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Before You Apply for Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) Funds

Funding

Eligibility

Capability- and Capacity-Building Activities

Technical Assistance & Resources

Cost Share, Pre-Award & Management Costs

Phased Projects

Period of Performance

Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) funds may be used for:

  • Capability and Capacity Building (C&CB) Activities
  • Mitigation Projects
  • Management Costs

Existing project types detailed in the Hazard Mitigation Assistance Guidance for the Pre-Disaster Mitigation grant program are still eligible under BRIC.

Projects must:

  • Be cost-effective
  • Reduce or eliminate risk and damage from future natural hazards
  • Meet either of the two latest published editions of relevant consensus-based codes, specifications and standards
  • Align with the applicable hazard mitigation plan
  • Meet all environmental and historic preservation (EHP) requirements
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A sampling of eligible project types is profiled in the BRIC Mitigation Action Portfolio (MAP) and serve as case studies in innovative mitigation at a variety of project scales.

Funding

For Fiscal Year 2021, FEMA will distribute up to $1 billion through the BRIC program in the following manner.

State/Territory Allocation

$56 million (up to $1,000,000 per applicant). All 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories may apply under the State/Territory Allocation.

Tribal Set-Aside

$25 million. All federally recognized ribal governments may apply for $1,000,000 federal cost share per applicant under the Tribal Set-Aside.

National Competition for Mitigation Projects

$919 million (estimated). Remaining funds that are not awarded from the State/Territory Allocation or Tribal Set-Aside will be included in the national competition. Applicants may submit an unlimited number of mitigation project subapplications each valued up to $50,000,000 federal share to the national competition.

Eligibility

Eligible states, territories, and tribal governments (federally recognized) can submit applications on behalf of subapplicants for BRIC funding via FEMA Grants Outcomes (GO), the new grants management system to support FEMA grant programs.

Applicants may have their own priorities and or requirements when screening their subapplications. Subapplicants cannot submit directly to FEMA. Subapplicants must submit their subapplications to their applicant for review and submission.

Homeowners, business operators, and non-profit organizations cannot apply directly to FEMA, but can be included in a subapplication submitted by an eligible subapplicant. For more information please contact your local government or state to apply for BRIC funding.

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Infographic: Who is eligible for BRIC funding? Applicants in all 50 states, U.S. territories, federally recognized tribes, District of Columbia. Subapplicants in local governments, Indian Indian tribal governments, state agencies and tribal agencies.

Applicants and Subappliants

Applicants often determine mitigation priorities, which are generally aligned with BRIC visions and goals. Contacting the State Hazard Mitigation Officer (SHMO), or equivalent representative for a respective Tribal government (federally recognized) or territory can be helpful in choosing which hazards pose the greatest threat and determining the best strategy for mitigation. From these broad mitigation strategies, subapplicants weigh public interest while targeting specific mitigation projects beneficial to their communities.

Entities interested in creating BRIC subapplications may contact town/city/county managers, planning, and/or emergency management offices within local governments, including cities, townships, counties, special district governments, and tribal governments. For local governments, please contact your State Hazard Mitigation Officer to learn about the applicant’s priorities, deadlines, and additional requirements.

APPLICANT ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

  • Applicants may include states, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories, and tribal governments (federally recognized). Federally recognized tribal governments are those under the Federally Recognized Indian Tribe List Act of 1994.
  • Each state, the District of Columbia, territory, and tribal government (federally recognized) shall designate one agency to serve as the Applicant for BRIC funding. Each Applicant’s designated agency may submit only one BRIC grant application to FEMA. An application can be made up of an unlimited number of subapplications.
  • Applicants must have a FEMA-approved State or Tribal Hazard Mitigation Plan by the application deadline and at the time of obligation of grant funds.
  • State or territory: Must have received a major disaster declaration under the Stafford Act in the seven years prior to the annual grant application period start date. Currently, all states, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories, and tribal governments (federally recognized) meet this requirement.
  • Federally recognized tribal government: Must have received a major disaster declaration under the Stafford Act in the seven years prior to the annual grant application period start date or be entirely or partially located in a state that received a major disaster declaration in the seven years prior to the annual grant application period start date. Currently, all states, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories, and federally recognized tribal governments meet this requirement.

SUBAPPLICANT ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

  • Local governments, including cities, townships, counties, special district governments, state agencies, and tribal governments (including federally recognized tribal governments who choose to apply as subapplicants) are considered subapplicants and must submit subapplications to their state/territory/tribal applicant agency.
  • Subapplicants must have a FEMA-approved Local or Tribal Hazard Mitigation Plan by the application deadline and at the time of obligation of grant funds for mitigation projects and C&CB activities (with the exception of mitigation planning).
  • Federally recognized tribal governments and non-federally recognized tribes can choose to apply as a subapplicant to an eligible state or territory.
  • If a tribal government requests to apply through the state, the state must have received a major disaster declaration under the Stafford Act in the seven years prior to the annual grant application period start date.

Capability- and Capacity-Building (C&CB) Activities

Capability- and Capacity-Building (C&CB) activities enhance the knowledge, skills, expertise, etc., of the current workforce to expand or improve the administration of mitigation assistance. This includes activities in the following sub-categories:

  • Building codes activities
  • Partnership activities
  • Project scoping
  • Mitigation planning and planning-related activities
  • And other activities

FY 2021 Funding for Capability- and Capacity-Building (C&CB)

C&CB activities can only be submitted under the State/Territory Allocation and Tribal Set-Aside. All applicants need to ensure their Capability- and Capacity-Building (C&CB) activities up to $1,000,000 are ranked in first order within FEMA Grants Outcomes (FEMA GO).

The State/Territory Allocation includes $56 million (up to $1,000,000 per applicant) for all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories.

The Tribal Set-Aside includes $25 million under which all federally recognized tribal governments may apply. Each tribal applicant may apply for up to $1,000,000, with up to $500,000 going toward mitigation planning activities, for C&CB activities under the Tribal Set-Aside. Go/No-Go milestones are not required for any C&CB activity type.

C&CB Subcategories

Building codes activities are a sub-category of C&CB activities, and applicants can apply their entire $1 million allocation for C&CB activities to building code activities under the State/Territory Allocation and Tribal Set-Aside.

Partnership activities can take many different forms. For example, partners may contribute financially, support and promote the proposed project, help generate community-wide awareness of the risks the proposal is designed to address, provide advice or assistance, etc. Potential partners may include non-governmental organizations, colleges and universities, private organizations, or other government entities.

Project scoping (previously known as Advanced Assistance) is a sub-category of C&CB activities, and applicants can apply their entire $1 million allocation for C&CB activities to project scoping under the State/Territory Allocation and Tribal Set-Aside. Project scoping activities are designed to develop mitigation strategies and obtain data to prioritize, select, and develop complete applications in a timely manner that result in either an improvement in the capability to identify appropriate mitigation projects or in the development of an application-ready mitigation project for BRIC or another.

Mitigation planning activities are a sub-category of C&CB activities and can only be submitted under the State/Territory Allocation and Tribal Set-Aside. Under the allocation, only up to $500,000 may be used for mitigation planning and planning-related activities. The Tribal Set-Aside includes $25 million under which all Tribal governments (federally recognized) may apply. Under the Tribal Set-Aside, up to $500,000 of the C&CB activities cap (federal share) may be used for mitigation planning and planning-related activities per Applicant. Plan updates can be submitted under Mitigation Planning subapplications of the State/Territory Allocation or Tribal Set-Aside.

Technical Assistance and Resources

Visit the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) page for more program information.

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Contact us by calling the HMA Helpline at 1-866-222-3580, or finding your State Hazard Mitigation Officer (SHMO).

Cost Share Requirements, Pre-Award Costs and Managment Costs

A non-federal cost share is required for all subapplications funded under BRIC and may consist of cash, donated or third-party in-kind services, materials, or any combination thereof. The cost share for BRIC is as follows:

  • Generally, the cost share is 75 percent federal/25 percent non-federal.
  • Economically disadvantaged rural communities, also known as small impoverished communities, are eligible for an increase in cost share, which is up to 90 percent federal/10 percent non-federal. Economically disadvantaged rural communities are communities of 3,000 or fewer individuals identified by the applicant, with residents having an average per capita annual income not exceeding 80% of the national per capita income, based on best available data.
  • For insular areas, including American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, FEMA automatically waives the non-federal cost share for the Recipient when the non-federal cost share for the entire Award is under $200,000. The applicant may request the waiver in its application.
  • One exception to the cost share requirement is FEMA will provide 100 percent federal funding for applicant and subapplicant management costs.

Pre-Award Costs

Pre-award costs are directly related to developing the BRIC grant application or subapplication. Applicants and subapplicants who are not granted awards or subawards will not receive reimbursement for the corresponding pre-award costs.

Pre-award costs are incurred prior to the date of the grant award. There is no start date for when they can be incurred.  They can be incurred any time prior to award. 

Examples of pre-award costs include gathering National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) data, developing a Benefit-Cost Analysis (BCA), preparing design specifications, or conducting workshops related to development and submission of subapplications. Costs associated with implementation of proposed projects in the submitted grant application or subapplication that are incurred prior to the date of the grant award are not allowed. Activities initiated or completed prior to the date of the grant award are generally not eligible.

To be eligible for BRIC funding, pre-award costs must be identified and labeled pre-award as an individual line item in the cost estimate of the subapplication.

Management Costs

Financial assistance to reimburse the recipient and subrecipient for eligible and reasonable indirect costs, direct administrative costs, and other administrative expenses associated with a specific mitigation measure or project in an amount up to 15% of the total amount of the grant award, of which not more than 10% of the total award amount may be used by the recipient and 5% by the subrecipient for such costs.

Applicants complete a separate subapplication in FEMA GO that is equal to 10% of the requested funds in their other subapplications. That amount can be reduced later if not all subapplications are selected. Subapplicants can apply for up to 5% subrecipient management costs as a line item in their budget/cost estimate in their subapplication. FEMA pays 100% federal cost share for subapplicant and applicant Management Costs.

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Benefit Cost Analysis (BCA)

FEMA has created software to ensure that the Benefit Cost Ratio (BCR) is calculated in accordance with FEMA’s standardized methodologies and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-94.

Version 6.0 or newer are the only versions FEMA will accept as documentation for demonstrating cost-effectiveness. A non-FEMA BCA methodology may only be used if pre-approved by FEMA in writing.

Phased Projects

Phased projects are allowed for complex projects for which FEMA provides funding to subapplicants to prepare all the technical and environmental information, including design, engineering studies, final benefit cost analysis and permitting, before issuing a full construction approval. Phasing is for projects that are further along in development but for which funding is lacking to complete certain technical pieces. Phasing a project allows funds to be reserved through the same grant cycle.

Phase I funds will be awarded first, and, if after the Phase I deliverables are reviewed and approved by FEMA, Phase II construction funding will be awarded.

If a project is shown not to be cost effective or technical feasible after Phase I completion, FEMA still funds the costs of Phase I, and funds allocated to the project then go back into the funding pot for the next grant cycle. While allowable in both, the need for phasing is expected to be more in the national competition.

Period of Performance

Generally, the Period of Performance (POP) is 36 months from the date of the Award. Please note the FEMA does not established POPs for individual subawards or projects, include there is one period of performance for the entire Award. For highly complex projects, the Applicant may submit a request for a longer POP in the Application for FEMA to review and approve. Also, extensions (to the POP) under this program are allowed for highly complex projects. Recipients must submit proposed extension requests to their FEMA Region for review and approval at least 60 days prior to the expiration of the Award POP.