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FEMA's Hazard Mitigation Grant Program is a powerful resource in the combined effort by Federal, State, and local government, as well as private industry and homeowners, to end the cycle of repetitive disaster damage. The Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act was passed on November 23, 1988, amending Public Law 93-288, the Disaster Relief Act of 1974. The Stafford Act included Section 404, which established the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. In 1993, the Hazard Mitigation and Relocation Act amended Section 404 to increase the amount of HMGP funds available and the cost-share to 75 percent Federal. This amendment also encouraged the use of property acquisition and other non-structural flood mitigation measures. In an effort to streamline HMGP delivery, FEMA encourages States to develop their mitigation programs before disaster strikes. States are adopting a more active HMGP management role. Increased capabilities may include: Conducting comprehensive all-hazard mitigation planning prior to disaster events; Providing applicants technical assistance on sound mitigation techniques and hazard mitigation policy and procedures; Coordinating mitigation programs through interagency teams or councils. Conducting benefit-cost analyses; and Preparing National Environmental Policy Act reviews for FEMA approval. States that integrate the HMGP with their frequently updated State Administrative and Hazard Mitigation Plans will create cohesive and effective approaches to loss reduction. This type of coordinated approach minimizes the distinction between "predisaster" and "post-disaster" time periods, and instead produces an ongoing mitigation effort. Hazard mitigation is any sustained action taken to reduce or eliminate long-term risk to people and property from natural hazards and their effects. A key purpose of the HMGP is to ensure that the opportunity to take critical mitigation measures to protect life and property from future disasters is not lost during the recovery and reconstruction process following a disaster. Program grant funds available under Section 404 of the Stafford Act provide States with the incentive and capability to implement mitigation measures that previously may have been infeasible. The purpose of this Desk Reference is to: Provide comprehensive information about FEMA's Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP); Increase awareness of the HMGP as an integral part of statewide hazard mitigation efforts; and Encourage deeper commitments and increased responsibilities on the part of all States and communities to reduce damage and losses from natural disasters. This Desk Reference is organized to simplify program information and assist the reader with practical guidance for successful participation in the program. Lists of program-related acronyms and definitions are included, along with appendices that amplify selected aspects of the HMGP. This Desk Reference is organized into 14 sections, each of which presents a major HMGP subject area. In each section, information is presented on the right side of the page. In several sections, job aids containing supplemental material are provided. The job aids for each section can be found at the end of the section. At the front of each section, there is a detailed table of contents to help you locate specific information.