New Hazard Mitigation Grant Program Opportunity, LOIs due Apr. 1

Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP): New Grant Opportunity

The State of Vermont has received funds from FEMA for the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) in connection with the disasters declared in 2013, DR 4120 and DR 4140.

The Vermont Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (DEMHS) is now accepting HMGP applications from towns and agencies in all Vermont counties in connection with the most recent disasters. The HMGP program is funded through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and is administered by the VT Division of Emergency Management.   Federal funds are available to cover up to 75% of project costs.  Applicants are responsible for the 25% local match requirement.  This announcement is being sent by mail to all Selectboard chairpersons in the state.

We encourage you to identify potential hazard mitigation sites in your communities and apply for funds under the HMGP program.  Typical hazard mitigation projects would include:  mitigation of local roads and bridges, home or property acquisition (buy-out), structural elevations or relocations, replacement of undersized culverts, remediation of stream bank erosion, flood proofing of municipal buildings, etc.   This is an opportunity for repetitive loss structures, businesses and other buildings located in the 100-year flood plain to consider elevation, buyout or relocation.

New FEMA policy makes it easier for homes located in designated flood zones to be elevated or acquired in a buyout.  Project proposals need not be directly connected to flooding from the most recent declared disasters.  Towns may also apply for a grant to develop a local hazard mitigation plan or for mitigation initiative projects (5% initiatives).

You may download the HMGP application from our agency’s website at or you may contact the State Hazard Mitigation Officer for an application.   On the DEMHS website, first go to the Mitigation Tab, and then click on Mitigation Forms.

Please note the following FEMA eligibility requirements:

1)  Communities must have a FEMA approved and adopted local mitigation plan no later than the date that funds are awarded.  Those towns lacking an approved plan should contact their local Regional Planning Commission for assistance.

2)  Communities must be participating in 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 the Agency of Natural Resources state floodplain coordinator for additional information on applying for NFIP membership.

The application must be completed in full, 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 you need help in completing the BCA, you may contact your local Regional Planning Commission.  Some BCA assistance may be available from DEMHS mitigation staff if you make a prior appointment.

Deadline for HMGP applications:   Friday, May 2, 2014

If you wish to apply for an HMGP grant, please submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) to DEMHS by April 1.   The LOI should include a brief description of your proposal and the total estimated cost of your project.  Please indicate if you’ll need assistance in completing the application or benefit cost analysis (BCA).

Please submit LOIs and completed applications to:

Ray Doherty, State Hazard Mitigation Officer
VT Division of Emergency Management & Homeland Security
103 South Main Street
Waterbury, VT  05671
Tel (802) 241-5258 (office)

Applications should be submitted 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 committee and by FEMA.  Of course, feel free to contact the DEMHS mitigation staff if you have any questions or concerns regarding HMGP or any other FEMA mitigation grant program.