Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a call for projects to be funded by the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) to assist local governments and non-profit organizations rebuild stronger, more resilient communities across the state. These efforts are aimed at increasing the States resiliency, mitigating the risks of loss and damage associated with future disasters, and reducing hardship. Over $500 million is expected to be available for the program.
After the unprecedented destruction caused by Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee, we must build back stronger and smarter than before, Governor Cuomo said. Severe weather events are no longer once every hundred years, so our communities must be ready to handle more frequent and intense storms. These funds will provide financial assistance to communities statewide to rebuild and improve our resiliency, as part of the States ongoing work to ensure that we are better prepared to protect New Yorkers, strengthen facilities and infrastructure, and maintain critical services.
To move these initiatives forward, the State will make the HMGP available statewide and across a range of sectors, giving preference to proposals that:
- Are in a county that was covered by a declaration of emergency in Hurricane Irene, Tropical Storm Lee or Superstorm Sandy.
- Ensure continuity of critical services by reducing the risk of damage and loss of function from flooding and other hazards (including storm surge) at government, private non-profit and, in certain cases, private sector facilities.
- Protect and enhance the reliability and resilience of transportation, communications or energy infrastructure through traditional or innovative mitigation measures: for example, by burying vulnerable power lines or installing outage management systems; storm-proofing vulnerable cell towers with back-up power systems to ensure uninterrupted communications in emergencies; protecting rail or road corridors against flooding; or mitigating scour-critical bridges or culverts.
- Provide green, natural or innovative technological solutions to long-term threats: for example, by constructing or reinforcing natural barriers to protect coastal communities; implementing new technologies to minimize damage to facilities in floodplains; and purchasing and modifying land to provide buffer zones to protect communities and their infrastructure.
- Implement permanent back-up power systems to ensure continuity of power during and after a disaster: for example, by installing combined heat and power (CHP) systems in a critical facility serving vulnerable populations; or wiring for generators to ensure capacity to maintain power during and after such a disaster.
- Implement eligible mitigation recommendations made by the NYS Ready, the NYS Respond, or the NYS 2100 Commissions (see www.governor.ny.gov/NYS2100Commission), or those identified by a countys assessment of its emergency response capacity.
- Enhance the ability of the State and/or local governments to monitor rain, streams and/or tides, to provide advance flood warnings and evacuation notices, or to provide other situational awareness during a disaster: for example, by installing stream/water level monitoring system to provide evacuation alerts.
- Provide training for local floodplain administrators and code officials to perform post-storm inspections required under local law and State Code to speed recovery.
- Realize permanent flood mitigation solutions: Removing structures from a floodplain, or relocating them to higher ground. This includes the acquisition of homes damaged after June 30, 2012 that do not qualify for existing NYS or NYC housing recovery programs for survivors of Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.
After a Presidential disaster declaration, as in the case of Hurricane Irene, Tropical Storm Lee and Superstorm Sandy, FEMA provides HMGP funds for States to administer grant programs that support local hazard mitigation planning and long-term hazard mitigation measures to reduce the loss of life and damage to improved property from natural disasters.
Through the HMGP program, the State will help to fund innovative mitigation measures that protect communities, while at the same time stimulating local economic growth and serving other objectives. Local officials and non-profit organizations are encouraged to develop such proposals in the form of a Letter of Intent (LOI) in the areas identified above.
FEMA funds provide 75% reimbursement of eligible costs, up to the amount of the award. In-kind services or materials may be used toward the 25% non-Federal match. While most Federal funds cannot be used for the non-Federal match, there are exceptions and the State may provide matching funds in certain circumstances for eligible projects.
Interested eligible sub-applicants must use the Letters of Intent (LOIs) available online to register for this grant cycle: see www.nysandyhelp.ny.gov/content/hazard-mitigation-grant-program-hmgp-0. LOIs for all HMGP activities are due Friday, July 5, 2013 by 11:59 pm. For more information about the HMGP, including all program requirements and a listing of eligible activities, see FEMAs 2011 Guidance document at www.dhses.ny.gov/oem/mitigation/documents/FY2011-HMA-Unified_Guidance.pdf.
Private individuals and businesses may not apply for the HMGP, but eligible applicants may apply on their behalf. Collaborative and creative public-private approaches are strongly encouraged in this HMGP.
Homeowners and businesses may be eligible for storm assistance under a variety of housing recovery programs. For programs under New York State, visit www.nysandyhelp.ny.gov or phone 855-NYS-SANDY. For New York City programs, visit www.nyc.gov/html/recovery/html/home/home.shtml or phone 311.