Monday, August 17, 2020

The North Dakota Department of Emergency Services (NDDES) recently was notified that FEMA has made available $660 million in federal funding through two Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) grant programs: Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) and Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC). BRIC formerly was known as the Pre-Disaster Mitigation grant program.

The grant programs are available to assist state, local, tribal and territorial governments in strengthening the nation’s ability to reduce the potential cost of natural disasters to communities and their citizens, as well as protecting life and property from future disaster damages.

Eligible applicants for the grant program funding can begin the application process through NDDES to obtain a 75 percent federal cost share grant for eligible projects and activities. Those eligible applicants include state, local, tribal and territorial governments that currently have, or have participated in, the creation of a FEMA-approved Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan (MHMP). State agencies that fall under North Dakota’s MHMP are eligible to apply for funding, as well.

Some of the projects admissible under the grant programs include: property acquisition/demolition and relocation, structure elevation, mitigation reconstruction, dry floodproofing, critical facility generators, flood risk reduction, structural and non-structural retrofitting, safe room construction, infrastructure retrofitting, soil stabilization, wildfire mitigation, utility protection and MHMP creation/updating.

“Each of these project types can be applied for through the North Dakota Department of Emergency Services, however, based on previous grant awards and sub-applicant interest, we would like to focus on projects dealing with storm shelters, utility and infrastructure protection and MHMP creation/updating, whenever possible,” said Todd Joersz, state hazard mitigation officer.

According to a study by the National Institute for Building Standards, pre-disaster mitigation saves an average of $6 for every $1 spent. Additionally, the Pew Charitable Trusts recently identified that North Dakota saves an average of $6.55 for every $1 spent on mitigation projects.

Applications for the BRIC and FMA programs are due by Dec. 30, 2020. For more information, applicants can contact Joersz at 701-328-8261 or email or Justin Messner, disaster recovery chief, at 701-328-8107.