Develop a Funding Approach



...involved in the forward- pricing methodology, including security, mobilization, escalation, engineering, project management, overhead and profit, and a reserve for changes in orders. These are details of a project that require careful planning and foresight to keep the project budget in order.

In this regard, it is important to remember that the grant application process is not a unilateral process wherein the state and FEMA look at a building and develop a Project Worksheet. It is, by contrast, a bilateral proactive process where communication and teamwork lead to a logical repair scope and costs model that is a realistic representation of what the applicant will undergo to achieve an end result, and what costs they will have incurred.

If the project remains a Standard Project, then primary emphasis should be placed on the repair scope. However, if there is even a remote chance the project will become “other than Standard,” the cost model will be equally, if not more, important. FEMAwill require that proposed changes fall into the same cost parameters (for an Improved Project), or will use a pre-set formula to reduce the project grant (for an Alternate Project).

At this point in the process, at the close of Step No. 1, a solid Project Worksheet adhering to the guidelines of a Standard Project will establish the basis for your FEMA reimbursement claim. The criteria used to determine costs for the Standard Project are part of the most crucial stage of project development, and will remain crucial as the funding approach examines the Improved and Alternate Projects.

Funding Approach Step No. 2: Double-check FEMA Requirements

The second step in the funding approach process is a “checks and balances step” in which we recommend that applicants double-check FEMA requirements in order to determine if the facility meets the FEMA definition for relocation, which is generally based on a public safety concern.

The FEMA Policy Digest outlines the applicable standards that may restrict the rebuilding of a damaged facility at the original site and require relocation away from the hazardous area. Such requirements are subject to change, as seen in the floodplain guidelines updated for Gulf Coast states released, post-Katrina, in February 2006.

In balancing mandates for cost and safety, FEMA requires that relocation be cost-effective, unless otherwise overruled by a pressing safety issue. As explained in the Digest , “The relocation project will only be approved if it is cost effective comparing project costs with future damages avoided, and not barred by any other FEMA regulations or policies.”

If there is a possibility that your project could be determined to be a relocation project, you will still need to follow the funding guidelines for a Standard Project in order to make the comparative calculation.

To conduct the necessary cost comparison, FEMA lists the...