The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program is authorized by the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Act Section 404. It is a partnership designed to assist the States, Territories, local governments, and non-profit organizations with the implementation of long-term hazard mitigation measures following a Presidential Disaster Declaration.
Mitigation is an ongoing process that takes place before and after disasters. Its primary purpose is to reduce or eliminate the loss of life. And also, break the cycle of damage and repair as a result of hazards. Mitigation is any sustained action taken to reduce or eliminate the long-term risk to human life and property from any hazardous event. The goal is to take action now before another disaster happens to ensure the Virgin Islands community is more resilient to any potential hazards. The Hazard Mitigation Grant is a federally funded program. The program is administered by the Grantee Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency (VITEMA). The Office of Disaster Recovery (ODR) was established in February 2019. It is responsible for coordinating and overseeing all recovery efforts, including the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.
The amount for HMGP funding is based on federal assistance received for the disaster. The Federal funding is allocated using a sliding scale formula based on the percentage of Public and Individual Assistance for each Presidentially declared disaster(s). Traditionally HMGP funding’s federal share is capped at 75% of the total eligible project cost with a local match of 25%. Due to the devastation and the financial challenges in the US Virgin Islands, Hurricanes Irma (DR-4335) and Hurricane Maria (DR-4340) the federal share is 100%. No local fund match is required.
The HMGP team offers technical assistance to local government agencies and private non-profits for project identification and application development. The HMGP with the input of the Office of Disaster Recovery (ODR) and the Governor’s Authorized Representative (GAR) is responsible for the review, prioritization, funding recommendation, project development and submission of eligible, technically feasible and cost-effective projects to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). FEMA is responsible for all final approval on eligible HMGP Projects.
Hurricane Irma DR-4335 $32,951,711
Hurricane Maria DR-4340 $428,927,038
Activities that are eligible for Hazard Mitigation include but are not limited to: