What is Hazard Mitigation?
Hazard mitigation describes the actions that reduce or eliminate long-term risks caused by natural or man-made disasters. Hazard mitigation is an important phase in the cycle of emergency management, helping to break the repetitive cycle of damage, repair, and damage again. Mitigation plans and projects are an improvement to the environment or infrastructure that currently exists that will allow a community to be more resilient to disasters. By implementing hazard mitigation actions now, state and local governments can build stronger, safer and smarter communities and reduce future injuries and future damage.
What Type of Work is Eligible?
Stormwater, drainage and culvert improvements, flood control, property acquisition, slope stabilization, infrastructure protection, seismic and wind retrofits, structure elevations, etc. All proposed project applications must include a formal Benefit-Cost Analysis (using FEMA-approved BCA V6.0 software) to document the project’s cost-effectiveness. Planning, HMGP 5% Initiative applications, and projects that meet pre-calculated benefits do not have this BCA requirement. Community participation in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) may also be a requirement for sub-applicant and project eligibility.
Eligible Activities for Mitigation Projects and Capability and Capacity Building Grants
|1. Mitigation Projects|
|Flood Risk Reduction Measures||♦||♦||♦||♦|
|Dry Floodproofing (Non-Res. Bldgs.)||♦||♦||♦||♦|
|Tsunami Vertical Evacuation||♦||♦||♦||No|
|Secondary Power Source||♦||♦||♦||No|
|Earthquake Early Warning Systems||♦||♦||♦||No|
|Innovative Mitigation Projects||♦||♦||♦||♦|
|2. Capability and Capacity Building|
|New Plan Creation and Updates||♦||♦||♦||♦|
|Project Scoping/Advance Assistance||♦||♦||♦||♦|
|Financial Technical Assistance||No||No||No||♦|
Source: Summary of FEMA Hazard Mitigation Assistance Grant Programs Fact Sheet (March 2021, FEMA) and the 2023 HMA Program and Policy Guide Part 4.D (pages 71-78)
Note: List of ineligible activities can be found in the FEMA 2023 HMA Program and Policy Guide Part 4.E (pages 79-81).
* Hazard Mitigation Grant Program Post Fire funding
What are the Benefits of Hazard Mitigation?
Hazard mitigation initiatives help communities to:
- Reduce the loss of life, property, essential services, critical facilities, and economic hardship before or after a natural disaster occurs;
- Reduce short- and long-term disaster recovery and reconstruction expenses;
- Increase cooperation and communication within community departments and among other stakeholders through the planning process; and
- Increase potential for government funding for disaster recovery and reconstruction projects.
What is the Grant Cost Share?
These are reimbursement-based grant programs. Sub-applicants must also commit to the non-federal share of the proposed application cost; this is generally 25% of the total estimated project cost. In-kind services are allowable as part of the non-federal match. For some projects under the FMA grant, properties may qualify for up to 100% federal share.
What are the Tools of Hazard Mitigation?
- Land use planning and regulation of the development in hazard-prone areas, such as prohibiting new construction in a floodplain, along a coastline
- Enforcement of building codes and environmental regulations
- Public safety measures like regular maintenance of roadways, culverts, and dams
- Acquisition of properties in hazard prone areas, such as purchasing buildings located in a floodplain
- Retrofitting existing structures and improving new construction
Where Can I Find Additional Resources?
Information on the current HMA Guidance and Addendum, fact sheets, job aids, data supplements, policies, environmental and historic preservation (EHP) guidance, and benefit-costs analysis guidance can be found in our Hazard Mitigation Assistance Programs Guidance section. Formal grant briefings and technical assistance opportunities are available prior to application deadlines.