In addition to emergency response, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) regularly works hand in hand with local entities to better prepare communities for future disasters.
Through the Cal OES Hazard Mitigation Grants Division, local governments, special districts and vulnerable communities can apply for and receive aid to mitigate risks from emergencies.
The Prepare California Initiative is aimed at reducing long-term risks from natural disasters such as flooding, earthquakes, wildfires, landslides, extreme heat and drought by investing in local capacity building and mitigation projects designed to protect communities.
This program leverages funds approved in Governor Gavin Newsom’s 2021-22 State Budget and is designed to unlock federal matching funds for community mitigation projects that vulnerable communities would otherwise be unable to access. This program is intended for communities that are the most socially vulnerable and at the highest risk for future natural hazard events.
As part of the State of California’s effort to strengthen community-wide resilience against wildfires, the Cal OES has partnered with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) to develop a state home hardening initiative to retrofit, harden, and create defensible space for homes at high risk to wildfires, focusing on high socially-vulnerable communities and providing financial assistance for low and moderate income households.
The Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) program is an annual, nationally competitive, hazard mitigation grant program that aims to shift the federal focus away from reactive disaster spending and toward consistent, research-supported, proactive investment in community resilience.
The Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) program provides annual funding for activities that protect properties insured by the National Flood Insurance Program.
During the recovery phase of a declared disaster, 406 Mitigation funding is available to mitigation projects that protect disaster damaged facilities from similar damages in the future.
Applicants eligible for permanent work repair projects under FEMA’s Public Assistance (PA) program are also eligible for 406 Mitigation funds to cost-effective mitigation measures to harden the damaged facility rather than repairing it to its pre-disaster design. In certain instances, an eligible mitigation measure may not be an integral part of the facility.
Following a Presidential Disaster Declaration, FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funds plans and projects that reduce the effects of future natural disasters.
In California, these funds are administered by Cal OES. Eligible sub applicants include state agencies, local governments, special districts, and some private non-profits. To learn more about FEMA’s HMGP, please visit FEMA Hazard Mitigation Assistance Guidance and the FEMA Hazard Mitigation Assistance Guidance Addendum.