Buildings and Equipment: Mastering One of the Most Complex Categories of Work



… For buildings eligible for repair, FEMA will fund the cost of ADA compliance requirements to the damaged elements of the facility. … In addition, FEMA may fund ADA compliance requirements for non-damaged elements associated with a path of travel for a primary function area that is damaged.” 2

Floodplain management ordinances adopted to comply with National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) criteria may also trigger certain building requirements. These considerations are discussed in greater detail later in this article.

Mold Remediation

Mold remediation can be an issue in events where buildings are flooded or exposed to wet/humid conditions for an extended period of time. This may be a direct result of flooding or other water infiltration, or may be caused by a prolonged power outage or disaster-related damage to a facility’s HVAC system. It is the applicant’s responsibility to take appropriate remediation action to prevent the spread of mold contamination — or, if this is not possible, to document and justify why reasonable measures were not taken (e.g., power outage, facility underwater, lack of access, insufficient resources). If the mold is a result of the declared event, the following may be eligible for reimbursement:

Hazard Mitigation

In addition to upgrades required by codes and standards, FEMA separately considers and funds measures taken to protect the facility against the impact of future similar disasters. The benefits of hazard mitigation are clear: A 2005 study by the Multihazard Mitigation Council of the National Institute of Building Sciences found that “on average, a dollar spent by FEMA on hazard mitigation (actions to reduce disaster losses) provides the nation about $4 in future benefits. In addition, FEMA grants to mitigate the effects of floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes between 1993 and 2003 are expected to save more than 220 lives and prevent almost 4,700 injuries over approximately 50 years.”

There are two main funding programs associated with hazard mitigation:

• Section 404 Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, which is made available based on a percentage of the statewide amount of federal disaster relief funding and is intended to fund projects that appear on the state’s long-range mitigation plan; and

• Section 406 hazard mitigation funding under the Public Assistance Program, which allows mitigation measures above and beyond standard repair/replacement and code-related upgrades to be applied, typically, to the damaged portions of facilities impacted by the disaster event, as well as certain more robust campus-wide approaches (as of 2010 FEMA policy). 4

These two programs are distinct, but complementary, and are intended to provide protection from subsequent events. There are also other mitigation programs worth noting such as the Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) and Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) programs. The 404 and 406 programs, however, are directly associated with and made available via declared disaster events. Many times communities find it useful to coordinate 406 and 404 projects, including multi-jurisdictional 404 mitigation...