March 6, 2018

FEMA: Mitigation Grants Program Eclipsed $15 Billion in Helping Communities Rebuild, Recover and Avoid Future Losses

This year marks three decades since the Robert T. Stafford Act was amended to include funding for hazard mitigation; to date, FEMA has provided more than $15 billion in mitigation grants to support state, local, tribal and territorial efforts to rebuild their communities stronger and safer.

A National Institute of Building Sciences report issued earlier this year found federal mitigation projects, on average, can save the nation $6 in future disaster costs, for every $1 spent on hazard mitigation.

“Mitigation is a cornerstone of how we create a true culture of preparedness,” said FEMA Administrator Brock Long. “Investing in mitigation before the next disaster is the first step in building a more resilient nation.”

The flagship post-disaster grant program, Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP), was implemented in 1988, through a Congressional amendment to the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief Act.  This act provided federal disaster funds to states following presidentially-declared disasters and supported cost effective measures during recovery that minimize the risk of loss in future disasters.

Initially, FEMA‘s annual grant budget was $200,000, which was used for public education and outreach to individuals after a disaster. This was not enough to fund the repairs or incorporate mitigation into those repairs within a community.  Since then, FEMA’s hazard mitigation assistance programs have changed; they’ve now grown to include HMGP, Flood Mitigation Assistance and Pre-Disaster Mitigation grants. Today, FEMA’s hazard mitigation programs have provided more than $15 billion to help local communities, states, tribes and territories across the country to reduce disaster losses and protect life and property from future disasters.

FEMA’s mitigation grants reduce overall risk to a community’s residents and structures, as well as reduce reliance on federal funding.  The programs’ goals are to provide a long-term solution to a natural hazard and ensure that the potential savings will be more than the cost of implementing the mitigation project in a community.

Below are examples of the types of mitigation projects funded since the grants program was authorized.

A more detailed list of eligible mitigation projects is available online at

Visit to see a timeline of important milestones about mitigation. To take a look back over the last 30 years in mitigation, through FEMA Hazard Mitigation Assistance Branch Chief, Karen Helbrecht’s eyes, read:

FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grants Data Visualization
Data Visualization of FEMA mitigation projects funded over the last 30 years by country, state, and region of the country.

FEMA administers three Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) programs that provide funding for eligible mitigation planning and projects that reduce disaster losses and protect life and property from future disaster damages.  The programs are the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP), Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) and Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) program.  HMGP is the oldest of these grant programs and has been collecting data since the first grant was provided in 1989.

The snapshots below are examples to show FEMA’s online data visualization ( resource. Each view summarizes the mitigation projects funded to include the amount of funds obligated and the number of mitigation projects for each of the programs.  Data can be viewed by county, state, FEMA region or by Congressional District.

Hazard Mititgatio Snapshot State Viewclick here      Hazard Mititgation SnapshotCounty View     Screen shot of the Hazard Mitigation SnapshotFEMA Region viewClick here button     Hazard Mitigation SnapshotCongressional District ViewClick Here

This post was originally published here.