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What are good practices when implementing a FEMA Hazard Mitigation Assistance Grant Award?

A municipality can set up a project for successful implementation during the application phase by developing, among other things, an informed scope of work, project schedule, and cost estimate that reflects as accurately as possible all anticipated program activities and the true costs of project implementation. Some good practices for grant and project implementation include, but are not limited to:

  • Documenting grant management costs and expenditures;
  • Ensuring vendor procurement is compliant with federal, state, and local requirements;
  • Monitoring project activities for compliance with the approved scope of work;
  • Monitoring the Period of Performance (“POP”) to ensure the project will meet approved timelines, or timely requesting time extensions; 
  • Monitoring project spend and reimbursement requests to ensure the project is on track to be completed within budget; and
  • Preparing a project closeout packet that clearly documents all completed activities, includes all necessary environmental and historic documentation, and reconciles the actual costs to the approved budget.

Municipalities should of course carefully review the underlying rules and regulations governing FEMA Hazard Mitigation Assistance Grant Award process before proceeding. 

Grant Management Costs

Any municipality applying for FEMA mitigation grants such as Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (“HMGP”), Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (“BRIC”), Flood Mitigation Assistance (“FMA”), and Pre-Disaster Mitigation (“PDM”) may be eligible for grant management costs. The municipality must apply for these costs in its subapplication for funding. Under all four programs, subrecipients are potentially eligible to receive up to five percent of total project costs for the management and administration of the federal grant.[1][2] Grant management costs may be awarded on top of the project costs requested by the subrecipient. For example, for a $20 million project, the subrecipient may be awarded up to an additional $1 million (or 5%) to cover grant management costs. Grant management costs are reimbursed without a cost share.

Grant management costs may typically include costs related to the following:

  • Development of the grant subapplication;
  • Preparation and submission of reimbursement requests;
  • Preparation of quarterly progress reports;
  • Compliance activities associated with federal procurement requirements;
  • Vendor payments;
  • Closeout review and liquidation;
  • Document management and records retention; and
  • Indirect costs.[3]

Grant management tasks may be completed by either in-house staff or procured professional service providers, and the funds can be used to pay for staffing costs associated with either group.

A municipality should consider  setting up a reporting and accounting system to monitor grant management costs, including the amount of time staff spend on grant management activities. It is also a good practice to have a unique accounting cost code in place for grant management that is specifically tied to each individual grant—for both grant management costs and regular project costs. This documentation may assist in reimbursement preparation and cost tracking. Staff should also be informed on how to report their time and what qualifies as eligible work for grant management costs, as maintaining complete and clear records of timesheets and vendor invoices will help facilitate the reimbursement request process.


FEMA mitigation awards are subject to the procurement standards required by the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards, as defined by 2 CFR Part 200.[4] When procuring property and services under a federal award, all non-federal entities (e.g., municipalities, counties, tribes, non-profit organizations acting as subrecipients) must follow 2 CFR Section 200.318 through 200.327.[5] Key takeaways from these sections include, but are not limited to:

  • Municipalities must ensure that they are compliant with the most stringent procurement standards between local, state, and federal regulations.
  • Municipalities must maintain written standards of conduct regarding conflicts of interest and employee performance for employees engaged in the selection, award, and administration of contracts as required in 2 CFR Part 200.318. No employee, officer, or agent may participate in the selection, award, or administration of a contract supported by a FEMA award if he or she has a real or apparent conflict of interest.
  • Municipalities must utilize the most appropriate method of procurement based on the goods and services being requested. There are five methods of procurement outlined in 2 CFR Section 200.320:
    • Procurement by micro-purchases;
    • Procurement by small purchase procedures;
    • Procurement by sealed bids;
    • Procurement by competitive proposals; and,
    • Procurement by noncompetitive proposals.
  • Municipalities must include the applicable contract provisions under Appendix II to Part 200 in vendor contracts for work performed as part of the approved scope of work.[6]

Procurement poses significant challenges, particularly for small municipalities or municipalities with little experience with federal funding. Municipalities are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the relevant sections discussed in this response and utilize their State Hazard Mitigation Officer (“SHMO”) as resources to navigate these regulations to avoid the de-obligation of funds.

Scope of Work

The activities completed during project implementation must be those approved in the subapplication. Any deviations from the approved scope of work must be submitted to the state and to FEMA for review and approval before work on these activities can proceed. Moving forward with modifications to the approved scope of work without prior approval from the state and FEMA may result in de-obligation of funds and may jeopardize the completion of a project. Scope modifications must first be reported to the state before they are implemented, per FEMA’s Environmental and Historic Preservation requirements.[7]

Environmental and Historic Preservation (“EHP”) Compliance

As part of the FEMA approval letter, the municipality will receive a Record of Environmental Considerations (“REC”). This record covers each of the environmental and historic laws that FEMA examined as part of their EHP review. FEMA makes EHP determinations (i.e., whether a project is compliant with an environmental law) and sets conditions based on the scope of work, project location, and design and construction specifications provided in the subapplication. For example, if a municipality determines through the final design process, that the project alignment, materials, or location must change, these changes must be reported to the state and FEMA so that they can evaluate whether another EHP review is necessary.[8]

Project Budget and Financial Monitoring

Setting up a proper accounting system and accounting team is a prerequisite to receiving federal funding. Municipalities are encouraged to understand their states’ processes for reimbursement requests and the type of documentation required to show incurred costs. A good practice is to set up a unique accounting code for each grant. This will help ensure only project costs are included in reimbursement requests. This practice also facilitates audit preparation if one is needed. Other financial good practices include, but are not limited to:

  • Periodically preparing and submitting reimbursement requests to the state instead of waiting until project closeout (recommended on a quarterly basis).
    • This provides the state an opportunity to provide feedback early in the project lifecycle and course correct as soon as possible, if necessary
    • Periodic submissions will assist in managing the administrative burden associated with reimbursement requests and will also help the subrecipient discover potential cashflow hurdles early on.
  • Maintain complete documentation to support all costs in the event of future state or federal audits or reviews.
    • This is a good practice even though the state may not request documentation to support all incurred costs included in the reimbursement request.

During the reimbursement preparation process—specifically with respect to contract costs—the municipality should review the vendor invoices and reconcile them to the costs agreed upon under the contract. Whether time and material or stipulated lump sum, the pricing in the contract should correspond to the charges within the vendor invoices.

Period of Performance

Another key tenet of the FEMA mitigation programs is timeliness of project completion. The Period of Performance (“POP”), or the time in which the grant subrecipient must complete all federal award activities and incur and expend approved funds, is approved along with the subapplication, as are the other subapplication components described above (scope and budget). HMGP and PDM have a maximum POP of 36 months.[9] Under FMA, municipalities with community flood mitigation projects may request up to 48 months to complete a project.[10] The BRIC program allows municipality to request a period of performance longer than 36 months as long as the request is reasonable and justified.[11] The state will often recommend that its subrecipients request the maximum period of performance to avoid the need for extension requests during project implementation.


States must submit a request for an extension of the POP to FEMA at least 60 days prior to the expiration of the award, and justification must be submitted in writing. Because of this time requirement, states often request that a municipality submit their extension requests at least 90 days before the expiration of their period of performance.[12]

Quarterly Progress Reports

A subrecipient must prepare quarterly progress reports to document how well a project is meeting milestones and to alert the state if a time extension may be needed. Thorough quarterly progress reports show all completed work and provide reasons for delays. These quarterly reports can also be used as reliable documentation in support of request for an extension of time.[13]

Project Closeout

During project implementation, the municipality should keep project closeout in mind. If the subrecipient has set up their reporting and accounting systems as described above, the project closeout process should be less challenging.  

Robust document management throughout the project lifecycle is also critical for a smooth project closeout. Proper closeout will demonstrate that the municipality fully and properly utilized the federal award. A complete closeout packet includes, among other things:

  • Verification that all costs were incurred in the performance of eligible work;
  • Confirmation that the approved work was completed, and that the mitigation measures comply with the state/FEMA contract agreement;
  • Verification that any program income has been deducted from total project costs as specified in 2 CFR Section 200.307;
  • Final site inspection report that includes photographs of the completed project;
  • Final project costs, including federal share, non-federal share, and cost underruns or overruns;
  • Final geospatial coordinates for the project locations; and
  • Certification that the project was completed in compliance with environmental conditions, permit requirements, and applicable building codes. Any documentation supporting this certification should be included.[14]   

Last Updated: March 2, 2023

[1] FEMA, Hazard Mitigation Assistance Guidance: Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, Pre-Disaster Mitigation Program, and Flood Mitigation Assistance Program (as February 27, 2015), at 54 and 55, available at:

[2] FEMA, Mitigation Assistance: Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities: FEMA POLICY FP-104-008-05, at 5, available at:

[3] FEMA, Hazard Mitigation Assistance Guidance: Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, Pre-Disaster Mitigation Program, and Flood Mitigation Assistance Program (as February 27, 2015), at 41, available at:

[4] Id., at 8.

[5] 2 CFR § 200, “Subpart D – Post Federal Award Requirements,” available at:

[7] FEMA, “Hazard Mitigation Assistance Guidance: Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, Pre-Disaster Mitigation Program, and Flood Mitigation Assistance Program (as February 27, 2015),” at 84, available at:

[8]Id., at 41.

[9] FEMA, Mitigation Assistance: Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities: FEMA POLICY FP-104-008-05, at 86, available at:

[10] FEMA, “Flood Mitigation Assistance Community Flood Mitigation Fact Sheet,” at 4, available at:

[12] Id.

[13] Id., at 88.

[14] Id., at 102.