Currently, earthquakes, tsunamis, typhoons, tornados, floods, and others are becoming more frequent. These natural disasters are truly inevitable and we can’t do anything to stop them. No one knows when these will occur, how much damage they could incur, and for how long they will happen. All that is left for us to do is to be prepared for their occurrence and be ready for the long and dreadful recovery process.
There are a lot of ways to help mitigate the effects of earthquake in a certain community. These may include updating building codes, zoning codes and ordinances to enhance safety during earthquake, as well as increasing earthquake awareness and education. On the other hand, most of these mitigation activities require skyrocketing budget, which most communities and cities, especially those in rural areas, could not easily afford.
Fortunately, there are grants specific to these types of funding activities.
Earthquake Mitigation Grants
NEHRP Earthquake State Assistance Program
This program seeks to increase and enhance the effective implementation of earthquake risk reduction at the local level. Eligible activities include developing seismic mitigation plans, preparing inventories, conducting seismic safety inspections of critical structures and lifelines, and others. This grant program opportunity is open to all states and territories. Funding allocations, however, are determined based on available funding.
Hazard Mitigation Grant Program
This program “provides grants to States and local governments to implement long-term hazard mitigation measures after a major disaster declaration.” The primary purpose of this grant program is “to reduce the loss of life and property due to natural disasters and to enable mitigation measures to be implemented during immediate recovery from a disaster.” This grant program opens annually. However, it implements different funding guidelines and instructions per year.
Pre-Disaster Mitigation Grant Program
This is focused on hazard mitigation planning and implementation of mitigation activities prior to the actual occurrence of a disaster. This is a competitive grant funding opportunity open to all states, territories, Indian tribal governments, communities, and universities. Funds to be awarded are renewed every year.
Although these grants are provided by FEMA, it is not the only federal agency or organization to provide earthquake mitigation grants. These could also be obtained from other grant funding organizations.