The Hazard Mitigation Section supports Texas communities as they reduce their risk and increase their resilience. The Section is comprised of two Units, the Plans Unit and the Grants Unit. The two Units provide a comprehensive program to support local jurisdictions as they assess the risks they face, plan to mitigate them, and fund those plans to implement mitigation projects that reduce risk across the state.
The Plans Unit helps achieve the TDEM mission (or the Section's mission) by partnering with local communities to provide training on how to develop mitigation plans and then reviewing plans prior to their submission to FEMA. Both activities are key elements for understanding and reducing risk in communities.
The Grants Unit works with our local partners to take the risk understanding they've developed through their mitigation planning process and provides funding to enable projects to reduce that risk. The Unit also supports communities throughout the grants lifecycle to ensure that all funding is spent appropriately and that the project is successfully completed.
The Hazard Mitigation Grants Unit manages FEMA mitigation grants for TDEM to help Texas communities reduce their risk, specifically the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) and the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) grant program. These two programs have provided hundreds of millions of dollars in investments in Texas communities over the past decade. When funding opportunities are available, local jurisdictions with a FEMA-approved local hazard mitigation plan can apply for funding by working with their TDEM Regional Section Chief.
TDEM also works closely with the General Land Office and the Texas Water Development Board to ensure that mitigation investments across the state complement each other as effectively as possible. The Texas Flood Information Clearinghouse is one example of that. Another example is encouraging local communities to apply for local hazard mitigation plan funding through the GLO.
The Texas State Administrative Plan provides more information on how TDEM administers the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. Separately, TDEM provides training to support our local partners in effectively managing these grants. TDEM offers procurement training available every month and encourages all sub-applicants to take it to ensure all HMGP projects in Texas are managed in accordance with federal procurement rules and regulations. This helps reduce the risk that FEMA will disallow certain expenses that the subapplicant would then not be reimbursed for.
The Hazard Mitigation Plans Unit supports local planning in two ways. First, the Unit provides hazard mitigation training for local officials. Second, they review local plans and provide feedback to help ensure that the plans are ultimately approved by FEMA. A FEMA-approved Local Hazard Mitigation Plan is a requirement for some FEMA grants, including the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HGMP) and the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) grants program. Reach out to TDEM-Mitigation@tdem.texas.gov to request training or get more information on how TDEM can support your community in developing a high-quality hazard mitigation plan.
The Plans Unit maintains the State Hazard Mitigation Plan (SHMP), which is a comprehensive assessment of the natural hazards Texas faces. The planning process brings together a wide range of stakeholders to comprehensively address risk. The 2018 SHMP, for example, includes input from 20 different state partners the General Land Office to the Railroad Commission.
TDEM prepares the SHMP in compliance with Public Law 106-390, Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000, as amended. A FEMA-approved State Hazard Mitigation Plan allows Texas to access 15% of the combined Public Assistance and Individual Assistance total disaster damages for hazard mitigation. Hurricane Harvey, for example, if the President approves a disaster declaration for Texas and the total approved value for the Public Assistance and Individual Assistance programs is $100, Texas would also get $15 for hazard mitigation projects.
The Plans Unit also works with the High Hazard Potential Dams (HHPD) grant program for Texas. This program provides technical, planning, design, and construction assistance for eligible rehabilitation activities that reduce dam risk and increase community preparedness. The grant program is administered by Texas Commission of Environmental Quality, and TDEM Mitigation supports the program by ensuring FEMA compliance on Hazard Mitigation Plans. In order to qualify for this grant, jurisdictions must have a FEMA-approved Hazard Mitigation Plan that includes all dam risks.