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Application Period Opens Today for Hazard Mitigation Grants

Application Period Opens Today for Hazard Mitigation Grants

The application period for FEMA’s fiscal year 2020 Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) grants under the Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) and new Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) programs is now open. Eligible applicants must apply for funding through the FEMA Grants Outcomes (GO) system. All applications must be submitted no later than 3:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) on January 29, 2021.

These two competitive grant programs provide states, local communities, tribes and territories funding for eligible mitigation activities to reduce the risks they face and the impact of future disasters. For FY20, a total of $660 million in funding is available for FMA and BRIC. FEMA will distribute up to $160 million through the FMA grant program, and a record-breaking $500 million of pre-disaster mitigation funding is available through the new BRIC program. Applications submitted after the deadline will not be considered for funding.


The new FEMA Grants Outcomes (GO) system allows users to apply, track, and manage disaster and non-disaster grants. It also improves oversight and monitoring.

  • Learn more about the FEMA GO system; access helpful user guides and templates; or get direct access to the portal (go.fema.gov).
  • To receive assistance with FEMA GO, contact the FEMA GO Helpdesk at femago@fema.dhs.gov or by telephone at (877) 611-4700.
  • To receive support regarding Hazard Mitigation Assistance-specific questions, contact the HMA Helpline by telephone at (866) 222-3580.

Visit the FMA and BRIC web pages to find helpful resources.

Webinars and Program Resources

To prepare grant applicants for successful application submissions and awards for fiscal year 2020 funding, FEMA hosted a series of webinars to introduce BRIC concepts and provided an overview of the Notices of Funding Opportunities. Watch the videos and or read the transcripts. You can also access a robust library of readily accessible program support materials for the BRIC and FMA programs.

Coming Soon! Hazard Mitigation Assistance Cost Share Webinar

In the coming weeks, FEMA will host a webinar to discuss its Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) grant program cost share requirements. Join HMA program subject matter experts for an engaging conversation about the cost share requirements for Flood Mitigation Assistance, Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities, and the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. More details coming soon!

To learn more about HMA cost share requirements, view the HMA Cost Share Guide.

FEMA Announces a New Policy that Encourages More Nature-Based Solutions in Mitigation Projects

FEMA finalized the Ecosystem Service Benefits in Benefit-Cost Analysis policy on September 28, 2020. This comes just in time for the opening of the Hazard Mitigation Assistance non-disaster grant application period for fiscal year 2020. Ecosystem service benefits are positive effects provided to people by nature, such as aesthetic value, air quality, recreation space, and water filtration. FEMA recognizes the natural environment is an important component of a community’s resilience strategy and this new policy encourages the use of nature-based solutions in mitigation projects. The policy also removes barriers to allow consideration of ecosystem service benefits for a project, regardless of the Benefit-Cost Ratio (BCR) value.

FEMA aligned this policy with other Benefit-Cost Analysis guidance for the Federal government guidance and to reduce the complexity of Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) programs. Learn more about the Ecosystem Service Benefits in Benefit-Cost Analysis policy.

FEMA Updates Regulations for the Hazard Mitigation Assistance Grant Programs

FEMA has posted updates to mitigation regulations in the Federal Register for a public comment period open through October 27, 2020.

The notices published provide updates to the Flood Mitigation Assistance grant program and mitigation planning regulations that align with the requirements enacted by the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (BW-12). They also replace outdated terms and definitions to better align with legal requirements in the Code of Federal Regulations Title 2 part 200: Uniform Administrative Guidance.

The public is invited to submit comments, identified by Docket ID: FEMA-2019-0011, by one of the following methods:

  1. In the Federal eRulemaking Portal view Docket ID FEMA-2019-0011-0001: www.regulations.gov.
  2. By Mail/Hand Delivery/Courier:
    Federal Emergency Management Agency
    Regulatory Affairs Division, Office of Chief Counsel, Room 8NE, 500 C Street, SW
    Washington DC 20472-3100

FEMA Releases New Guidance to Support Agricultural Floodplain Management Policy

Over the past 25 years the agricultural industry has changed significantly. To keep up with changes, earlier this year FEMA issued the Floodplain Management Requirements for Agricultural Structures and Accessory Structures policy. In order to clarify and refine the requirements in that policy, FEMA has released a new guidance bulletin. The guidance acknowledges the unique characteristics and uses of agricultural and accessory structures within Special Flood Hazard Areas to ensure sound development and promote public health, safety, and welfare.

The guidance document clarifies the definition of agricultural structures and accessory structures and establishes a clear, consistent process for ensuring compliance with National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) design and performance standards for those structures. It should be used as a reference for floodplain managers and those involved in regulating, planning, designing, and constructing agricultural structures and accessory structures in Special Flood Hazard Areas.

Learn more about the Floodplain Management Agricultural Structures Policy online

or by emailing the Floodplain Management Division at FEMA-Floodplain-Management-Division@fema.dhs.gov. 

FEMA Mobile App Introduces New ‘Mitigate Your Risk’ Section

Reduce Your Risk to Natural Hazards with Low- or No-Cost Do-It-Yourself Mitigation Activities

Mitigate Your Risk
The FEMA app has a new feature to Mitigate Your Risk, with do-it-yourself tips to help you better understand your unique, local risks and take specific mitigation steps to protect yourself, family and or business before a disaster.

Know Your Risk
Easy does it. Enter your zip code or city name to know common disasters in your area and get tips on how to prepare for disaster. Also, sign-up to receive severe weather, environmental and other public hazard alerts for up to five locations you care about.

Reduce Your Risk
Find low- or no-cost do-it-yourself actions you can take to protect your home or business from: Water Damage, General Purpose and Earthquakes. There you will find step-by-step instructions on a variety of activities, such as:

  • How to brace a water heater
  • Prevent mold from growing and spreading
  • Secure furniture and other household items
  • Clean storm drains
  • And more!

Coming soon to the FEMA app: Hazard mitigation actions for wildfires and high winds.

The FEMA app has been downloaded more than one million times on Google Play and is ranked 14 in the Weather category of the App Store. Using a mobile device, download the FEMA app for free from the App Store and Google Play.

2020 Great Shakeout on Earthquake Safety

Join your community in practicing earthquake safety and register today to participate in the 2020 Great ShakeOut, the world’s largest annual preparedness drill.

This year’s annual global preparedness drill, Great Shakeout, will occur on Oct. 15, at 10:15 a.m. During this time, people will practice the earthquake safety steps ‘Drop, Cover, and Hold On’ as if they were experiencing a major earthquake.

Although our world has seemingly stopped due to COVID-19, earth’s seismic activity has continued. Significant US earthquakes have occurred in Utah, Idaho, and North Carolina during the global pandemic. Be proactive in pursuit of safety and prepare for the next one during this year’s Great Shakeout!

Whether you’re participating from home, school, or the office, FEMA recommends considering video conferencing to adhere to COVID-19 health and safety guidelines. To learn more about how organizers are addressing the ongoing COVID-19 situation and organizing this annual event, visit Shakeout’s website.

Dates For Your Calendar

Mitigation Training
While in-person training is currently unavailable, FEMA recommends visiting the extensive catalog of Independent Study Courses offered on the Emergency Management Institute (EMI) website. These courses are self-paced and free-of-charge to those who qualify for enrollment. Search for courses using the keyword “Hazard Mitigation.”

Mark Your Calendar
Virtual Hazard Mitigation (HM) Partners Workshop will be held during the week of May 3-7, 2021.

Upcoming trainings
An HMA training calendar is currently being developed, and more information will be available in the next edition of the E-Brief. For more information on HMA training, please contact fema-hazardmitigationassistance-training@fema.dhs.gov.

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