Grants Overview


Grants overview

The Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEMD) manages grants that support a variety of emergency preparedness activities in Iowa. HSEMD serves as Iowa’s designated State Administrative Agency and the state’s Emergency Management Agency making it the eligible entity in to apply for and receive certain federal programs.

Portions of funding may be retained at the state level. Other portions, called pass-through funding, may be made available by HSEMD to eligible subrecipients, depending on the specific grant.

Entities interested in grant funding are encouraged to review eligibility criteria and allowable project criteria specified within the federal and state public notices of funding available on HSEMD’s grant management website.


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School Safety Improvement Fund

Up to $50,000 per school building will be made available through the School Safety Improvement Fund for schools to implement recommended safety measure capital improvements identified through the vulnerability assessment.

In addition to completing a vulnerability assessment, superintendents and head nonpublic school administrators must also complete the School Safety Improvement Funding Notice of Interest (NOI) Survey to indicate their interest in applying for these funds. The survey is located in the “Other” folder on the main CASA dashboard. Superintendents and head nonpublic school administrators must complete this survey before Sept. 1, 2024, to indicate interest in applying for up to $50,000 per school building in School Safety Improvement Grant funds to implement recommended safety capital improvements identified through the vulnerability assessment. Only one response is needed per district/nonpublic school. Districts and nonpublic schools that indicate interest in applying for these funds will be sent application materials. Additional information concerning this grant funding opportunity can be found within the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) and associated Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

If you have questions or technical difficulties regarding the school safety grant application, contact the Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management by email at

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Federal Grant Programs – Managed by HSEMD Available to Locals

The Emergency Management Performance Grant (EMPG) is designed to assist in the development, maintenance, and improvement of state and local emergency management capabilities. It provides support to state and local governments to achieve measurable results in key functional areas of emergency management.

The Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness (HMEP) grant program is intended to provide financial and technical assistance as well as national direction and guidance to enhance state, territorial, tribal, and local hazardous materials emergency planning and training. The HMEP grant program distributes fees collected from shippers and carriers of hazardous materials to eligible Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPCs) for hazmat planning and training. HMEP grant funds are administered by the U.S. Department of Transportation, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

The Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP) consists of sub-programs, one of which is available to Iowa: the State Homeland Security Program (SHSP). The purpose is to support state, local, and tribal efforts to build, sustain, and deliver the capabilities necessary to prevent, prepare for, protect against, and respond to acts of terrorism.

The Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) consists of sub-programs, one of which is available to Iowa: the Nonprofit Security Grant Program – State (NSGP-S). Funding is designed to integrate the preparedness activities of nonprofit organizations with broader state and local preparedness efforts. NSGP-S supports physical security enhancements and other security-related activities to nonprofit organizations at high risk of a terrorist attack.

The State and Local Cybersecurity Grant Program (SLCGP) provides funding to eligible entities to address cybersecurity risks and threats to information systems owned or operated by, or on behalf of, state, local, or tribal governments.

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Disaster Grants

Disaster grants are only received following a Presidential Disaster Declaration. For more information, view Disasters.

Under the Public Assistance program, FEMA awards grants to assist state and local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations with the response to and recovery from disasters. The program provides funding for debris removal, implementation of emergency protective measures and permanent restoration of infrastructure. The program also encourages protection from future damage by providing assistance for hazard mitigation measures during the recovery process. The state works with FEMA to manage the program and administer the funding.

Hazard Mitigation funding also becomes available when a Presidential Disaster Declaration is made. Eligible applicants of the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP), part of HMA, include state agencies and local governments, federally-recognized Indian tribal governments, and certain private nonprofit organizations (PNPs) according to the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 44, Section 206.221 (e). The Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 also requires that a FEMA-approved local hazard mitigation plan be in place prior to FEMA awarding HMGP project funds.

FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) grant programs provide funding opportunities both pre- and post-disaster. The two non-disaster grants are the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) program and the Flood Mitigation Assistance program.

The Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) program shifts the federal focus away from reactive disaster spending and toward research-supported, proactive investment in community resilience. Good BRIC projects are ones that demonstrate innovative approaches to partnerships, such as shared funding mechanisms, and/or project design. Through BRIC, FEMA continues to invest in a variety of mitigation activities with an added focus on infrastructure projects benefiting disadvantaged communities, nature-based solutions, climate resilience and adaptation, and adopting hazard resistant building codes.

The Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) program was created to assist States and communities in implementing measures that reduce or eliminate the long-term risk of flood damage to buildings insured under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). There are three types of FMA grants available to states and communities: planning, project, and management cost grants. FMA grants are part of the Hazard Mitigation Assistance grant programs.

Applying for grant faqs

Q: Who can and how can one apply for grant funding through Iowa HSEMD?

A: Funding opportunity descriptions and other necessary information are posted on the “Open Grants” listing on HSEMD’s grant management website also known as EMGrants. Each specific grant funding opportunity description defines eligibility (who can apply) which may differ from grant to grant. Read through the opportunity making note of the scope of the grant, allowable activities, priority capabilities, the eligibility requirements, and deadlines. Contact the grant point person with specific questions.

Q: What are some of the policies and procedures required for an applicant organization to have in place if subawarded?

A: The written policies and procedures meeting specific requirements are identified in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Title 2, Part 200. A copy of the most recent regulations are found at the eCFR website. The Subpart D-Post Federal Award Requirements section specifies financial and program management standards, property standards, procurement standards, record retention and access, etc.

Q: I am looking for other grant funding opportunities beyond Iowa HSEMD, where do I go?

A: Grants offered by federal agencies can be found on The getting started checklist is a great place to begin.

Some Iowa state agencies utilize to post current grant opportunities.

Local fire departments may be interested in the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency.

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