Public Assistance & Grant Resources


Public Assistance

FEMA Releases Donated Resources Policy for Public Assistance

July 2018

After a disaster, volunteers and donations play a critical role in a community’s recovery. After Hurricane Harvey in August 2017, volunteers went above and beyond to help those affected by the hurricane. In order to ensure those types of contributions are valued, FEMA amended its policy to allow Public Assistance program applicants to apply the value of donated resources used for eligible permanent work towards their non-federal cost share.

Projects approved under the Public Assistance program are subject to cost sharing. This non-federal cost share is typically 25 percent of the total project cost. Examples of eligible donated resources include donating equipment to raise or reinforce a levee or voluntary filling and placing of sandbags before a flood. For more information on the policy, visit


Public Assistance (PA) Program and Policy Guide

April 2018 

FEMA applies this Version 3.1 to incidents declared on or after August 23, 2017 or, with respect to the changes made in this version, any application for assistance that was pending before FEMA as of August 23, 2017 and has not been finally resolved as of January 1, 2018. This version supersedes Version 3.0 issued on January 2, 2018.  On February 9, 2018, Congress passed and the President signed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (P.L. 115-123).  Download the PAPPG_3.1_508_FINAL_5-4-2018.

Questions and comments on the PAPPG can be sent to


Top 10 Grant Procurement Mistakes

September 28, 2017

Completing a Grant/  Use this checklist to ensure you aren’t making the most common mistakes. 

Top 10 Procurement Mistakes Leading to Audits and Potential Loss of FEMA Public Assistance Grant Funding

  1. Engaging in a noncompetitive procurement (i.e., sole-sourcing) without carefully documenting how the situation has created an urgent need to perform the works sooner than a competitive procurement process would allow.
  2. Continuing work under a sole-source contract after the urgent need (see #1) has ended, instead of transitioning to a competitively procured contract.
  3. Piggybacking onto another jurisdiction’s contract in a situation that doesn’t allow noncompetitive procurement (see #1) or where the other contract is materially different in terms of scope or requirements. Piggybacking is rarely allowable.
  4. Awarding a “time-and-materials” contract without a ceiling price that the contractor exceeds at its own risk and without documenting why no other contract type is suitable.
  5. Awarding a “cost-plus-percentage-of-cost” or “percentage-of-construction-cost” contract.
  6. Not including the required contract clauses (available online at the below website under “PDAT Resources” menu).
  7. Including a geographic preference in a solicitation (i.e., giving an advantage to local firms).
  8. Not making and documenting efforts to solicit small businesses, minority businesses, and woman’s business enterprises.
  9. Conducting a procurement exceeding $150,000 without conducting a detailed cost or price analysis.
  10. Not carefully documenting all steps of a procurement to create a record if questions arise potentially years later.

For further information on FEMA grant procurement requirements, including contract review checklists, detailed guidance on the above topics, and online webinar training classes, please visit

Link to the Top 10 FEMA Grant Procurement Mistakes.


Grant Resources

Planning-Related Activities Using Hazard Mitigation Grant Program 7-Percent Funding

May 2018

 To strengthen hazard mitigation across the country, FEMA supports a variety of planning-related activities through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP).  In addition to hazard mitigation planning grants, this funding is available for planning-related activities and provides flexibility to State, tribal and local governments to reduce risk and integrate hazard mitigation principles into planning for resilience.  Download the Planning_Related_Activities_Fact_Sheet_508_Compliant_5-2-18.


Safer Stronger, Smarter: A Guide to Improving School Natural Hazard Safety

August 2017, FEMA P-1000

This Guide provides up-to-date, authoritative information and guidance that schools can use to develop a comprehensive strategy for addressing natural hazards.  It is intended to be used by administrators, facilities managers, emergency managers, emergency planning committees, and teachers and staff at K through 12 schools.  It can also be valuable for state officials, district administrators, school boards, teacher union leaders, and others that play a role in providing safe and disaster-resistant schools for all.  Parents, caregivers, and students can also use this Guide to learn about ways to advocate for safe schools in their communities.


Using HMGP to Enhance Disaster Resilience Related to Building Codes

August 23, 2016

The Additional 5 % Initiative is funding that has been set aside under the Hazard Mitigation Assistance Grant Program (HMGP) to help communities enhance disaster resilience related to building codes, such as adopting the current International Building Code® and improving a community’s Building Code Effectiveness Grading Schedule (BCEGS) score.  A building is considered disaster resistant when it not only protects its occupants but can also be quickly repaired and re-occupied because damage from natural disasters is minimized.

Fact Sheets:  

  • Additional 5 percent Initiative Fact Sheet provides Recipients and subrecipients of HMGP funds with additional information on how to implement the Additional 5 percent Initiative as changed by the Fiscal Year 2015 Hazard Mitigation Assistance Guidance. FEMA’s intention in supporting the adoption and enforcement of building codes is to promote resilience by using disaster-resistant practices.
  • Clarifying the Additional 5 percent Initiative Resources is a companion document to the Fact Sheet highlighting where to find more information on resilient building practices.


FIMA Releases Climate Resilient Mitigation Activities Job Aids

August 15, 2016

The purpose of these job aids are to help communities applying for CRMA activities under Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) grants comply with the technical feasibility and effectiveness, and environmental and historic preservation requirements of the application.  The job aids provide a checklist of information required by FEMA to determine grant eligibility and to complete a thorough review of the application.  The available job aids include:

The Climate Resilient Mitigation Activities are available for HMPG funding resulting from a major disaster declared on or after September 30, 2015, and for competitive PDM and FMA funding for which the application period opened on or after September 30, 2015.

If you have any questions or comments on the CRMA Job Aids, please contact the HMA Grants Policy staff at


FIMA Announces Availability of Benefit Cost Analysis Tools for Drought and Ecosystem Services

June 10, 2016

FEMA has developed Benefit Cost Analysis (BCA) Tools and Guidance to calculate benefits for climate resilient mitigation activities, including drought mitigation, ecosystem services, and pre-calculated benefits for cost-effectiveness evaluation of soil stabilization, flood diversion, and reforestation projects in wildfire impacted areas to support expedient implementation of post-wildfire mitigation actions. The tools and guidance include:

  • Aquifer Storage and Recovery BCA Calculator Tool
  • Ecosystem Service Benefits Calculator
  • Supplemental BCA Guidance for Floodwater Diversion and Storage Projects
  • Supplemental BCA Guidance for Floodplain and Stream Restoration Projects
  • Pre-calculated benefits for post-wildfire mitigation actions

If you require the Microsoft Excel version of either of the calculator tools, or if you have any questions on details of the Benefit Cost Analysis (BCA), visit the BCA website, contact the BCA Helpline at 1-855-540-6744 or  These additional BCA Tools are available for Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP), Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM), and the Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) for which the application period is open on or after the date of the May 12, 2016.  Please note that not all mitigation activities are eligible under all three programs.  For example, wildfire mitigation is eligible under HMGP and PDM, but not FMA.

The Climate Resilient Mitigation Activities are available for HMPG funding resulting from a major disaster declared on or after September 30, 2015, and for competitive PDM and FMA funding for which the application period opened on or after September 30, 2015.


Hazard Mitigation Assistance Cost Share Guide

May 2016

The Hazard Mitigation Assistance Cost Share Guidance is a tool for Applicants, Subapplicants and FEMA to assist with understanding match requirements for FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) grants. The Guide encourages early coordination for cost share strategies and provides helpful examples for various approaches such as donated resources for the non-Federal cost share.  Download the Hazard Mitigation Assistance Cost Share Guide.


The Ins and Outs of Small Business Administration Disaster Loans for Mitigation

January 2018

In November, the Small Business Administration (SBA) provided general information on loans designed for individuals and businesses to conduct mitigation measures such as home elevations, relocating utilities, retrofitting structures and building retaining walls.  During the webinar, FEMA provided more information on resources that are available to start these types of mitigation projects.

To review the presentation, technical resources, and questions and answers, download the information at


2017 Uniform Act (URA) Low Income Limits Issued, Effective Date – April 14, 2017

The Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970 (Uniform Act or URA) – FY 2017 Low Income Limits, used in connection with rental assistance payment calculations under 49 CFR 24.402(b), have been issued with an effective date of April 14, 2017.

Additional information and guidance for making URA low income calculations are available on the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) web page.

If you have questions pertaining to URA low income calculations for HUD programs and projects, please contact your local HUD Regional Relocation Specialist for further assistance.


New Process for Submitting EPA Grant Proposals Begins January 1, 2018

Starting January 1, 2018, EPA will require a new process called “Workspace” for submitting grant proposals/applications through  EPA’s Office of Grants and Debarment recorded two sessions that provides training and a demonstration on Workspace.  Recordings of these webinars can be found here.


State Flood Control Matching Grant Program

What: The Flood Control Program uses state bond funds as grants to help meet cost-share match requirements associated with projects funded by the U.S. Corps of Engineers, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

The type of projects previously funded included small dam reconstruction, acquisition and relocation of homes from floodprone areas, debris removal created by tornadoes and construction of floodwalls and elevation of structures about the floodplain.  The fund has also been used to participate in flood studies for future projects.

Who Can Apply: Cities, counties, special districts and area development districts are eligible for grants

Application Process: The application for these funds are accepted year round.  There is no maximum grant amount.  A local match is required.  The program is coordinated by the Flood Control Commission.

For more information, contact Gabe Nickell.  Link to to download the Flood Control Application.



Job Aid and Considerations for Local Mitigation Planning Grant Subapplicants

Cover photo for the document: Considerations for Local Mitigation Planning Grant Subapplicants

November 1, 2017

This Job Aid will guide local communities and tribal subapplicants as they pursue planning grant funding under the Hazard Mitigation Assistance Program. It provides considerations for the development of a planning grant scope of work with the goal of encouraging strong, comprehensive planning grant subapplications. The Job Aid also addresses considerations for cost estimates.


HMA Introduces New, More User-Friendly Online Resources

June 2017

Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) is pleased to introduce its newly revised and reformatted Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) online content. The user-friendly content is designed to help visitors easily locate general information about the program.  Online tools and resource materials are now aligned and consolidated more intuitively into the following categories: individual, state or local government or federally-recognized tribes.  Also, best practice stories are now available in both story and video formats.

The second phase of the redesign will be to revise the grants specific information for Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) and Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) and consolidate the tools and resources in more defined ways. To browse through the new HMGP content, visit overarching redesign work is being done in two phases. The first phase, the HMGP webpage, is completed and was recently unveiled at the Annual Mitigation Stakeholders Workshop in Emmitsburg, Maryland. A visitor to the webpage is encouraged to select a category of interest – individual, state or local government or federally-recognized tribe. In each section there is an easy-to-use navigation tool to access specific information about fact sheets, job aids, loss avoidance studies, program and project information, etc. 

The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program Guide for State/Local Governments:  The information is general and intended for mitigation staff that are relatively new to the HMGP process. Information contained in this section covers the HMGP lifecycle from a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration to Closeout. Link to more information,

For more information,


Online Webinar Series Focuses on Procurements Under Disaster Grants

June 2017

FEMA’s Office of Chief Counsel (OCC) recently published an eight-part webinar series on the FEMA website offering detailed information for recipients and sub-recipients of FEMA disaster grants as they navigate the federal procurement process. The video modules were produced by OCC’s Procurement Disaster Assistance Team (PDAT), and are not intended to be a substitute for legal advice or live procurement under grants training.  The webinars describe procurement standards under the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (also known as the “Uniform Rules”), (2 C.F.R. §§ 200.317-.326).

FEMA recommends watching the webinars in sequential order.  Topics discussed include, in part; the roles of federal and non-federal entities in the procurement under grants process; rules applicable to states, including state agencies; rules applicable to local governments, tribes, and nonprofits, sometimes collectively referred to as non-Federal Entities (NFEs); competition and procurement methods that apply to NFEs; socioeconomic contracting; pre-procurement document review and bonding requirements for NFEs; procurement of recovered materials or required contract provisions; and the differences between the current procurement standards and previous procurement standards.

The webinars may be useful for FEMA stakeholders in the public, private, tribal, or non-profit sectors or any other emergency management personnel working on procurements under grants.  Please visit to watch the webinar series and learn more about important procurement legal standards under FEMA disaster grants.




New Hazard Mitigation Assistance Information Available

February 24, 2017

Hazard mitigation projects that reduce the impacts of flood and drought conditions include aquifer storage and recovery (ASR), flood diversion and storage (FDS), and floodplain and stream restoration (FSR).  Additional information is now available to help communities applying for Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) grants comply with application requirements for these types of projects.  The documents provide more detailed information on the ASR, FDS, and FSR projects, the information needed for a Hazard Mitigation Assistance grant application, potential resources, and examples. 

Follow the Links:

For more information: visit Mitigating Flood and Drought Conditions Under Hazard Mitigation Assistance.


Cost Estimating Principles for HMA Applications

May 2017

In May 2017, FEMA’s HMA Division held a webinar to share cost estimating principles for HMA applications.  Presenters provided general principles for reviewing cost estimates for HMA projects, a process for determining “reasonable costs” as part of the grant application review, and resources where you can get more detailed information and examples.  View the webinar and download the presentation.  


FEMA Benefit Cost Toolkit Version 5.3

January 10, 2017  

The Benefit Cost Tool Version 5.3 is used to perform benefit cost analysis for applications submitted under FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Assistance Grant Programs.  To use this tool, you must link to FEMA’s Benefit Cost Toolkit Version 5.3 to download the compressed file , extract and save the file in one folder on your computer. While the program is installing, additional file sets will be downloaded from the internet. Make sure to maintain access to the internet until the program is fully installed.  If you have any questions about the new BCA software program, please contact the BC Helpline at or at 1-855-540-6744. 


Kentucky Division of Emergency Management (KYEM) Recovery Branch

Link to the KYEM website for detailed information.




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