Last week, FEMA posted the Notification of Funding Opportunities (NOFOs) for Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA), Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20). There’s $660 million available through two programs—the Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) grant program and the new Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) pre-disaster grant program. BRIC, as you already know, is a new pre-disaster hazard mitigation program that replaces the existing Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) grant program. 

As expressed by FEMA, the two competitive mitigation grant programs “provide states, local communities, tribes, and territories (SLTTs) funding for eligible mitigation activities to strengthen our nation’s ability to build a culture of preparedness by reducing disaster losses and protecting life and property from future disaster damages.”

The National Institute of Building Sciences estimates that mitigation funding can save the nation $6 in future disaster costs, for every $1 spent on hazard mitigation. That can equate to a whole lot of money when you consider the following (somewhat staggering) statistics: 

  • U.S. natural disasters in 2017 cost $306 billion, the most expensive year since NOAA started keeping track in 1980. 
  • And, though down sharply, natural disasters cost the country $91 billion in 2018, according to a report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). 
  • 2019 is the sixth consecutive year (2015-2020) in which 10 or more billion-dollar weather and climate disaster events have impacted the United States. 
  • As of July 8 2020, and as documented by NOAA, there have been 10 weather/climate disaster events with losses exceeding $1 billion each to affect the U.S. These events included 10 severe storm events, which resulted in the deaths of 80 people and significant economic effects on the impacted areas. 
  • The 1980–2019 annual average is 6.6 disaster events (CPI-adjusted); the annual average for the most recent 5 years (2015–2019) is 13.8 disaster events (CPI-adjusted).

The application period for FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Funding, FY20, opens on September 30, 2020. Eligible applicants must apply for funding using the new FEMA Grants Outcome (FEMA GO), which is now the management system for FMA and BRIC. Applications must be submitted in the FEMA Go Portal no later than 3 p.m. EST on January 29, 2021. Those received by FEMA after this deadline will not be considered for funding.

To learn more, view/download FEMA’s BRIC Fact Sheet and FMA Fact Sheet.

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