Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC)
What is BRIC?
The Disaster Recovery Reform Act (DRRA) passed in 2018, amended many sections of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Act, and included DRRA Section 1234: National Public Infrastructure Pre-Disaster Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. This grant program has been renamed Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) and is funded annually through the Disaster Relief Fund. This funding is calculated as a 6% of the estimated disaster grant expenditures incurred throughout the previous fiscal year. Federal Fiscal Year 2020 was the first year that BRIC was offered.
BRIC supports states, local communities, tribes, and territories as they undertake hazard mitigation projects that aim to reduce the risks they face from disasters and natural hazards. The program’s main objectives are to support communities through capability- and capacity-building, encourage innovation, promote partnerships, enable large projects, maintain flexibility, and provide consistency.
HMA Funding Announcement Webinar September 9, 2021
What are “natural hazards”?
A natural hazard is a natural phenomenon that might have a negative effect on humans or the environment. A few New Mexico specific examples include flash flooding, wildfires, droughts, thunderstorms, and earthquakes. There are 14 natural hazards identified in the state’s Hazard Mitigation Plan. These hazards are distinct from human-caused hazards, which are not eligible for natural hazard mitigation funding.
What can I do with this grant?
1) Construction and Land Disturbance Projects (both Phased and Regular)
Eligible projects include those that increase resilience and public safety, reduce injuries and loss of life, and reduce damage to property, critical services, facilities, and infrastructure from natural hazards and the effects of climate change.
2) Capability- and Capacity-Building Projects
Hazard Mitigation Planning
FEMA requires state, territorial, tribal, and local governments to develop and adopt hazard mitigation plans as a condition for receiving HMGP project funding. Mitigation plans play a critical role in breaking the cycle of disaster, damage, reconstruction, and repeated damage. With these plans, communities can identify risks and vulnerabilities related to natural disasters in their communities, and they can develop long-term strategies for protecting people and property from future events. Hazard mitigation plan must be updated and receive FEMA approval every five years.
Eligible projects include data collection, risk mapping, and sourcing of information that would allow for more effective hazard mitigation planning.
Project scoping is used to develop solutions to natural hazard problems and create viable mitigation projects. Eligible projects include data collection, engineering, design, surveying, Hydrologic & Hydraulic Analysis, and environmental assessments, among others.
Building Code Activities
Eligible projects include public outreach to encourage local adoption of the latest building codes, as well as ordinances to enforce those codes.
Awards are available for projects that enhance mitigation activities across multiple jurisdictions.
3) Direct Technical Assistance
FEMA provides direct technical assistance to as many as 20 communities across the nation to ensure stakeholders are capable of building and sustaining successful mitigation programs, submitting high-quality applications, and implementing innovative projects that reduce risks from natural hazards. Communities are eligible to request this assistance even if they are not submitting any other sub-application. Interested communities can submit one letter of interest no later than 1:00 PM Mountain Standard Time on January 28, 2022, to FEMA-BRICDirectTechnicalAssistance@fema.dhs.gov
Who can apply?
Applications are submitted to the DHSEM Mitigation Unit, which administers the BRIC grant funds awarded by FEMA. Eligible subrecipients include state agencies, federally recognized tribal governments, and communities including local governments, cities, townships, counties, and special district governments. Eligible sub-applicants may apply for funding on behalf of individuals, businesses, and non-profits. If submitting a project application, a FEMA-approved hazard mitigation plan (HMP) is required by the application deadline and at the time of award (44 CFR 201).
Federally recognized tribes may apply as a direct recipient to FEMA. Please contact Christy King, FEMA Region VI HMA at Christina.L.King@fema.dhs.gov for more information.
How much money is available?
Funding amounts can vary by year. Please review the most recent funding announcement for the amount available this funding cycle.
What are the cost-share requirements?
FEMA provides up to 75% of the funds for mitigation projects. The remaining 25% can come from a variety of sources. Most of the sub-grants in New Mexico are matched with in-kind time. Staff who are not federally funded track the time they spend working on the project or administering the sub-grant and they count their regular salary rate toward the 25% requirement. Cash match, payment from the state, local government, or individuals, is also common. Other funding sources may include donated resources, such as construction labor, Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC) funds from a flood insurance policy, or loans from other government agencies, such as the Small Business Administration.
Rural, economically disadvantaged communities are eligible for an increase in cost share up to a 90% federal / 10% non-federal. The definition of a rural, economically disadvantaged community is a community of 3,000 or fewer individuals identified by the Applicant [State of NM] that is economically disadvantaged, with residents having an average per capita annual income not exceeding 80% of the national per capita income.
Indian tribal governments (federally recognized) meeting the definition of a small, impoverished community that apply directly to FEMA are eligible for a 90% federal cost share for their sub-applications, which make up their overall BRIC grant Application.
An additional 5% of the total project cost is available at 100% federal share for management of each sub-grant. Management costs are eligible and reasonable indirect costs, direct administrative costs, and other administrative expenses associated with a mitigation project.
All interested entities are required to register and submit applications in the new FEMA Grants Outcomes (FEMA GO) web tool. Registration of your entity is only possible with the assistance of your Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) identified in SAM.gov.
Your entity AOR must create an account, log into FEMA GO, and assign roles to all individuals within your entity that will be tasked with BRIC activities. Registration in FEMA GO is required prior to the application period outlined in the state’s Funding Announcement.
View all FEMA GO step-by-step training videos here.
Additional information on FEMA GO is available here.
BRIC Funding Announcement Webinar September 9, 2020
Due to connectivity challenges, the webinar was recorded in two parts. In order to review the full one-hour webinar, please view both Part 1 and Part 2. Thank you for your understanding.