The amount of funding available for the HMGP under a particular disaster declaration is limited. The HMGP program funding is allocated using a “sliding scale” formula based on the percentage of the funds spent on Public and Individual Assistance Programs for each presidentially declared disaster. For states with a Standard State Mitigation Plan, the formula provides 15 percent of the first $2 billion of estimated aggregate amounts of disaster assistance; 10 percent for the next portion of amounts between $2 billion and $10 billion; and 7.5 percent for the next portion of amounts between $10 billion and $35.333 billion. States that meet higher mitigation planning criteria may qualify for a higher percentage under the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000.
FEMA can fund up to 75 percent of the eligible costs of each project. The state or grantee must provide a 25 percent share, which can be fashioned from a combination of cash and in-kind sources. Funding from other federal sources cannot be used for the 25 percent share with one exception. Funding provided to states under the Community Development Block Grant Program from the Department of Housing and Urban Development can be used to meet the non-federal share requirement.
Following a disaster declaration, the state will advertise that HMGP funding is available to fund mitigation projects. Those interested in applying to the HMGP should contact their local government to begin the application process.
Applications for mitigation projects are encouraged as soon as possible after the disaster occurs so that opportunities to pursue mitigation are not lost during reconstruction. The state will set a deadline for application submittal.
It is important for applicants to understand the approval process. Once eligible projects are selected by the state, they are forwarded to the FEMA Regional Office where they are reviewed to ensure compliance with federal laws and regulations. One such law is the National Environmental Policy Act, passed by Congress in 1970, which requires FEMA to evaluate the potential environmental impacts of each proposed project. The time required for the environmental review depends on the complexity of the project.
The 406 program allows mitigation measures to be funded for permanent projects involving eligible facilities that were damaged or destroyed during the event generating the disaster declaration. The key is that the damage must have been a direct result of the declared event. As opposed to the 404 program, there...