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FEMA Advances Equity, Provides Direct Support to Underserved Communities to Invest in Resilience

Agency Announces First Selections Awarded for Two Mitigation Grant Programs 

WASHINGTON — FEMA is expediting mitigation grant selections and assistance to help states, local communities, tribes and territories enhance disaster resiliency sooner.

The awards totaling $91.2 million are the first round of selected projects for the fiscal year 2021 Building Resilient Infrastructure and communities (BRIC) grant programs. FEMA is announcing these first-round selections earlier than last year to better assist communities across the nation to build resilience.

States, local communities, tribes and territories may use this grant for mitigation planning, adoption and enforcement of building codes and standards, project scoping and small-scale mitigation projects.

FEMA is also announcing selections of 20 diverse communities, tribes and territories set to receive non-financial direct technical assistance to help build community-wide resilience. In this assistance, FEMA provides free support for mitigation projects and application-specific needs to underserved communities that may encounter barriers when trying to access Hazard Mitigation Assistance grant programs.

“We are excited about this opportunity to provide support at the earliest stages to communities, which may not have the capacity to start the application process on their own,” said FEMA Deputy Administrator Erik Hooks. “FEMA looks forward to working with these communities to find solutions to make them more resilient and reduce the impacts of climate change.”

These selections will help FEMA set a baseline to achieving the goals of the Biden-Harris Administration’s justice40 Initiative, which prioritizes delivering at least 40% of the overall benefits of federal investments to disadvantaged communities.

FEMA will make the second round of project selections later this summer. The announcement will include more complex projects like those from BRIC’s national competition and Flood Mitigation Assistance community-wide flood mitigation projects.  

These are the first selections of $1.16 billion in the FMA and BRIC funding that FEMA announced in August. The programs provide funds to states, local communities, tribes and territories for eligible mitigation and planning activities. They strengthen our nation’s ability to build a culture of preparedness and promote and sustain a prepared nation.

The first round of selections may be viewed on FEMA.gov.

Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities

For the first round, FEMA has selected 316 subapplications for further review totaling $65.7 million across each state and territory, including 55 tribes. Most of the selections are for capability and capacity building projects specifically for project scoping, planning, partnerships and building codes.

Examples of a wide variety of subapplication selections include relocating 10 homes in the Native Village of Napakiak in Alaska, project scoping a bridge in Biloxi, Mississippi and completing a flood study of the Lower Brandywine River and developing a mitigation strategy for future flooding in Delaware.

Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities Direct Technical Assistance

FEMA selected 20 communities to receive non-financial Direct Technical Assistance. This helps communities submit high-quality grant applications to reduce disaster damage, carry out risk-reduction projects and sustain successful mitigation programs.

FEMA  RegionStateJurisdictionRequest
1MaineTown of TremontAssistance with identifying potential projects to help the town address sea level rise on the island.
1Rhode IslandWoonsocketAssistance with addressing inland flooding through project scoping, which will aim to protect the lives, property, critical facilities and infrastructure, and resources of Woonsocket.
2New JerseyBorough of OceanportAssistance to conduct specific hazard mitigation activities to mitigate future storm surges.
2New YorkCity of JamestownAssistance to develop a holistic and equitable climate action plan and project scoping to address flooding in the community.
2Puerto RicoMunicipality of CanóvanasAssistance with identifying viable mitigation measures to protect this flood prone community.
3MarylandCity of CrisfieldAssistance with addressing the city’s coastal flooding and storm surge challenges.
3PennsylvaniaCity of PhiladelphiaAssistance with addressing the flooding hazards caused by sea level rise.
4AlabamaCity of BirminghamAssistance with grants management assistance and project scoping activities to support the city’s drainage systems.
4KentuckyRobertson CountyAssistance with conducting project scoping activities to address challenges with landslides.
5MichiganKeweenaw Bay Indian CommunityAssistance with developing an improved risk assessment and green infrastructure design criteria that meet multiple goals for hazard mitigation, cultural preservation, and protection of critical infrastructure and ecosystems.
5MinnesotaRed Lake NationAssistance with grants management training to develop projects needed after the town of Red Lake was hit by two EF1 tornadoes in 2021.
6ArkansasCrawford CountyAssistance with identifying sustainable, cost effective, nature-based solutions to protect against future flooding, and match the mitigation solution with appropriate funding.
6LouisianaSt. John the Baptist ParishAssistance with project prioritization to address the significant flood risk the parish faces.
7IowaCity of CherokeeAssistance to implement nature-based solutions and develop a local mitigation partnership network.
7KansasCity of ManhattanAssistance with conceptualizing projects to reduce flooding through focused regenerative agriculture.
8MontanaChippewa Cree TribeAssistance with a solar array project to connect to a micro-grid which will supply power to multiple buildings.
9CaliforniaCity of ModestoAssistance with performing benefit-cost analyses for mitigation projects related to the Tuolumne River floodway.
9CaliforniaPauma Band of Luiseno IndiansAssistance with updating the tribe’s hazard mitigation plan, assessing mitigation and risk reduction needs and developing an economic resilience planning process.
10AlaskaNative Village of OuzinkieAssistance with conceptualizing a tsunami shelter project.
10OregonTown of Butte FallsAssistance with conceptualizing projects intended to improve water and wastewater resilience as well as develop capacity for building planning.

Flood Mitigation Assistance

For the first round, FEMA has selected 22 subapplications for further review totaling $25.5 million across five states. The majority of the selections are to elevate repetitively flood-damaged buildings insured under the National Flood Insurance Program that will benefit socially vulnerable households.

Other subapplications for further review included capacity and capability building activities such as project scoping, planning and technical assistance.

Examples of subapplication projects selected include elevating more than 70 buildings in Ascension, New Iberia, Rapides and St. Tammany parishes in Louisiana and project scoping a housing complex in East Harlem, New York that has been vulnerable to flooding.

As FEMA is reviewing the second round of selections to be announced this summer, there will be a greater focus and priority on socially vulnerable communities.

FEMA remains committed to investing in mitigation. Important elements of our grant programs are aligned to build a culture of preparedness and promote and sustain a prepared nation by reducing disaster losses and protecting life and property from disaster damage.