Pre-Disaster Mitigation

The Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) program provides funds to states, territories, Indian tribal governments, communities and universities for hazard mitigation planning and the implementation of all hazard mitigation projects prior to a disaster event. These plans and projects reduce the overall risk to the population and structures, while also reducing reliance on funding from actual disaster declarations. PDM grants are awarded on a competitive basis and without reference to state allocations, quotas, or other formula-based allocation of funds. The intent of this program is to reduce overall risk to people and property, while also minimizing the cost of disaster recovery.

Eligible Applicants:

Only the state emergency management agency or a similar office (i.e., the office that has emergency management responsibility) of the state is eligible to apply to FEMA for assistance as applicants under this program. Each state shall designate one agency to serve as the applicant for this program. Each applicant may submit an unlimited amount of sub-applications for eligible planning/project activities that the applicant has reviewed and approved in e Grants.

The designated applicant for the state of South Carolina is the South Carolina Emergency Management Division (SCEMD).

Eligible Sub-Applicants:

The following entities are eligible to apply to the applicant for assistance: state-level agencies including state institutions ( e.g., state hospital or university); federally-recognized Native American tribal governments; local governments, including state-recognized tribes, authorized tribal organizations; public colleges and universities; and tribal colleges and universities.

Private non-profit (PNP) organizations and private colleges and universities are not eligible. Sub-applicants, however, are eligible. Relevant state agencies or local governments may apply to the applicant as the sub-applicant for assistance to benefit the private entity.

Eligible Activities:

Proposed hazard mitigation projects must primarily focus on natural hazards but may also address hazards caused by manmade forces. Funding is restricted to a maximum of $3 million federal share per project sub-application. The federal share will cover 75 percent of the project cost. Sub-applicants are required to provide the remaining 25 percent in matching funds. All project submissions must have a Benefit Cost Analysis of 1 or greater.

The following are examples of eligible mitigation projects:

  • Voluntary acquisition of real property ( i.e. structures and land, where necessary) for conversion to open space in perpetuity

  • Property Acquisition and Structure Relocation 

  • Elevation of existing structures to avoid coastal or riverine flooding

  • Dry floodproofing of Historic Residential Structures and Non-residential Structures

  • Minor localized flood reduction projects 

  • Wildfire mitigation 

  • Structural retrofitting and non-structural retrofitting ( i.e., storm shutters, hurricane clips, bracing systems) of existing structures to meet or exceed applicable building codes relative to hazard mitigation (select from the 205 series in the Mitigation Activity section in e Grants)

  • Construction of safe rooms (tornado and severe wind shelters) for structures that meet the FEMA construction criteria in FEMA 320 "Taking Shelter from the Storm" and FEMA 361 "Design and Construction Guidance for Community Shelters

  • Vegetation management for natural dune restoration, wildfire or snow avalanche
  • Protective measures for utilities (e.g., electric and gas); water and sanitary sewer systems and/or infrastructure (e.g., roads and bridges)

  • Storm water management projects (i.e., culverts, retention basins) to reduce or eliminate long-term risk from flood hazards (select from the 403 series in the Mitigation Activity)

  • Localized flood control projects, such as certain ring levees, bank stabilization and floodwall systems that are designed specifically to protect critical facilities (defined as hazardous materials facilities, emergency operation centers, power facilities, water facilities, sewer and wastewater treatment facilities, communications facilities, emergency medical care facilities, fire protection, and emergency facilities) and that do not constitute a section of a larger flood control system (select 404.1, Localized Flood Control System to Protect Critical Facility)

Any of the above mitigation projects for a critical facility, as defined above, may include the purchase of a generator or related equipment purchases ( e.g. generator hook-ups) as a functional portion to the larger eligible mitigation project sub-application, as long as the generator or related equipment purchase directly relates to the hazard(s) that threatens the critical facility.

The following project activities are not eligible for the PDM grant program:

  • Major flood control and/or erosion projects such as the construction or repair of dikes, levees, floodwalls, seawalls, groins, jetties, breakwaters, dams, waterway channelization, and beach nourishment or re-nourishment
  • Water quality infrastructure projects
  • Projects that address ecological or agricultural issues related to land or forest management ( i.e., insects, diseases, weather-related damages, infestations)
  • Warning and alert notification systems ( i.e., NOAA weather radios)
  • Any phase or part of a project that is dependent on another phase or part that is not included in the project sub-application to be effective and/or feasible
  • Studies that do not result in a project ( i.e., engineering designs, feasibility studies, flood studies, or drainage studies that are not integral to the proposed project)
  • Flood studies or flood mapping ( i.e., general hydrologic and hydraulic studies/analyses not integral or necessary for project design or feasibility determination)
  • Dry flood proofing of residential structures
  • Generators and related equipment ( i.e, generator hook-ups) for non-critical facilities
  • Generators and related equipment ( i.e., generator hook-ups) for critical facilities that are not part of a larger eligible mitigation project sub-application and is not directly related to the hazard(s) that threaten that critical
  • Any mitigation activities involving demolishing an existing structure (i.e., commercial or residential building) and building a new structure (i.e., demolition/rebuild) in floodplains
  • Projects that solely address a manmade hazard
  • Response and communication equipment
  • Projects that solely address maintenance or repairs of existing structures, facilities, or infrastructure ( i.e., dredging, debris removal, and dam repair/rehabilitation)
  • Localized flood control projects that do not protect a critical facility
  • Localized flood control projects that constitute a section of a larger flood control system
  • Any project for which another federal agency has primary authority 

Electronic Submissions:

Applicants MUST use the electronic grants (eGrants) management system to submit PDM grant applications. Only PDM-C grant applications submitted through the eGrants system will be accepted by FEMA.

Benefits Cost Analysis Training:

FEMA released the Benefit-Cost Analysis Toolkit Version 5.2.1  on their website. This toolkit can be used to determine the cost-effectiveness for projects under development for any of FEMA's Hazard Mitigation Assistance programs. As of September 28, 2015, version 5.2.1 is the only allowable version of the BCA Tool. This makes it practical for sub-applicants to perform their own BCA’s, thereby improving the quality of the results and enabling the sub-applicant to better understand how to maximize the chances of obtaining funding in the national competition.

Annual PDM Application Guidelines:

The application period for 2016 mitigation projects (PDM-16) has closed. The application period for 2017 mitigation projects (PDM-17) will open in spring 2017. FEMAs priorities list can change on an annual basis.

Hazard Mitigation Resources:

Hazard Mitigation Assistance Unified Guidance 2015

E-Grants Registration Information & Resources

Writing a PDM Grant for a local mitigation plan update?  Try our PDM Application Guide for planning grants!

Pre-Disaster Mitigation Project Management:

PDM Quarterly Report - Exhibit A
PDM Reimbursement Support - Exhibit B

PDM Reimbursement Breakdown - Exhibit C

PDM Payment Request - Exhibit D

PDM Programmatic Quarterly Report - Exhibit E

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