Grant Info

Why Mitigate?

Natural Hazard Mitigation Saves Study

January 31, 2018

Mitigation has a 6:1 return on investment ratio; mitigation is key to recovery

Summary of Findings for the National Institute of Building Science’s Natural Hazard Mitigation Saves 2017 Interim Report provides benefit-cost ratios (BCRs) for several hazard types and mitigation measures.  Focal points of this interim report are the net benefits of federal hazard mitigation grant projects, and exceeding building code requirements.

Specifically, the costs and benefits of designing new construction to exceed select provisions of the 2015 International Building Code (IBC), the 2015 International Residential Code (IRC) and implementation of the 2015 International Wildland-Urban Interface Code (IWUIC), which resulted in a national benefit of $4 for every $1 invested.  Additionally studied were the net benefits of impacts of 23 years of federal mitigation grants provided by the FEMA, Economic Development Administration (EDA) and Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), resulting in a national benefit of $6 for every $1 invested.

Natural hazard mitigation saves $6 on average for every $1 spent on federal mitigation grants, according to an analysis by the National Institute of Building Sciences.

Download the FEMA_MitSaves-Factsheet or the full report can be found at http://www.nibs.org/page/mitigationsaves.


Most Funded 2019 Hazard Mitigation Grant Projects

In 2019, FEMA funded more than $1.16 billion in Hazard Mitigation Assistance grants.  This included these top five project types:

  1. Flood Control: $148 million was granted to flood-risk reduction projects such as dikes, levees, floodwalls and erosion projects that are cost-effective, feasible and designed to reduce risk.
  2. Acquisitions: $132 million was granted to communities to acquire or buy properties from homeowners and demolish or relocate any structures on the property.
  3. Utility and Infrastructure Protection: $112 million was granted to fund projects that reduce risk to existing utility systems, roads, and bridges such as seismic retrofits to strengthen buildings against earthquakes and burying utility lines to protect them from high-wind events such as hurricanes.
  4. Generators: $73 million was granted for the purchase and installation of generators for the protection of critical facilities.
  5. Safe Rooms/Wind Shelters: $67 million was granted for safe rooms that are designed and constructed either in community spaces such as schools or community buildings.  These rooms provide protection during extreme weather events such as tornadoes and hurricanes.

By design, the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program helps communities implement hazard mitigation measures following a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration requested by the Governor or Tribal Executive. This grant program also enacts mitigation measures to reduce the risk of loss of life and property from future disasters.


U.S.  Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Assistance Program

The SBA provides affordable assistance to disaster victims and long-term recovery assistance in the form of low-interest loans to homeowners, renters, and private non-profit organizations.  SBA works with FEMA in declared areas to ensure that affected individuals and businesses are aware of disaster program opportunities.  Underinsured or uninsured victims may be eligible for:

  • Home Physical Disaster Loans for repairs or replacement of a primary residence and replacement of personal property such as clothing, furniture, and cars.
  • Business Physical Disaster Loans are available for business to repair or replace damaged property such as inventory, supplies, machinery, and equipment.  Loans are also available for charities, churches, private schools, etc.
  • Economic Injury Disaster Loans make working capital available to small businesses and small agricultural cooperatives to cover normal operating expenses through the disaster recovery period.

Applying for Individuals and Household Assistance

Persons living in counties declared eligible for individual assistance programs under a major presidential disaster declaration may register for assistance by:


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 https://www.fema.gov/procurement-disaster-assistance-team.


Kentucky Division of Emergency Management (KYEM) Recovery Branch

Link to the KYEM website for detailed information.  http://kyem.ky.gov/recovery/Pages/default.aspx.


Mitigation Matters!  

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