What is Mitigation?
Hazard mitigation is any sustained action taken to reduce or eliminate long-term risk to life and property from hazard events. It is an on-going process that occurs before, during, and after disasters and serves to break the cycle of damage and repair in hazardous areas. At a minimum, mitigation measures must be technically feasible, cost-effective and environmentally sound. Current research shows that for every $1 spent on mitigation, an average of $6 is saved.
The Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 and corresponding regulation - 44 CFR Part 201, require that state, local, tribal and territorial governments have a FEMA-approved mitigation plan in place in order to be eligible for mitigation project funding.
Current Funding Opportunities
New York State Hazard Mitigation Revolving Loan Fund (HM RLF)
New York State’s plan for the Hazard Mitigation State Revolving Loan Fund (HM RLF)
HM RLF program funds will be administered by the NYS Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES). DHSES oversees both programmatic oversight and fiscal administration of the HM RLF. The Intended Use Plan (IUP) outlines NYS’s priorities, policy, and evaluation criteria that DHSES will use to manage the program in 2023.
The Safeguarding Tomorrow through Ongoing Risk Mitigation (STORM) Act became law on January 1, 2021. The STORM Act authorizes FEMA to provide capitalization grants for states, eligible federally recognized tribes, territories, and the District of Columbia, in turn who may make funding decisions and award loans directly to local communities. These revolving loan funds provide hazard mitigation assistance for local governments to reduce risks from natural hazards and disasters.
A Notice of Funding Opportunity “Fiscal Year 2023 Safeguarding Tomorrow through Ongoing Risk Mitigation Revolving Loan Fund Program”, was published by FEMA on December 20, 2022 (Funding Opportunity Number: DHS-23-STORM-139-00-01). $50 million is being made available for this inaugural funding opportunity of the $500 million allocated for the new Safeguarding Tomorrow RLF program.
DHSES has established a set of priorities for the first year of the HM RLF program. Project priorities are:
- Disadvantaged, underserved, and Socially Vulnerable (as defined below) areas proposing projects to foster resilience.
- Non-federal cost share for existing hazard mitigation projects.
- Mitigation projects that address the following:
- Localized flood risk reduction
- Social stabilization
- Infrastructure Retrofit
- Projects not eligible under other HMA grants due to not passing a benefit cost analysis.
Evaluating loan applications based on social, economic, and environmental vulnerability. Scoring criteria assesses loan applications using the Center for Disease Control (CDC) Social Vulnerability Index (SVI).
DHSES developed scoring criteria to evaluate loan applications based on alignment to the State Hazard Mitigation Plan (HMP). This helps prioritize projects in line with existing programs and priorities.
Availability of Financial Assistance from the Entity Loan Fund
DHSES has submitted an application to FEMA for $15.0 million of the $50 million available STORM Act funding
Benefit Cost Analysis Support
Each year, FEMA makes billions of mitigation dollars available through their annual recurring and Federally Declared Disaster mitigation grants. To qualify for funding, all construction related activities must be determined cost effective through an approved FEMA Benefit Cost Analysis (BCA) methodology. This page focuses on how to download and utilize the approved FEMA BCA Toolkit v.6.0 to complete a BCA, which is required for the vast majority of construction related mitigation projects.
This page includes helpful webinars, tutorials, support materials, and links to the relevant FEMA BCA resources. DHSES also encourages you to reach out to the BCA Technical Assistance team with any questions regarding how to get started, project eligibility, type of backup documentation required, or to have DHSES complete your initial BCA (procurement rules during open grant cycles apply).
As stated above, most projects will utilize the FEMA BCA Toolkit to complete their BCA, however, certain projects employ Precalculated Benefits. Projects that have precalculated benefits include the buyout or elevation of flood prone or damaged homes, generators for hospital-type facilities, and 5% Initiative projects. To find out more information on these types of BCAs, please contact the DHSES BCA Technical Assistance Team.
Request BCA Technical Assistance or Ask Mitigation Questions:
BCA Technical and Scientific Resources
FEMA Resources Links
FEMA BCA Website: https://www.fema.gov/grants/tools/benefit-cost-analysis
BCA Reference Library: https://www.fema.gov/grants/guidance-tools/benefit-cost-analysis/resources
How to Perform a Streamlined BCA: https://www.fema.gov/grants/guidance-tools/benefit-cost-analysis/streamlined-bca
How to Perform a Full BCA: https://www.fema.gov/grants/guidance-tools/benefit-cost-analysis/full-bca
Download the BCA Toolkit: https://www.fema.gov/fact-sheet/fema-bca-toolkit-60-installation-instructions
Information for Subapplicants
The federal government has transitioned from the Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) to the Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) number. The UEI is now the only acceptable identifier for doing business with the federal government. All subapplicants applying for FEMA Mitigation Programs must obtain a UEI in order for NYS DHSES to transfer your grant funds to you. Directions for obtaining a Unique Entity Identifier or UEI can be found at SAM.gov.
Please note: If you do not currently have a UEI number, you should start the process of obtaining one immediately to ensure you are in possession of a UEI at the time of application. DHSES expects to announce these programs in August/September.
State Hazard Mitigation Planning
Hazard mitigation planning begins with state, tribal and local governments identifying natural disaster risks and vulnerabilities that are common in their area, and understanding the built, natural, and social environments that must be protected. From there, capabilities are assessed and strategies developed to reduce this risk long-term, and protect people and property for damaging weather events and disasters. Hazard Mitigation Plans are key to breaking the cycle of disaster damage and reconstruction.
The State Hazard Mitigation Plan (SHMP) documents statewide efforts to reduce risk to natural hazards, and provides local communities with critical information and guidance regarding the hazard risk, capabilities, priorities and risk reduction strategies in development of local hazard mitigation plans. To mitigate climate change-affected hazards both now and in the future, local planners must be aware of localized climate projections, the varied impacts that climate change can have, especially on vulnerable populations, and the policies, programs, tools, and funding sources available to reduce their harm. Climate change is presented and incorporated throughout this plan, following best practices from NY state agencies, authoritative scientific institutions, academia, FEMA, and other states leading the fight against climate change. New York’s State Hazard Mitigation Plan (SHMP) strives to highlight and follow the example of New York’s nation-leading efforts to fight climate change, adapt to its impacts, and center equity and environmental justice.
In order for a State to be eligible to receive certain non-emergency disaster assistance, including FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) programs, Public Assistance funds (non-emergency permanent work), Fire Management Assistance Grants, and Rehabilitation of High-Hazard Potential Dam grants, a current FEMA approved SHMP is required. FEMA requires SHMPs to be updated every five (5) years. The NYS Hazard Mitigation Plan was last updated and approved by FEMA on December 14, 2023. In 2018, New York State was the first in the nation to develop a web-based State Hazard Mitigation Plan, called MitigateNY.
MitigateNY is New York State’s hazard mitigation planning platform, and home for the 2023 State Hazard Mitigation Plan.
As part of MitigateNY, counties also have access to a local hazard mitigation planning platform with unique data presented for each. Learn more about this initiative and the opportunities now and to come for local planning here.
Local Hazard Mitigation Planning
While hazardous events cannot be prevented, Local Hazard Mitigation Plans (LHMPs) have proven to be an effective tool to reduce losses and enhance community resilience. LHMPs are documents that aim to identify mitigation actions to be undertaken to increase community preparedness and resiliency, and decrease vulnerability in the event of a hazard. A FEMA-approved hazard mitigation plan is required for communities (subapplicants) interested in receiving FEMA’s grant funding for eligible mitigation projects.
As outlined in the all-hazard mitigation guidelines in 44 CFR Part 201.6, LHMPs can be prepared either by a single jurisdiction (e.g., a village, town or city) or by multiple jurisdictions working together. LHMPs only become active after they are approved by FEMA and adopted by the jurisdiction (for multi-jurisdictional plans, adoption by one participant activates the FEMA approved plan). Local plans must be reviewed, updated, and resubmitted for approval every five years. Funding opportunities to update multi-jurisdictional hazard mitigation plans are available under the Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) programs.
For more information: FEMA Planning Requirements for HMA Grants
Please Note: NYS DHSES developed additional hazard mitigation planning standards (see Hazard Mitigation Planning Resources below) to augment those required by FEMA. After October 15, 2012, these will be "required actions" for any hazard mitigation plan developed with funds administered by NYS DHSES and will be part of all contracts executed with grant recipients. All grantees are strongly encouraged to include this information in their "Request for Proposals" and to provide it to their consultants before planning begins in earnest.
Hazard Mitigation Planning Resources
The Local Mitigation Plan Review Tool (PRT) demonstrates how the local mitigation plan meets the regulation in 44 CFR § 201.6 and offers states and FEMA Mitigation Planners an opportunity to provide feedback to the local governments, including special districts.