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Legislation & Policy + Planning Joint Meeting Summary: June 8, 2023

Link to recording: https://youtu.be/5XdLHrp103s

  1. Call to Order – Beth Callaway, ICWP Executive Director
  2. Introductions of participants on the call
  3. Guest presentations:

TOPIC: FEMA funding for climate resilience and disadvantaged communities

SPEAKERS: Melissa Anderson, Acting Branch Chief of the Hazard Mitigation Assistance Outreach and Communications Branch for FEMA & Will Arwood, Hazard Mitigation Assistance Branch Chief at FEMA

Melissa –

Programs of interest to ICWP members:

Pre-disaster Mitigation Grant Program

  • $230M in earmarks FY2023
  • Causes confusion with BRIC

Building Resilient Infrastructure & Communities (BRIC)

  • Incentivizes nature based solutions into mitigation and climate adaptation
  • Competitive annual grant program
  • January closed applications for FY22; $2.2B available, received $4.6B in requests

Safeguarding Tomorrow Revolving Loan Fund Program (STORM) – FEMA’s newest program

  • IIJA funded this $500M thru 2026
  • 1st year only offering $50M to implement best practices
  • FEMA wants states to have decisionmaking authority to give loans
  • Can be used as a cost-share match for other HMA programs

Flood Mitigation Assistance (pre-disaster mitigation)

  • Prioritizes severe loss
  • Competitive grant program that follows BRIC timeline
  • Appropriated $175M since 2016; IIJA added $3.5B over 5 years ($700M/year until 2026).
  • Has opportunity to address climate resilience bc of local federal flood risk reduction projects (i.e. flood control projects).
  • FY22 $800M total; $400M is left to offer for individual flood mitigation projects; there is opportunity to look ahead for funding.
  • Swift Current Initiative – seeks to substantially speed up FMA grant awards after flood events. I.e.- PA, NJ, LA, MS.

FEMA is increasing climate adaptation and mitigation investments. BRIC program has quadrupled in the last 3 years, HMGP has $3.46B available with COVID-19 disaster declarations; IIJA added $5B over 5 years ($3.5B FMA, $1B for BRIC, $500M RLF Program).

Justice 40 – BRIC and FMA have received significant investments to achieve these goals.

Will – BRIC program overview. $500M  for the first year in 2020, $1b for 2nd year 2021, $2.9B in 2022. FEMA is embarking on a 2023 stakeholder engagement period this summer to garner feedback from program partners. FEedback will focus on how the first 3 years of the program have gone to give the agency insight for successes, areas for improvement.

  • FEMA will start with an online survey for 60 days (Mid-June through mid-August) – https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/GK6PZN2
  • Comments can be submitted via email afterwards – bricfeedback@fema.dhs.gov
  • External stakeholder working group –  tribal nations, local, state, hazard and emergency management agencies. Serve 2 year terms. Focus group participation is not open to the public.

Govdelivery email service is open to everyone to sign up.

Upcoming events in FEMA’s summer series (Melissa will keep us informed):

  • August – disaster resilience awareness month. Focus on FY22 grant selections. FY23 BRIC/FMA NOI for funding, STORM funding selections.
  • End of June
  • Ongoing policy improvements to address equity and climate resilience

Questions & Answers – All

  • Opportunities for engagement
    • BRIC program listening sessions
    • Community Disaster Resilience Zones (CDRZ) Act of 2022 implementation – due July 25th
      • requires the President to continue to maintain a natural hazard assessment program that develops and maintains publicly available products to show the risk of natural hazards across the United States.
      • President must periodically identify and designate community disaster resilience zones (CDRZs)
      • President may provide financial, technical, or other assistance to an eligible entity (a state, Indian tribal government, or local government) that plans to perform a resilience or mitigation project within, or that primarily benefits, a CDRZ.
      • Comment on:
        • updates to the methodology and data used for the National Risk Index and any other hazard assessment products;
        • potential improvements to FEMA’s provision of hazard data;
        • the process used to designate community disaster resilience zones;
        • financial and technical assistance for resilience or mitigation projects primarily benefiting community disaster resilience zones;
      • and the community disaster resilience zone project application and certification process.


Next steps

  • Beth to provide a meeting summary and circulate the opportunity to comment on the BRIC program when the official notice is announced.