Resources for SERCs, TERCs, LEPCs, and TEPCs to Sustain Planning & Response Efforts

This webpage is a compilation of resources which can help communities improve their capacity for emergency planning and preparedness efforts. The content was produced in order to support ongoing implementation efforts for Executive Order (EO) 13650 – Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security. This list can serve as a starting point for State Emergency Response Commissions (SERCs), Tribal Emergency Response commissions (TERCs), Local Emergency Planning Commissions (LEPCs), Tribal Emergency Planning Commissions (TEPCs), municipal officials, safety specialists, or other individuals interested in learning more about emergency planning funding sources for their communities. The compilation also contains important best practices, information on technical assistance, and links to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) webpages listing state officials to contact for further information. This list is not exhaustive, and grant applicants are encouraged to explore for more information on potential funding, and to browse state government websites for state-specific emergency planning advice.


Emergency Management Performance Grant (EMPG) Program

Administered by FEMA, the Emergency Management Performance Grant (EMPG) Program provides resources to assist State, local, tribal, and territorial governments in preparing for all-hazards.

Uses: EMPG Program funds are used to support the salaries of emergency management personnel, the operation of Emergency Operation Centers, the purchase of equipment, as well as training and exercises. Examples of allowable costs include: completing the Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (THIRA) process, strengthening a community's emergency management governance structures, updating specific emergency plans, and initiating or enhancing a whole community approach to preparedness and emergency management. To be eligible for the EMPG Program, applicants must belong to the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) for mutual aid assistance. Grant recipients must update their Emergency Operations Plan once every two years, and update their THIRA program annually.

Application Process: The application period for the FY 2015 EMPG program closed on April 24, 2015. Future funding opportunities for the EMPG Program, along with notices for all other FEMA preparedness grants will be posted on and All 56 states and territories, as well as the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia, are eligible to apply for FY 2015 EMPG Program funds. Either the State Administrative Agency or the state's emergency management agency are eligible to apply directly to FEMA for EMPG Program funds on behalf of state, local and tribal emergency management agencies, however, only one application will be accepted from each state or territory.

Agency Website:

Hazardous Material Emergency Preparedness (HMEP) Grants

The FY2015 Hazardous Material Emergency Preparedness (HMEP) Grants provide funding for State, Tribal, and local governments to increase effectiveness handling hazardous materials incidents, to help enhance their implementation of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986 (EPCRA), and to encourage a comprehensive approach to emergency training and planning for transportation.

The grants, which are divided into emergency preparedness grants, instructor training grants, public sector training grants, and planning grants, are administered by the Department of Transportation.

Uses: HMEP grant money is used for a variety of tasks and training implementation. For example, it is used for development, revision, and implementation of EPCRA LEPC plans, for commodity flow studies, and for regional hazardous materials responses. Training grants can be used for training public sector employees on handling transportation related incidents. Planning grants can be used for personnel, providing benefits, travel costs, and financing of equipment, contracts, and other costs.

Application Process: Applications are due April 3rd and awarded September 30th. To access the application, visit, where the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) posts the grant application forms for the various kinds of HMEP grants. Specific questions about the HMEP grant application process may be sent by email to

Agency Webpages:

Assistance to Firefighters Grants

The suite of Assistance to Firefighters Grants are administered by FEMA, with the primary goal of helping firefighters and first responders obtain proper equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training, and other resources necessary to protect the public and emergency personnel from fire and related hazards. Programs included are: the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG), Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S),) and Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER).).

Uses: Fire departments, emergency medical service (EMS) organizations, and state fire training academies may use AFG Program funds for training, equipment, personal protective equipment, wellness and fitness initiatives, modification of facilities, and vehicles. SAFER funds are available for increasing staffing and deployment capabilities of local fire departments. FP&S funds are available to fire departments, institutions of higher education and other State, local, tribal or nonprofit organizations for the purpose of assisting fire prevention programs and supporting firefighter health and safety research and development.

Application Process: The Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program is a highly competitive program. FEMA has an E-Grant Application process for the AFG grants, located at The Assistance to Firefighters Program helpdesk can be reached for questions and comments by email at or by phone at 866-274-0960. The AFG program also has Fire Program Specialists in 10 federal regional centers, which can respond to questions and carry out grant monitoring activities. A list of these regional contacts is available here:

Agency Webpage: The main AFG webpage is located here: This page contains additional links to specific pages for the Assistance to Firefighters Grant, the SAFER grant, and the Fire Prevention and Safety Grant.

Pre-Disaster Mitigation Program

The Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) program provides funds for hazard mitigation planning and projects to reduce overall risk to people and structures and reduce reliance on federal funding when actual disasters do occur.

Uses: the PDM grants are used for hazard mitigation planning and projects. Examples of eligible projects include voluntary acquisition of real property for conversion to open space in perpetuity, structure relocation, elevation of existing structures to avoid coastal flooding, wildfire mitigation, structural and non-structural retrofitting, and construction of safe rooms to serve as tornado and severe wind shelters.

Application Process: State, territorial, and tribal governments applicants should apply directly to FEMA through the Mitigation eGrants System for grant applicant users, located here: Local governments should apply through the subgrant applicant user portal, available here:

Agency Webpage:

Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP)

The Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP), administered by FEMA, plays an important role in the implementation of the National Preparedness System. The purpose of the HSGP is to support state and local efforts to prevent terrorism and other catastrophic events and to prepare the Nation for the threats and hazards that pose the greatest risk to the security of the United States. The FY 2015 HSGP provides funding to implement investments that build, sustain, and deliver the 31 core capabilities essential to achieving the National Preparedness Goal of a secure and resilient Nation. The building, sustainment, and delivery of these core capabilities are not exclusive to any single level of government, organization, or community, but rather, require the combined effort of the whole community. The HSGP supports core capabilities across the five mission areas of Prevention, Protection, Mitigation, Response, and Recovery based on allowable costs.

Uses: HSGP projects are divided into categories of planning, organization, equipment, training, or exercises. HSGP is comprised of the State Homeland Security Program, Urban Area Security Initiative, and Operation Stonegarden.

Application Process: The application period for the FY 2015 HSGP closed on May 19, 2015. Future funding opportunities for the HSGP program, along with notices for all other FEMA preparedness grants will be posted on and All 50 States, the District of Columbia, territories and Commonwealths are eligible to apply for SHSP funds. For those states, territories and Commonwealths that are eligible for UASI and/or OPSG funds, the state is the only entity eligible to submit applications to FEMA on behalf of UASI and OPSG applicants. Eligible sub-recipients under the FY 2015 OPSG are local units of government at the county level and Federally-recognized Tribal governments in the states bordering Canada, states bordering Mexico, and states and territories with international water borders. All applicants must have active ongoing United States Border Patrol (USBP) operations coordinated through a USBP sector office. Eligible states and territories with a county or similar level of government structure are authorized to accept applications on behalf of the alternative unit of local government. States in this situation must advise FEMA in writing as to their intent to apply.

If applicants have any questions regarding the application process, they should contact the FEMA Grant Programs Directorate Call Center at (866) 927-5646.

Agency Webpage: The main webpage is available here: . Several ancillary documents such as fact sheets and FAQs are available here:

Technical Assistance

Grants Management Technical Assistance (GMTA) Program – FEMA

FEMA's Grant Programs Directorate, Training and Professional Development Branch provides a Grants Management Technical Assistance (GMTA) Program to State, regional, local, and tribal jurisdictions on basic and advanced grants management principles and practices. The objective of the program is to improve the ability of FEMA grant recipients to administer federal grant funding. A toolkit containing best practices, non-disaster grants, handbooks, and manuals from different state agencies, and more is available here: .

Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (THIRA) Process

SERCs and LEPCs should work with their State Administrative Agency to ensure the "Hazardous Chemical Release (accidental)" threat is appropriately captured and prioritized in the Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (THIRA) process.

State Administrative Agencies are the only entities eligible to apply to FEMA for certain grant programs, such as the Homeland Security Grant Program (including the State Homeland Security Program and the Urban Area Security Initiative). A comprehensive list of agency contacts is provided at:

The State Administrative Agency uses the THIRA capability targets to inform sub-grantee project approval and sub-grantee fund allocation. THIRA helps communities identify areas to improve capabilities and resource requirements necessary to address risks such as chemical hazards and incidents. Involvement in the THIRA process can help communities holistically access their risks from all threats and hazards and align resources and capabilities to address those risks (Nationally in 2013, "Hazardous Chemical Release (accidental)" was the fifth most frequently identified hazard and the second most frequently identified hazard in urban areas. Further, of those listing a chemical hazard, 63% were related to a transportation incident.)

State Contacts Lists

State Hazard Mitigation Officers:

State Administrative Agency Contacts:

This collection of potential resources is intended to serve only as an overview of various opportunities to receive grants, training, and other resources. As an overview, it is not comprehensive in its descriptions of the listed resources. Any parties interested in pursuing any of the listed resources should contact appropriate agency representatives in order to receive a full description of the requirements and application processes for each resource.