Grant Resources

Grant Resources and Guidance


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


Did you know?

  • FEMA generally doesn’t reimburse debris removal unless the debris is threatening infrastructure
  • KYTC bridge inspections may be needed to be eligible for FEMA funding
  • FEMA may help stabilize landslides if there is a threat to life, health, safety, or infrastructure
  • FEMA may repair landslides permanently; a geotechnical investigation may be required


FEMA Mitigation Grant Programs 

Section 406 Public Assistance (PA) is a post-disaster program established under Section 406 of the Stafford Act—it is jointly administered by FEMA and the Commonwealth.  As part of the reimbursements made to restore damaged public facilities, public assistance funds may be made available for cost-effective mitigation measures undertaken as part of the recovery.  The amount of Section 406 Mitigation funds made available in any given disaster is based on a project-by-project evaluation of the feasibility and cost effectiveness of mitigation measures.

Link to KYEM’s overview and guidelines at Public Assistance Stafford Act Section 406 Mitigation . 

Section 404 Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) is a post-disaster program established under Section 404 of the Stafford Act.  It offers funding to states, communities, and other eligible recipients to invest in long-term measures that will reduce vulnerability to future natural hazards.  The Commonwealth, through KY Emergency Management, has a strong role in administering HMGP with FEMA providing oversight.  

General guidelines and resources for this program can be found on the FEMA website at

Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM), established under Section 203 of the Stafford Act, is a nationally competitive grant program designed to assist states and communities to develop mitigation plans and implement mitigation projects.  PDM funds are appropriated annually. 

PDM program guidance and other information can be found on the FEMA website  

Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) is a grant program funded by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and focused on buildings that are insured by the NFIP, with particular attention to buildings that have received multiple flood insurance payments.  FMA is state-administered, and information and assistance is available from the SHMO, Geni Jo Brawner

General guidelines and resources for this program can be found on the FEMA website


NRCS Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) Program

EWP responds to emergencies created by natural disasters.  It is not necessary for a federal disaster to be declared for an area to be eligible for assistance.  EWP is designed for installation of recovery measures.  EWP activities include providing financial and technical assistance to remove debris from stream channels, road culverts, and bridges, reshape and protect eroded banks, correct damaged drainage facilities, establish cover on critically eroding lands, repair levees and structures, and repair conservation practices. 

There are two types of assistance available:

  • Exigency—An imminent threat to life and property exists and requires immediate federal action. Work must generally be completed within ten days
    from the last day of the storm event in order to protect life and property.
  • Non-Exigency—A situation where the threat to life and property is high enough to constitute an emergency, but the situation is not considered urgent. Work in this category does not require immediate action, but should be completed as soon as possible.

Link to Emergency Watershed Protection Program Overview

More information may be found at:


State Flood Control Matching Grant Program

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 (USACE), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and USDA Rural Development (RD).   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 (Ex: stream flow gauges and flood inundation maps).

Cities, counties, special districts and area development districts are eligible for grants.  The application for these funds are accepted year round.  There must be a legally binding agreement with the federal sponsor(s) attached with the application.  The application must also include a resolution from local government authorizing their elected official to apply for the grant.  There is no maximum grant amount, but the request must be within reason based on the scope of the project and committed funds by additional agencies. 

A local match is required.  The state flood control funds are used to assist local communities (grantees) with the required local match funds.  DLG will assist in funding the local match requirement by a rational percentage of federal funds allocated for the total project amount.  DLG encourages the grantee to include as many funding sponsors possible including federal, state, and local agencies, private sector, and/or any entities that will benefit from the flood control project.

For more information, link to The Flood Control Program  or contact Aaron Jones.


319 Grant Program 

The 1987 amendments to the Clean Water Act (CWA) established the Section 319 Nonpoint Source Management Program Section 319 addresses the need for greater federal leadership to help focus state and local nonpoint source efforts.  Under Section 319, states, territories and tribes receive grant money that supports a wide variety of activities including technical assistance, financial assistance, education, training, technology transfer, demonstration projects and monitoring to assess the success of specific nonpoint source implementation projects.


Links to Grant Resources



While the project type determines the specific engineering data requirements, typical engineering data needed is included in this fact sheet and divided into a variety of project types.  The Fact sheet outlines Drainage projects, Elevation projects, Building elevations and Wind retrofit projects.

Fiscal Year 2015 Hazard Mitigation Assistance Guidance and Addendum

FEMA’s HMA grant programs provide funding for eligible mitigation activities that reduce disaster losses and protect life and property from future disaster damages including the HMGP, PDM, and FMA.  Link to guidance on FEMA’s webpage


Minimum Design Standards for HMA Projects in Flood Hazard Areas

FEMA will use the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Standard 24-05 Flood Resistant Design and Construction or its equivalent as the minimum design criteria for all HMA funded structure elevation, dry floodproofing, and mitigation reconstruction projects in flood hazard areas.  ASCE 24-05 establishes minimum requirements for flood-resistant design and construction of structures that are subject to building code requirements and that are located, in whole or in part, in flood hazard areas.  The use of the ASCE Standard or its equivalent will allow applicants to better demonstrate the technical feasibility and effectiveness of HMA projects in flood hazard areas and facilitate consistency in implementing HMA funded projects in flood hazard areas.  Newer versions of the ASCE Flood Resistant Design and Construction published after 2005 will also be accepted.


Standard ASCE/SEI 24-14 updates and replaces the previous Standard, ASCE/SEI 24-05

Provides essential guidance on design and construction to structural engineers, design professionals, code officials, floodplain managers, and building owners. The standard is adopted by reference in model building codes.

Visit the ASCE website for the latest policy and guidance:


Second-Story Conversion – Elevation Project Design Considerations for HMA Applicants

Elevation is a common mitigation method for structures that are at risk of flooding, and is an eligible mitigation project under the FEMA HMA Grant Programs.  Structure elevation activities generally involve physically raising an existing structure in accordance with the 2015 HMA Guidance, or latest edition, and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) standard Flood Resistant Design and Construction (ASCE 24-14), or latest edition. 

ASCE 24-14 includes elevation to the Base Flood Elevation [BFE] plus freeboard, or higher when required by FEMA, local ordinance, or building code.  Structure elevation may be achieved through a variety of methods, including elevating on continuous foundation walls; elevating on open foundations, such as piles, piers, posts, or columns; and elevating on fill.  There are situations, such as structures with a slab-on-grade foundation, where physically raising the building is not feasible or cost-effective.  FEMA conducted research to identify alternative flood mitigation methods to address these types of situations and published this information as recovery advisories.

The purpose of the  Second Story Conversion Elevation Fact Sheet is to identify project design considerations that should be taken into account when developing these types of HMA-funded elevation projects.


HMGP Additional 5% Initiative for Promoting Resilience through Disaster-Resistant Building Codes

April 2018

This Fact Sheet Clarifying Building Code Elements provides Recipients and subrecipients of Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funds with additional information on how to implement the Additional 5 percent Initiative as changed by the FY 15 Hazard Mitigation Assistance GuidanceFEMA’s intention in supporting the adoption and enforcement of building codes is to promote resilience by using disaster-resistant practices.  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.

The Additional 5 % Initiative is funding that has been set aside under the 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.


Hazard Mitigation Assistance Information Available

February 24, 2017

Aquifer storage and recovery, floodplain and stream restoration, flood diversion and storage, and green infrastructure methods are eligible under the HMA programs to support communities in reducing the risks associated with mitigating the impacts of flood and drought conditions.

Multiple tools have been developed to assist with the development of these activities, to include fact sheets, benefit cost analysis guidance and job aids to help development of Hazard Mitigation Assistance applications. 

The purpose of these job aids are to help communities applying for CRMA activities under 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. 

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 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 HMA grant application, potential resources, and examples.  Link to for more information.

Follow the Links:

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


FEMA Benefit Cost Toolkit 

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. 


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 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.


Top 10 Grant Procurement Mistakes

October 7, 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


Kentucky Division of Emergency Management (KYEM) Recovery Branch

Link to the KYEM website for detailed information.





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