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FEMA Issues Notice of Funding Opportunity for Infrastructure Resiliency Grant

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) issued a notice of funding opportunity for the new Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) grant.

The policy was signed into law as part of the Disaster Recovery Reform Act in October 2018, and it replaces the former Pre-Disaster Mitigation Program. The goal of BRIC is to foster preparedness through investments to protect communities, enhance national mitigation activities, and build disaster resiliency.

The $1 billion BRIC program will open for applications September 30, 2021 and close January 28, 2022; however, each State has developed their own process and deadlines for sub-applicants to submit applications. The Oregon Office of Emergency Management has a two-phased process where sub-applicants must submit a Notice of Intent by September 23, 2021. Oregon OEM will notify sub-applicants if their project is eligible to submit a full application, January 17, 2022. Additional details are available on the Oregon OEM hazard mitigation webpage.

Click here to view The Ferguson Group’s BRIC Federal Grant Profile.

According to the agency’s notice, the program will focus on six central themes:

  • Incentivization of natural hazard risk reduction activities that mitigate risk to public infrastructure.
  • Prioritizing disadvantaged communities.
  • Mitigating risk to one or more community lifelines, such as public safety, water, healthcare, electricity, and transportation services.
  • Incorporation of nature-based solutions.
  • Enhancing and prioritizing climate resilience and adaptation.
  • Increasing funding to applicants facilitating adoption and enforcement of the latest published editions of building codes.

The program will cover a broad range of projects addressing various hazards such as floods, severe weather and earthquakes. FEMA’s most recent guide to hazard mitigation assistance, available on its website, outlines the possibilities. FEMA also publishes case studies of past mitigation grant award projects.

Monies awarded will be used for capability and capacity building activities, mitigation projects, and management costs. Projects must be cost effective, mitigate risk and damage from future natural hazards, meet relevant structural standards and requirements, factor into the governing jurisdiction’s Hazard Mitigation Plan, and meet all environmental and historic preservation requirements. Special districts must have an active, FEMA-approved Hazard Mitigation Plan or participate in an approved multi-jurisdiction Hazard Mitigation Plan.

Eligible special districts are strongly encouraged to prepare to file their applications accordingly.

Projects receiving awards will receive a 75 percent federal cost share to complete the project, with economically disadvantaged rural communities receiving up to a 90 percent federal cost share. FEMA defines an “economically disadvantaged rural community” as a one with a population of 3,000 or less and an average per-capita income no higher than 80 percent the average national per capital income.

More information on FEMA’s hazard mitigation planning is available here, and local information is available through county or city agencies responsible for emergency management. Districts in need of grant assistance are encouraged to utilize The Ferguson Group’s grant services offered to NSDC Members. Contact Heidi Schott, TFG Director of Grants Services, for details.