FEMA issues funding opportunities notice for its new pre-disaster mitigation grant program
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) posted the fiscal year 2020 hazard mitigation assistance Notification of Funding Opportunities for the new Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) pre-disaster mitigation grant program, which provides funding for eligible mitigation activities to strengthen our nation’s ability to build a culture of preparedness by reducing disaster losses and protecting life and property from future disaster damages. Through legislation in 2018, the Code Council supported the creation of the program and has worked closely with FEMA on its further development.
The BRIC funding opportunity highlights model codes in several ways:
- It commits to “increase funding to applicants that facilitate the adoption and enforcement of the latest published editions of building codes.”
- It also requires mitigation projects “at a minimum, be in conformance with the latest published editions (meaning either of the two most recently published editions) of relevant consensus-based codes, specifications and standards that incorporate the latest hazard-resistant designs.”
- Acquisition projects must demonstrate to FEMA how they will resettle such areas in a way that mitigates future risk from natural hazards through mechanisms “such as new land use development plans, building codes or construction requirements, protective infrastructure development, or restrictions on future disaster assistance to such properties.”
- Finally, the BRIC funding opportunity gives projects from states where the applicant has adopted the 2015 or 2018 International Building and Residential Codes a 20-percent boost and projects with a Building Code Effectiveness Grading Schedule rating between one and five a 15-percent boost.
- The funding opportunity also notes that “FEMA acknowledges the importance of strong building codes at the state, local, tribal and territorial levels. Accordingly, in future BRIC grant cycles, FEMA may increase its emphasis on building codes criteria.”
This year, there is $500 million available for the BRIC program. The application deadline is Jan. 29, 2021.
To learn more, view the FEMA fact sheet — Notice of Funding Opportunity for Hazard Mitigation Assistance Grants — which covers available funding, funding caps, cost-share, application and funding deadlines, eligibility information, and additional pertinent resources.
To learn more and ask questions about the funding opportunity for the BRIC grants, FEMA is offering a series of webinars in August — scheduled from 2:00-3:30 p.m. ET on August 18, August 20 and August 25 — for prospective applicants and webinars in September on common pre-disaster mitigation grant application errors and how to avoid them.