, the subapplicant becomes the subrecipient.icon for work may begin on project stage with image of hammerAfter approval, FEMA works directly with the state and, in turn, the state will work with the local community to implement the project. Depending upon the mitigation activity, the local community may choose to oversee the project implementation directly or they may choose to allow the property owner to implement the project.

The HMGP is a reimbursement grant program; FEMA will provide reimbursement after approved work has been completed.

Individuals must keep complete and detailed records of payments to contractor(s) to meet FEMA’s requirements for reimbursement. Each request for reimbursement requires review and approval by multiple levels of government: local, tribal, territorial, state, and federal. Please coordinate with your government official to get more information on the reimbursement process and project implementation.

Provide compliance documentation to local officials to finalize and close out project

icon for providing complianceThe state, tribe, or territory will be responsible for completing the project closeout phase with communities, but as an individual that has received funding for a project, keeping records of all work completed is strongly recommended.

Helpful Links

HMA Resources & Document Collection

Homeowner's Guide to the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program

Individual's Checklist

Hazard Mitigation Assistance Guidance

HMGP Brochure

Last Updated: 
12/17/2019 - 16:25