Mitigation Grant Process
The timeline of a hazard mitigation project can vary depending on several factors, such as the complexity of the project, the grant program, and the specific requirements of the application process. Typically, it may take 3-6 years from the moment of developing an application to the moment of closing the project.
The following figure gives a general outline of the typical timeline from the perspectives of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs (DEMA), and the sub applicant, respectively. It's important to note that the timeline provided above is a general guideline, and the actual duration of each stage may vary depending on the specific circumstances and requirements of the hazard mitigation application.
Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO)
FEMA will launch the NOFO for a grant program at a certain time of a year, and the actual grant active time frame depends on the grant program. Based on the NOFO, the applicant (e.g., AZ DEMA) and the sub applicant (e.g. local government, tribe, non-profit organization) can develop applications for mitigation projects.
FEMA Review and Request for Information (RFI)
After the application is submitted, it goes through a review and evaluation process by FEMA. This stage involves assessing the project eligibility, technical feasibility, and scoring or ranking it against other applications. In the review process, FEMA may request more information from the sub applicant to validate that the proposed project is eligible, technically feasible, and cost-effective, and the proposed work satisfies all current requirements of environmental and historic preservation laws. The duration of the review process can range from weeks to months, and sometimes even a few years.
When a project is determined as ready for the award, FEMA will issue an award notice to the Applicant (i.e., AZ DEMA) about this project.
FEMA Grant Close-out
When a project completes, FEMA will close the project after receiving the close out package from the Applicant (i.e., AZ DEMA).
Notice Of Intent (NOI)
DEMA creates the NOI for the individual grant program every year and distributes the funding opportunity by posting notices on the DEMA’s website, and by sending out the email notices to local governments. Depending on the funding program, the typical timeline of the NOI period is as follows.
- Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) and Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) grants always run concurrently. The Notice of Intent (NOI) period for the State opens the first week of June and closes the first week of September every year, starting in 2020.
- For Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) grant, the NOI period starts upon receipt of a federally declared disaster in Arizona and closes 60 to 120 days after the Declaration (determined by the magnitude and complexity of disaster).Re
- For Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) – Post Fire grant, the NOI period usually opens the second week of October and closes the second week of November every year, IF and Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) is declared in the state.
NOI Review and Ranking
Upon issuance of a Notice of Funding Opportunities (NOFO) by FEMA and/or announcement of a federally declared disaster/FMAG within the state, a Review & Ranking Panel, comprised of representatives and subject matter experts from throughout the state’s agencies and political sub-divisions, will convene to review and then rank the NOIs based upon State and FEMA criteria.
If interested in participating in an Review & Ranking Panel, please contact [email protected].
Please note that contractors and/or individuals who have submitted an NOI for that grant cycle cannot participate in the review due to the conflict of interest.
Upon receipt of a sub application, Mitigation and Subject Matter Experts (SME) will review sub applications and begin a dialogue with the sub applicant in order to assist in developing a better and more complete application. There might be multiple rounds of review and revision between DEMA and the sub applicant, depending on the magnitude of the submissions.
DEMA will submit complete applications to FEMA for potential award and funding. During this process, DEMA, as well as the sub applicant, will continue to provide needed information to FEMA, if required. The further required information is called request for information (RFI) by FEMA.
Upon receipt of an award for a specific grant by FEMA, DEMA will notify the applicant and begin to manage the grant award. DEMA and applicants are required to submit quarterly reports on both the performance and financial aspects of the grant to FEMA.
If applicable, periodic site visits and meetings will occur. Typically, the first site inspection will be scheduled at the project kickoff meeting. Afterwards, site inspections will be conducted every year. The final site inspection will be usually scheduled at the time of project completion.
Submitting Quarterly Reports
During the performance of the project (PoP), DEMA will collect quarterly reports from sub applicants who have active projects and submit the quarterly progress report (QPR) to FEMA every three months. This is for FEMA to track projects' technical and financial progress.
DEMA Grant Close-out
When all projects in the grant are completed, DEMA will conduct a project audit, final inspection report (FIR), and any other project close-out paper. Once all paperwork is completed, DEMA will make the final payment to sub applicant(s), and then submit the grant close-out paperwork to FEMA, in order to officially close the entire grant at the state level.
A sub applicant needs to initiate and plan for a hazard mitigation project, which may take weeks or months. This involves identifying the hazard to be mitigated, conducting a risk assessment, and developing a mitigation strategy. It may also involve forming partnerships with relevant stakeholders and gathering necessary data and documentation. After that, the sub applicant enters the following stage: Notice of Intent (NOI) Preparation, Application Development, Response to FEMA’s Request for information (RFI), Period of Performance (PoP), and Project Closeout.
Sub applicants, who’s NOI have been recommended by the Ranking & Review Panel to continue in the process, will be asked to create and submit an application. Typically work includes developing a detailed scope of work (SOW), completing the necessary forms, gathering supporting documents and signatures. The time required for application development can range from a few weeks to a couple of months, depending on the complexity of the application and the availability of the required information.
Project Period of Performance (PoP)
Upon award of the grant, the applicant will initiate and complete the project according to the approved scope of work, and within the agreed upon period of performance or timeline.
Upon completion of the grant project, Mitigation and FEMA inspectors will complete a site inspection and begin the closeout process. As of 2015, all awarded HMA grants are audited by State Auditors.