Tuesday, February 21, 2023 - 11:00pm Categories:
Press Release

BISMARCK, N.D. – Representatives from the North Dakota Department of Emergency Services (NDDES) will virtually conduct an informational briefing tomorrow, Feb. 23, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. CST, detailing the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Public Assistance (PA) Program and Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP). This briefing is offered to counties, cities, townships and tribes included in the 2023 severe winter storm Presidential Disaster Declaration.

The disaster declaration, which was submitted by Gov. Doug Burgum on Jan.10, was for a severe winter storm Nov. 9-11, 2022, that brought record-breaking snowfall to central North Dakota, as well as damage to electrical infrastructure costing more than $1.7 million. The declaration covers seven counties: Dickey, Kidder, Mercer, Nelson, Ransom, Sargent and Wells.

Through the PA Program, FEMA can reimburse local governments, states, tribes and certain private non-profits for up to 75 percent of their eligible costs related to restoring public infrastructure to pre-disaster conditions, while the HMGP provides funds for mitigation projects that will eliminate future risk to lives and property from natural hazards. According to PEW Charitable Trusts, an average of $6.54 is saved for every $1 spent on mitigation activities in North Dakota. Using that formula, it is estimated NDDES hazard mitigation projects have prevented more than $1 billion in disaster damages. 

This week’s briefing is intended for those public officials who will be directly responsible for managing recovery operations and receiving and accounting for federal and state funds. Attendees may include representatives from jurisdictional governments, such as: counties, townships, cities, tribes and eligible private non-profits. Auditors, public works directors, road supervisors and emergency managers are especially encouraged to attend.

As part of the PA Program, eligible applicants are required to submit a Request for Public Assistance (RPA), which identifies their jurisdiction/organization as an official applicant. All RPAs must be submitted through the FEMA Grants Portal website located online at https://grantee.fema.gov, no later than March 7, 2023.

The informational briefing also will be recorded and made available for applicants who are unable to attend or would like to view the briefing again. To request a video link or to ask questions pertaining to the PA and HMGP Programs, please contact Justin Messner, NDDES Disaster Recovery Chief, at 701-328-8107.

NDDES has coordinated the distribution of more than $2.4 billion in disaster recovery assistance to local, tribal, and state entities since 1993.

WHAT: FEMA Public Assistance and Hazard Mitigation Program Applicant Briefings

WHEN: Thursday, Feb. 23, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. CST

WHERE: The briefing will be virtually presented via Microsoft Teams. Those wishing to listen to the briefing can call in at 701-328-0950 and use the conference ID No. 991 575 934#.