Hazard Mitigation Information & Support
“Hazard Mitigation” is sustained action taken to reduce or eliminate long-term risk to people and their property from hazards.
Hazard mitigation funds are available to municipalities and other organizations to help reduce or eliminate loss of life and property by taking measures to reduce the impacts of future disasters.
The VEM Mitigation Team supports other state agencies, non-profits, Regional Planning Commissions and municipalities in applying for and implementing projects under the FEMA Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) grant programs. We also support Regional Planning Commissions and municipalities in conducting natural hazard mitigation planning, and developing FEMA-approved Local Hazard Mitigation Plans.
VEM Hosting 1-day FEMA BCA Training
VEM will be a hosting a 1-day FEMA benefit-cost analysis (BCA) Training at the SEOC in Waterbury on Tuesday, August 20th. We invite anyone who is interested in developing BCAs for hazard mitigation projects to attend the training. If you plan to attend, please complete this RSVP & pre-training survey so I have an idea of group size and general interests/experience levels.
Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP)
The HMGP program is funded through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and is administered by VEM on behalf of the state. Federal funds are available to cover up to 75% of approved project costs; however, please note that there is a 25% local match requirement that is the responsibility of the applicant town.
Typical hazard mitigation projects include: mitigation of local roads and bridges, home acquisition (buyout), structural elevations or relocations, replacement of undersized culverts, mitigation outreach and education, etc. Project proposals do not need to be directly connected to damages incurred from the most recent declared disaster.
Please note the following eligibility requirements:
1) Communities must have a FEMA approved and adopted local hazard mitigation plan. We will accept applications from towns currently lacking an approved mitigation plan, but FEMA will not release awarded project funds unless the mitigation plan has been approved by FEMA and adopted. Those towns lacking an approved plan must indicate on their HMGP application that they commit to completing a local mitigation plan within 12 months of application submittal; they can also contact their local Regional Planning Commission for assistance.
2) Communities must be in good standing with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), if a special flood hazard area (SFHA) has been identified in the community and if the proposed project is located within the SFHA. Please contact your regional Agency of Natural Resources floodplain manager for additional information on applying for NFIP membership.
3) Communities must have an adopted Local Emergency Operations Plan (LEOP) in place. If a town currently lacks an LEOP, HMGP applications will be accepted but funds may not be released until the local EOP is in place. For assistance with LEOP development, towns may contact their local Regional Planning Commission.
HMGP applications must be completed in their entirety, including maps, list of alternative proposals, engineering plans, hydrology studies (if needed) and a full benefit-cost analysis (BCA) in the FEMA-approved format, if applicable. If you need help in completing the BCA, you may contact your local Regional Planning Commission. Some BCA assistance is also available from VEM staff, if you make a prior appointment.
If you wish to apply for HMGP funding, please submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) to VEM. The LOI should include a brief description of your proposal and the total estimated cost of your project. Please note that LOIs are strongly encouraged, but not required.
Please submit LOIs and completed applications to:
Lauren Oates, State Hazard Mitigation Officer
Vermont Emergency Management
45 State Drive
Waterbury, VT 05671-1300
Tel (802) 241-5363
Applications should be submitted to the state in hard copy (paper application) and in electronic format such as a scanned PDF file. Applications will not be accepted if submitted past the deadline. Please note that HMGP funds are awarded on a competitive basis and all applications are subject to review and selection by the state mitigation project selection committee and FEMA. Please contact State Hazard Mitigation Officer Lauren Oates if you have any questions or concerns regarding HMGP or any other FEMA mitigation grant program.
Note that HMGP applications are accepted on a rolling basis and will be reviewed by the State Hazard Mitigation Project Review Committee at their next meeting. That is, if you have a project in mind, please develop the application regardless of current funding status, so that your project can be reviewed when new funds become available. As open periods of funding become available, a state deadline for application submittal will be noted on this page.
Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) & Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) Grant Programs
FEMA offers annual, non-disaster mitigation funding through the Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) and Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) grant programs. Information for these two grant programs can be found by clicking the links. If your community would like to submit a grant application under either FMA and/or PDM, please contact Lauren Oates to begin an application.
Unlike HMGP, the applications for these two grant programs must be completed online, and require a passcode from VEM. Please visit the online portal and select "New non-PIV User" to request access to the website. The State of Vermont code for a subgrantee is S50.
Information for Subgrantees with Approved Projects
If your agency, municaplity, RPC, tribe or private non-profit has received an award under any of the Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) grant programs, please consider the following information.
- Quarterly Reports are due January 15th, April 15th, July 15th and October 15th. Failure to submit quarterly reports may result in delayed or halted reimbursement.
- Upon project completion, and after all final reimbursement requests have been submitted, please contact Lauren Oates to request a closeout visit.
- Should your project require unanticipated cost overruns (potentially available, but only under HMGP) and/or scope of work alterations please contact Lauren Oates and fill out a Grant Modification Request Form.
Eligible Applicants and/or Subapplicants
- State (HMGP, PDM and FMA)
- Local governments (HMGP, PDM and FMA)
- Indian tribes or other tribal organizations (HMGP, PDM and FMA)
- Private non-profit organizations (HMGP only)
Individual homeowners and businesses may not apply directly to the program; however an eligible Applicant or Subapplicant may apply on their behalf.
To better understand how applications are reviewed by the State Hazard Mitigation Project Review Committee, please see the HMA Project Review Form.
HGMP Application Requirements
- For Acquisition Projects (a.k.a. Buyouts)
- For Infrastructure Projects (a.k.a. drainage, elevation, flood proofing, minor localized flood reduction projects)
- For Planning and 5% Projects
For questions about potential hazard mitigation projects and application requirements, please email State Hazard Mitigation Officer Lauren Oates.