Monday, April 1, 2013

5th Round for the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP): Applications Due to DEMHS by July 12th, 2013

Here is an annoucement from the Vermont Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (DEMHS).   Grant money is available through FEMA's Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) to all Vermont communities for hazard mitigation projects.

All inquiries, questions or concerns regarding the HMGP grants should be sent to Ray Doherty, the VT State Hazard Mitigation Officer  by email at or by phone at (802) 241-5258 (office).

Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) 5th Round

The State of Vermont has received an extension from FEMA for the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) in connection with Tropical Storm Irene.  

The Vermont Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (DEMHS) is now accepting HMGP applications from towns and agencies in all Vermont counties in connection with the most recent disasters. The HMGP program is funded through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and is administered by the VT Division of Emergency Management & Homeland Security.   Federal funds are available to cover up to 75% of project costs.  Applicants are responsible for the 25% local match requirement. 
We encourage you to identify potential hazard mitigation sites in your communities and apply for funds under the HMGP grant program.  Typical hazard mitigation projects would include: repair and mitigation of local roads and bridges, home or property acquisition (buy-out), structural elevations or relocations, replacement of undersized culverts, remediation of stream bank erosion, flood proofing of municipal buildings, etc.   This is an opportunity for repetitive loss structures, businesses, and other buildings located in the 100-year flood plain to consider elevation, relocation or acquisition.  Project proposals need not be directly connected to flooding from the most recent declared disasters.  Towns may also apply for a grant to develop a local hazard mitigation plan or mitigation initiative projects. 

You may download the HMGP application from our agency’s website at or you may contact the State Hazard Mitigation Officer for an application.   On DEMHS’ website, first go to the Mitigation Tab, and then click on HMGP Application and Forms.

Please note the following FEMA eligibility requirements:

1)  Communities must have a FEMA approved and adopted local mitigation plan no later than the date that funds are awarded.  Those towns lacking an approved plan should contact their local Regional Planning Commission for assistance.

2)  Communities must be participating in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), if a special flood hazard area (SFHA) has been identified in the community.   Please contact the Agency of Natural Resources state floodplain coordinator, Rob Evans, for additional information on applying for NFIP membership:  tel (802) 490-6152 or via email at

The application must be completed in full, including maps, list of alternative proposals, engineering plans, hydrology studies (if needed) and a full benefit-cost analysis (BCA) in the FEMA approved format.  If you need help in completing the BCA, you may contact your local Regional Planning Commission.  Some BCA assistance may be available from DEMHS mitigation staff if you make a prior appointment. 

Deadline for 5th Round HMGP applications:   Friday, July 12, 2013.  

If you wish to apply for an HMGP grant, please submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) to DEMHS by June 7.   The LOI should include a brief description of your proposal and the total estimated cost of your project.  Please indicate if you’ll need assistance in completing the application or benefit cost analysis. 

   Please submit LOIs and completed applications to:

            Ray Doherty, State Hazard Mitigation Officer
            VT Division of Emergency Management & Homeland Security
            103 South Main Street
            Waterbury, VT  05671
Tel (802) 241-5258 (office)

Applications should be submitted in hard copy (paper application) and in electronic format such as a PDF file.  Applications will not be accepted if submitted past the deadline. 
Please note that HMGP funds are awarded on a competitive basis and all applications are subject to review and selection by the State Mitigation Project Committee and FEMA.  

Free Online Trainings Offered in April

We recently received an announcement that 5 online trainings will be offered throughout the month of April.  These trainings will be hosted by STARR, one of the FEMA contractors that has been working on FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) updates throughout New England and the rest of the United States.

The trainings that will be offered cover several different topics that may be relevant and helpful to anyone who has some involvement with or interest in floodplain management.  Many of the courses are eligible for CEC credits for Certified Floodplain Managers.

To register for a course or to check on upcoming courses, navigate to and click the “Upcoming” tab. Below are the available courses offered in April. We understand that there will be monthly updates on upcoming courses. Courses like the MT1 training and NFIP basics are repeated frequently.

April 11, 1:00 pm Eastern – Elevation Certificates for A Zones
Training on the proper way to complete FEMA Form 81-31 and best practices for using the Elevation Certificate in the floodplain development review process. Special consideration to using the form in A Zone without a BFE. 2 CECs for ASFPM Certified Floodplain Managers (CFMs) that register and attend individually and pass the learning objectives quiz at the end of the session.

April 17, 1:00 pm Eastern – Biggert Waters NFIP Reform Act of 2012
The Biggert-Waters National Flood Insurance Program Reform Act of 2012 (BW-12) resulted in major changes to the NFIP. This session, presented by FEMA Region X, will provide an overview of the changes and what is being done to implement the legislation. Continuing Education and Professional Development Credits are available.

April 18, 1:00 pm Eastern – NFIP Basics
This one-hour session will cover the history of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), basic terminology, governing authority, and provide an overview of the community’s role in floodplain management through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The target audience are state and local officials who need a general understanding of the ins and outs of the program and guidance on where to go for more training and answers. Continuing Education and Professional Development Credits are available.

April 24, 1:00 pm Eastern – Preparing Data for Hazus
This session is targeted to those interested in how to update Hazus with local data from parcel/assessors information. We will describe the data required to update the Hazus general building stock data. The session will feature tutorials on how to update data using the Comprehensive Data Management System. We will also cover what is required for a user-defined analysis for the Earthquake and Flood modules. Continuing Education and Professional Development Credits are available.

April 25, 1:00 pm Eastern – MT-1 Basics
This webinar is designed to give a broad overview of the MT-1 review process and review procedures that will help applicants submit a completed MT-1 application to facilitate processing by FEMA. Attendees will learn what is required to submit a complete application, including how to fill out the forms and use FEMA’s new online LOMC submittal tool. In addition, the course will outline the differences between LOMAs, eLOMAs, LOMR-Fs, and conditional LOMCs. Participants will learn how to submit more complete LOMC requests that can be processed more quickly and with fewer additional data requests. The community’s role with regards to the MT-1 process will also be discussed. This course is designed for State and Local officials, engineers, surveyors, and anyone interested in learning more about the MT-1 process. Continuing Education and Professional Development Credits are available.

If you have questions about the webinars or course information, please contact the New England region STARR contact, Alex Sirotek:

Alex Sirotek, CFM
FEMA Region 1 Regional Service Center
99 High Street, 3rd Floor
Boston, MA 02110