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July 2015 Featured Article
The Role Your Municipality has on the Pre-Disaster Mitigation Grant Program
FEMA is seeking new ways communities can reduce overall risks to their population and structures while relying less on federal funding for future disasters. The Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) Grant Program awards planning and project grants, as well as efforts in raising public awareness about reducing future losses before disaster strikes. The State of New Jersey would be the sponsor for an individual’s application, as FEMA does not offer funds directly to individual homeowners or local businesses.
To alleviate this process, sub-applicants may assist in the preparation, as well as determination, of eligibility. All project submissions must have a Benefit Cost Analysis of one or greater. This important role is left to local municipalities, state agencies and private and non-profit organizations, including institutions (i.e., hospitals, universities, etcetera). Private non-profit organizations and private institutions of higher education however are not eligible sub-applicants.
Although all proposed projects must have a focus on natural hazards, they may also address manmade hazards. The maximum amount of funded per project sub-application is capped at $3 million of federal share. The share covers 75 percent of the project cost; therefore sub-applicants are required to provide the remaining 25 percent in matching funds.
Types of eligible projects include but are not limited to, property acquisition and or structure relocation, elevation of existing flood-prone structures, structural retrofitting that meet or exceed applicable hazard mitigation building codes, storm shelters, vegetation management (including dune restoration), as well as localized flood control projects to protect critical facilities.
Large-scale projects, such as regional flood mapping, major flood control and/or erosion projects (construction or repair of dikes, levees, floodwalls, seawalls, groins, jetties, breakwaters, dams, waterway channelization and beach nourishment or re-nourishment), are not eligible. Ineligible projects also include any phase or part of a project that is dependent on another phase or part not included in the project sub-application that is determined as non-effective and/or feasible. Acquisition of equipment such as warning or alert notification systems and generators are ineligible as well.
Applying for the PDM program is competitive as funding is limited. These grants are funded annually by congressional appropriations and are awarded nationally. It is very important for any municipality that is sponsoring an application to make sure the applications received meet the program’s requirements first, before sending them to the FEMA Regional office (Region II). The application period opened on May 29 and closes on August 28.
Published July 2015.