Hazard Mitigation Assistance Grants Forum

Use The Complete Federal Encumbrance For Mitigation Awards

FEMA, as the lead agency for Major Disaster Declarations, occupies a unique position within recovering communities where multiple Federal entities have authority to provide financial assistance, through FEMA's Hazard Mitigation Awards from the Disaster Relief Fund. While other Federal Partners (USDA NRCS, FHWA, USACE, DOI, BLM, etc.) often have authority to assist in repair of damaged facilities, they do not have the authority to harden, relocate or otherwise mitigate those facilities. Instead, each entity is limited to repairs to pre-event conditions, even if that design or location has diminished benefit to the local community & the Federal Govt. Furthermore, calculations for available funds in 404 & 406 mitigation do not account for the complete encumbrance of Federal dollars for a damaged facility; rather, the calculations are based solely on work eligible for FEMA assistance, & excluding otherwise eligible work due to another Federal Agency assisting.

EX: During a slow-moving tropical cyclone, high water damages an engineered earthen channel over which an FHWA eligible bridge crosses. The local community through the state is eligible for Public Assistance under a Major Disaster Declaration. Repairs to the Bridge is covered by FHWA ($ 4.5M), damage to the earthen channel is covered by NRCS ($3.5M), leaving the adjacent bike path & outfall pipes to FEMA ($500K) as they are not eligible for other programs. Only $500k can be mitigated or considered in the lock-in calculations, despite $8.5M in cost to the US Govt. In 5 years, the next storm will likely cost in $8M damage.

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