In 2017, there were many devastating natural and other disasters around the world. In the wake of such harrowing events, response organizations tend to focus on disaster relief and recovery. But governmental and community disaster prevention and preparedness programs are equally important, as they have broad reach and proactively help save lives, reduce injury rates, and reduce property and environmental damage when disaster strikes. There are many grant opportunities for those organizations who focus on disaster prevention and preparedness in addition to disaster relief and recovery.
Before you review and consider applying to the specific disaster preparedness grant opportunities listed below, here’s a quick reminder of some important, general preparatory actions your organization should take before applying for any grant.
Build a Relationship with the Grantmaker: Many grants require your organization to work with someone at the grant funding entity in order to apply for a grant. Be sure to research if the grant opportunity you’ll apply to has such a requirement. Even when a particular grant does not require connecting with the grantmaker ahead of time, building a rapport with the funder and seeking their input on your project ideas in advance will increase your chance of funding.
Establish Project Partnerships: Many grants require or encourage partnerships with one or more organizations outside your own. It is best to secure collaborators before you begin or early in the project planning process so the partnering institution(s) can provide project planning input.
Plan the Project: The vast majority of grant opportunities fund specific projects, not general operating costs. This statement is especially true for disaster preparedness grant opportunities. Be prepared to present data justifying the need for the project, a detailed project description, a project budget, and specific goals and measurable outcomes.
Here are some specific disaster preparedness opportunities to consider, as well as several relationship building, partnership establishment, and/or project planning tips:
FEMA Disaster Preparedness: Hazard Mitigation, Fire Prevention, and Flood Prevention Grant Programs
FEMA offers a variety of grants to help state, local, tribal, and territorial governments fund and sustain programs to help prevent or prepare for a variety of potential safety, health, and security hazards. Under their Hazard Mitigation Grants category, FEMA offers general grants for post-disaster preparedness projects for annual prevention programs and future prevention and planning programs post-disaster. In addition to general Hazard Mitigation programs, FEMA also offers more disaster-specific programs, such as their Firefighters Grant Program intended to enhance firefighting personnel and fire prevention programs or their Flood Mitigation Assistance Program for initiatives that help prevent flooding and flood damage in flood-prone areas. For the grant award amounts and application cycle information for the grant in which you’re interested in applying, see the website above.
|Project Planning Tip: To help prepare a specific, detailed project plan that will appeal to the FEMA grant application reviewers, first review FEMA's "Mitigation Ideas" documents for examples of the specific types of programs FEMA typically funds. Be sure your own program is similarly specific but also includes a new or innovative aspect beyond what is included in FEMA’s sample project ideas.||
Hospital Preparedness Program
While most of us think of natural disasters when we hear the phrases “disaster prevention” or “disaster preparedness,” it is also important to prepare for potential healthcare crises, including possible disease outbreaks or healthcare resource and supply shortages. In 2017, the Centers for Disease Control awarded over $850 million to state, city, special district, and county governments for initiatives to help build and sustain public healthcare preparedness programs. Grant award amounts range from $300,000 to $42 million. Applications are typically due in April or May.
|Project Planning Tip: This grant requires that the project increase health gains for at-risk individuals or special needs populations. So, be sure to review the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act (PAHPRA) to confirm which populations this grant program considers “at-risk,” choose a specific special needs population to target for your project, and research the current number of individuals your hospital currently assists within that population, to what extent, etc.|
|Partnership Establishment Tip: Based on your specific project focus, consider partnering with a local health-focused organization or even another healthcare provider toward reaching your project goals.|
State Farm Good Neighbor Citizenship® Company Grants
Under their Safety Grants category, State Farm offers grants for auto accident prevention, home safety initiatives, fire prevention education, and other disaster-preparedness programs. Eligible applicant organizations for Safety Grants include educational institutions, non-profits, governmental entities, and some community organizations, such as fire companies. Grant applications are typically available starting in early September, with deadlines at the end of October.
|Relationship Building Tip: Contact your local State Farm Agency. While awarding decisions for this grant are made at the national level within the company, working with your local State Farm representatives can help you gather data on the largest needs in your community and thus help you focus your proposed project. More importantly, showing on your application that you’ve built a relationship with State Farm at the local level will appeal to the national funding decision-makers.