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About the Mitigation Section

flood, leavenworth, county, town, houses, trees, water
flood, leavenworth, county, town, houses, trees, water

Mitigation is the effort to reduce loss of life and property by lessening the impact of disasters. Every community in the United States is at risk for serious loss of life and/or property due to a disaster, be it tornado, earthquake or flood. Effective mitigation requires that we all understand local risks, address the hard choices and invest in long-term community well-being. Because of the documented magnitude of the costs of these losses, numerous programs have been created to lessen the effects of manmade or natural events, should they occur.

The Indiana Department of Homeland Security hazard mitigation assistance programs are designed to assist states, territories, federally-recognized tribes and local communities in reducing overall risk to the population and structures from future natural hazard events. These programs provide financial and technical assistance to local governments to fund eligible projects to assist not-for-profit organizations, individuals and families to reduce the actual or potential risk of loss of life or property.

The federal share of assistance is not less than 75 percent of the eligible project costs. The grantee/sub-grantee is responsible for the 25 percent local match requirement.


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  • Flooded Property Acquisitions and Demolitions
    Headline of documentary called When Every River Turned Against Us
    Flood-Risk Documentary on the Great Flood of 1913 (2013)
    Headline of documentary called When Every River Turned Against Us
    Flood-Risk Documentary on the Great Flood of 1913 (2013)

    Each year, flooding causes millions of dollars' worth of property damage. This creates a heavy burden for many, especially the property owners whose homes are flooded and damaged. After the flood, many property owners struggle with the difficult decision of whether to return to the flood-prone area to repair and rebuild. For some, participating in an acquisition or buyout project may be the answer.

    Flood mitigation assistance

    National Flood Insurance Program

  • Tornado Shelters
    safe room
    Residential Safe Room
    safe room
    Residential Safe Room

    Safe rooms save lives. In an average year, 800 tornadoes are reported nationwide, resulting in 80 deaths and more than 1,500 injuries. A safe room provides a shield of protection. Studies demonstrate that a safe room can survive winds as high as 250 miles per hour. All safe rooms must be built in compliance with FEMA publications P-361 and P320.

    Residential Safe Rooms

    The Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) Residential Safe Room Program was developed in 2015 by the IDHS Hazard Mitigation Assistance Program to provide a rebate for the construction/installation of safe rooms for Indiana residences. Indiana is providing this rebate program through the FEMA Pre-Disaster Mitigation Grant Program. Therefore, IDHS must comply with all federal grant regulations for each rebate recipient.

    Residential safe rooms

    Community Safe Rooms

    In areas subject to extreme-wind events, building owners, schools, hospitals, neighborhood associations and others responsible for public safety should consider building a community safe room. Since wind hazards (such as those associated with tornadoes and severe weather) vary throughout the United States, the decision to build a safe room is largely based on the magnitude of the wind hazard in a given area and on the level of risk considered acceptable. IDHS, in coordination with FEMA, has funding opportunities available through our competitive grant program to assist in the construction of safe rooms. Counties must have an updated Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan in place to be eligible for the grant opportunity.

    Community safe rooms

    Additional Information
  • Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC)
    About BRIC

    BRIC eligible activities
    Examples of BRIC Eligible Activities

    BRIC eligible activities
    Examples of BRIC Eligible Activities

    The Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) program is a federal grant program offered by FEMA that supports states, local communities, tribes and territories as they undertake hazard mitigation projects to reduce risks from disasters and natural hazards. BRIC replaced the Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) program in 2020. Learn more about BRIC

    BRIC's priorities are to incentivize:

    • Public infrastructure projects
    • Projects that mitigate risk to one or more lifelines
    • Projects that incorporate nature-based solutions
    • Adoption and enforcement of modern building codes
    Eligible Activities
    • Property acquisition/demolition
    • Community/residential safe rooms
    • Project scoping (e.g., drainage study)
    • Hazard mitigation plan updates
    Grant Cycle Overview
    1. Grant pre-application period opens in the summer and pre-applications are due in the fall.
    2. Grant sub-application period opens in the fall and sub-applications are due to IDHS for review in late fall.
    3. IDHS submits overall application to FEMA in January.
    4. FEMA reviews the application and releases its decision in the summer.
    Basic Requirements
    • Community needs to participate in and adopt the county's multi-hazard mitigation plan.
    • Project needs to be identified in the mitigation plan (although it does not have to be listed explicitly).
    • Funding: 75 percent federal grant with a 25 percent local match
    • Sub-applications are built and submitted through the FEMA GO grants portal.
    How to Apply

    In order to participate in the program, IDHS requires a pre-application before the sub-application period opens in the fall. The pre-application is designed to identify projects that have been developed sufficiently enough by a community to be competitive during the national BRIC application evaluation. It is used to determine project eligibility and the community's understanding of BRIC rules and regulations.

    The pre-application period is closed. Want to stay updated? Sign up to receive Mitigation emails.

    Application Resources
    • Benefit-Cost Analysis Calculator: Benefit-Cost Analysis (BCA) determines a hazard mitigation project's future risk reduction benefits and compares them to the costs. This produces a Benefit-Cost Ratio (BCR). Projects are considered cost-effective when the BCR is 1.0 or greater. Learn more and download the BCA software from FEMA
    • Flood Map Service Center: FEMA's Flood Map Service Center allows users to find official flood maps, access a range of flood hazard products and and more. Visit the Flood Map Service Center
    • FEMA GO: FEMA Grants Outcomes (FEMA GO) is the grants management system that allows users to apply, track and manage all disaster and non-disaster grants from FEMA. It performs all functions within the phases of the grants management lifecycle: Pre-Award, Award, Post-Award, Closeout and Post-Closeout.
    • FEMA Grant Application Tools: Applicants and sub-applicants must use FEMA-approved methods and tools to demonstrate the cost-effectiveness of projects. Use tools on FEMA's website to help during the application process. Browse the FEMA tools

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  • Mitigation Planning
    Multi-Hazard Mitigation Planning

    Multi-hazard mitigation planning is a vital step in minimizing the impact of disaster on Indiana’s communities. Mitigation plans are the blueprints at the state, tribal and local governments level to prioritize action steps to protect citizens and property from disaster events. IDHS assists and crafts mitigation plans that consider many types of hazards.

    State Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan

    The State Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan lays the foundation to building resiliency in Indiana by identifying the state's greatest risks for disasters and creating strategies to decrease these risks. This plan is required to be updated every five years by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Data and priorities from county multi-hazard mitigation plans are utilized in creating the state’s mitigation strategies. The state plan makes Indiana eligible to apply for, and receive, FEMA Hazard Mitigation Assistance funding.

    2024 State Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan

    County Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plans

    Similar to the State Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan, to be eligible for FEMA Hazard Mitigation Assistance funding, each county is required to have an up-to-date and approved multi-hazard mitigation plan. These plans must be updated every five years to maintain funding eligibility. County mitigation plans identify the greatest risks and vulnerabilities and then lay out the county's long-term goals to build resiliency against these hazards. The IDHS Mitigation Section applies on behalf of counties each year to obtain funding that assists them with updating their county’s multi-hazard mitigation plan.

    After funding is received for a planning project, IDHS Mitigation works with each county to complete the mitigation plan according to FEMA’s guidelines. When the community is satisfied with a draft of the plan, they submit it to IDHS for review. If no revisions are identified by IDHS, the document is sent to FEMA for its review and final approval.

    Additional Information

Additional Programs and Information

FEMA has designated several areas in Indiana as Community Disaster Resilience Zones (CDRZs), which are at-risk and in-need jurisdictions. FEMA makes these localities eligible to receive technical assistance and financial support for projects to help build community resilience to natural hazards, which are becoming more frequent and intense due to climate change. The designations are based on FEMA's natural hazards risk assessment index.

View Indiana's CDRZs