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.
Currently, there are funds available under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. See below for more information.
Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) - This Application Period is Closed
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 Management Plan (LEMP) in place. If a town currently lacks an LEMP, HMGP applications will be accepted but funds may not be released until the LEMP is in place. For assistance with LEMP 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:
Stephanie Smith, State Hazard Mitigation Officer
Vermont Emergency Management
45 State Drive
Waterbury, VT 05671-1300
Tel (802) 241-5362
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 Stephanie Smith 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.
Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) Grant Program - This Application Period Is Closed
The Notice of Funding Opportunity for the next round of BRIC is anticipated in September of 2021
The Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) grant program is an annual FEMA funding program for hazard mitigation. BRIC will support states, local communities, tribes and territories, as they undertake hazard mitigation projects to reduce the risk from natural hazards. BRIC is a new FEMA pre-disaster hazard mitigation program that will replace the Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) program.
The BRIC program guiding principles:
- supporting communities through capability- and capacity-building
- encouraging and enabling innovation
- promoting partnerships
- enabling large projects
- maintaining flexibility
- providing consistency
- Application Period: opens September 30, 2020, State deadline: January 6, 2021. (Currently Closed, Anticipating New Application Period in Summer/Fall 2021)
- Eligible Applicants: State agencies, Regional Planning Commissions and municipalities. Non-profit organizations will need to team you up with a governmental “sponsor” who can be the sub-applicant. Municipalities much have an approved Local Hazard Mitigation Plan at the time of application submittal and award approval.
- Funding Available: $600,000 (federal share) set-aside for Vermont with up to $300,000 available for planning activities. Up to $50 million is available per sub-application for nationally competitive mitigation projects.
- Eligible Projects: Everything that was previously eligible under PDM will still be eligible, e.g. home buyouts, culvert projects, Local Hazard Mitigation Planning grants, etc. In addition, under BRIC, applicants can apply for:
- Project Scoping (previously called Advanced Assistance)
- Capability- and capacity-building activities
- Non-financial direct technical assistance
- Management Costs: 5% of total project costs will be available to sub-applicants for managing the grant award.
- Cost Share: 75% federal, 25% local non-federal (cash and/or in-kind); up to 90% federal share for small, impoverished communities.
For more information see the Fact Sheet, the more detailed Notice of Funding Opportunity, or visit the BRIC Resources Page. If you have questions or you would like to discuss a project idea, reach out to Stephanie Smith, email@example.com, 802-989-6793.
Information for Subgrantees with Approved Projects
If your agency, municipality, 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 Stephanie Smith 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 Stephanie Smith 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.