Eligibility for competitive funding from FEMA through the HMPG and HUD requires participants (the State) to develop an Action Plan for Disaster Recovery within a designated planning area. The planning process is considered as important as the plan itself and community participation is required and needs to be documented. The plan must represent the current needs and values of the community and be useful for local officials and stakeholders. Each State generally designates a planning organization to develop this plan.
The Action Plan for Disaster Recovery is also required for eligibility in the CDBG-DR program if applicable. The plan must describe the eligible planned uses and activities for these funds and must respond to the disaster related impact to infrastructure, housing, and economic revitalization in the most impacted and distressed areas.
For both programs, Grantees are required to assess community impacts and unmet needs to guide the development and prioritization of planned recovery projects. Successful communities designate an individual or entity to participate in this process and directly advocate for their community.
The most successful communities understand that continued advocacy and involvement at the County level and in local disaster recovery councils, task forces or other entities ensures that their priorities are considered. These resources often represent a possible massive financial infusion of funds to local government entities. Developing excellent relationships with State level politicians, Federal representatives and local leaders can make a crucial difference in your communities long term recovery success.