Prepare California

The California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) is pleased to announce the release of applications for a first in the nation grant program focused on building community resilience amongst vulnerable individuals living in the areas of the state most susceptible to natural disasters. The program known as Prepare California is aimed at reducing long-term risks of disasters, such as flooding, earthquakes, wildfires, landslides, extreme heat, drought, or dam failure by investing in infrastructure improvements designed to protect communities.

Prepare California leverages funds approved in Governor Gavin Newsom’s 2021-22 State Budget, and is designed to unlock federal matching funds for community improvement projects that vulnerable communities would otherwise be unable to access. This program is intended for communities that are the most socially vulnerable and at the highest risk for future hazard events. The state identified communities by prioritizing California census tracts according to their estimated hazard exposures and social vulnerability.

PrepareCA Flyer

We know that our vulnerable communities are disproportionately impacted when a disaster strikes. Prepare California targets funds to areas where they are needed most to improve infrastructure, mitigate disasters, and save lives.

Ryan Buras

Deputy Director of Recovery, Cal OES

Program Focus Areas

Funding under the program may go to support projects addressing concerns in one or more of the following focus areas:

  • Mitigation and Preparedness Planning – Planning and regulatory actions that reduce long term disaster impacts such as the creation of local hazard mitigation or evacuation plans, building code creation and enforcement, and climate adaptation planning.
  • Local Capacity Building – Actions that will improve local capacity to mitigate, responds to, and Recovery from disasters. Includes partnership building, enhancing local resilience staffing support, scoping for future mitigation projects, establishment of resiliency programs such as Firewise communities or CERT programs.
  • Whole Community – Mitigation and preparedness plans and actions that integrate a Whole Community approach. Activities should engage the full capacity of the private and nonprofit sectors, such as businesses, faith-based and disability organizations, and the public, in conjunction with the participation of local, tribal, state, territorial and federal government partners while ensuing the inclusion of children, individuals with disabilities and others with access and functional needs, those from religious, racial, and ethnically diverse backgrounds, and people with limited English proficiency.
  • Property Protection – Actions taken to reduce or eliminate long-term risk to property from natural hazards and their effects such as modification of buildings or structures to protect them from a hazard or removal of structures from a hazard area. Includes acquisition, elevation, relocation, establishment of defensible space, and structural and non-structural retrofit.
  • Public Education and Awareness – Actions to inform citizens and elected officials about disaster preparedness or individual and community actions to mitigate hazards.
  • Nature-Based Solutions to Hazard Risk – Actions that minimize hazard loss by preserving, mimicking, or restoring the functions of natural systems. Includes sediment and erosion control, stream corridor restoration, watershed management, forest and vegetation management, natural coastal protection, green stormwater management, and wetland restoration and preservation.
  • Emergency Preparedness – Actions that protect people and property during and immediately after a hazard event. Includes alert and early warning systems and the protection of essential facilities.

First Round of Prepare California Jumpstart Awards

Cal OES awarded nearly $4.5 million to six applicants through the ‘Jumpstart’ portion of the Prepare California Program. Ranging from cities and counties to Tribal Governments and private non-profits situated all over the state, this funding will support local capacity building to enable investment in infrastructure improvements designed to protect people and property.

Awardee information can be found here:

Cal OES Awards First-Ever Resiliency Funding to Disaster Vulnerable Communities | Cal OES News

Funding Types Available

Funding under the program, is intended to support improving whole community resilience and hazard mitigation capacity building at the local level:

$15 million in state funding dedicated to help jumpstart eligible communities in their development and implementation of resilience planning and activities.

Provides enhanced technical assistance and state funds to qualified entities to develop local initiatives that directly and primarily benefit eligible socially vulnerable and high hazard risk communities. Funds can be used for capacity building, preparedness activities, education, response/recovery planning, and/or future project scoping.

$85 million in state funding to cover the required 25% local cost share for eligible communities and projects applying for FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grants Program (HMGP).

Provides cost share funding, as well as enhanced technical assistance to qualified entities applying for the FEMA HMGP to develop projects and activities that directly and primarily benefit eligible socially vulnerable and high hazard risk communities and reduce risk to loss of life and property from natural disasters within the FEMA HMGP requirements.

Timeline for Funding Opportunities

January 18, 2022:  Cal OES Updates NOFO with Prepare California funding opportunity
February 15, 2022: Prepare California Match HMGP NOIs due to Cal OES via the Engage Cal OES Portal
February 28, 2022: Prepare California Jumpstart Proposals due to Cal OES via email
April 8, 2022: Prepare California Match HMGP Subapplications due to Cal OES via the Engage Cal OES Portal
Summer 2022: Cal OES announces Prepare California Jumpstart selections
Summer 2022: Cal OES announced Prepare California Match selections
Early Fall 2022: Cal OES submits HMGP and Prepare California selections to FEMA for further review
2023 onward: FEMA awards projects after completing programmatic and Environment and Historic Preservation (EHP) reviews

Application Process

Prepare California Jumpstart Proposal Submission Process

Interested applicants must submit their PrepareCA JumpStart Application to with “Prepare California JumpStart” in the subject line and in the title of the proposal application. See the NOFO for further details about funding priorities and eligibility.


Eligible Subapplicants

  • Federally Recognized Tribes – Subapplicants must have a FEMA-approved tribal hazard mitigation plan in order to be eligible.
  • Local Governments/Communities/Special Districts – Subapplicants must have a FEMA-approved local hazard mitigation plan in order to be eligible.
  • Private non-profit Organizations – Private non-profit Organizations are not subject to this requirement, but the County in which they are located must meet the LHMP requirement.

Projects must benefit communities that meet the Hazard Risk and Social Vulnerability Criteria. The above entity types can seek funding under Prepare California

Best Practices for Application Submission

  1. For helpful tips, FAQs, and detailed information about how to submit your NOI, please see the NOI User Guide.
  2. For NOI submission, using Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge as your browser, click this link to access the Engage Cal OES Portal.
  3. Please see the FEMA Hazard Mitigation Assistance Guidance for full details on project eligibility and other requirements for the Prepare California Match program.
  4. All contracts and purchases must comply with relevant Federal and State procurement guidelines to be eligible for reimbursement.
      • Under Prepare California Match, pre-award costs (including the development of the subapplication) are eligible for reimbursement upon award if all procurements adhered to federal policies. This includes competitively procuring any contractor support used to develop the subapplication or plan a project. Pre-award costs are not reimbursable under Prepare California Jumpstart.
      • Contractors who assist with subapplication development will be ineligible to compete for further contracts on the same award.


FIGURE 3: An HMGP-funded slope stabilization project within the burn scar of the Carr Fire prevented soil erosion and runoff into water sources. These photos show a slope before and after the hydroseeding and other erosion control measures were implemented

Submission Process

Prepare California Match HMGP Proposal Submission Process

Subapplicants interested in Prepare California Match and HMGP must submit a Notice of Interest (NOI) via the Engage Cal OES Portal by February 15th. Prepare California Match subapplicants should title their NOI in the following format: “Prepare California: Entity Name, Project Name.” NOIs submitted after this date will be considered for the next available funding opportunity.

Cal OES will review NOIs for eligibility and then invite subapplicants with eligible projects to submit full grant subapplications, also via the Engage Cal OES Portal. Projects must be eligible, feasible, and cost effective per FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Assistance Guidance. Projects must be stand-alone activities that will reduce risk as their primary benefit, but Cal OES strongly encourages the submission of projects that achieve multiple benefits.

Cal OES will review all subapplications and submit projects to FEMA in accordance with the State’s priorities. Cal OES will retain eligible subapplications that are not initially selected for submission to FEMA for future consideration when funding becomes available. FEMA will then review the submitted applications for programmatic and environmental and historic preservation (EHP) compliance prior to obligating funds. See the NOFO for further details about funding priorities and eligibility.

Additional Prepare California Application, Resources, and Guidance Documents

Prepare California Jumpstart Application

Prepare California JumpStart is a competitive $15 million dollar grant program that provides Technical Assistance (TA) and State funding to eligible socially vulnerable and high hazard risk communities. Through this grant program, eligible communities can develop local initiatives that foster resilience via capacity building, mitigation and preparedness activities, community outreach/education, response and recovery planning, and/or project scoping. Each application may be up to $1 million dollars in State funds, and applicant entities may submit multiple applications for distinct activities and initiatives.

Do not start this application until you have thoroughly read these instructions. Failure to do so may result in resubmission of this form by the applicant. Cal OES requires this form be completed for all Prepare California JumpStart applications.

2022 Prepare California Jumpstart Webinar Presentation

This webinar presentation includes: Program Overview, Eligibility, and Application Review


2021 Notice of Funding Opportunity Update

The California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) is pleased to announce an update to the 2021 funding opportunity for FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP). In addition, Cal OES is announcing a new one-time, state-funded initiative (“Prepare California”) to help socially vulnerable and high hazard risk communities—which are impacted disproportionately by disasters and experience longer and more challenging economic and structural recoveries—jumpstart their progress toward greater resilience through advanced outreach, technical assistance, and funds to subsidize local mitigation and resilience initiatives.

Overall, 2021 FEMA HMGP and Prepare California (PrepareCA) mitigation and resilience funding can be grouped as follows:

  1. PrepareCA JumpStart – $15 million in state funding dedicated to help jumpstart eligible socially vulnerable and high hazard risk communities in their development and implementation of resilience planning and activities.
  2. FEMA HMGP – ~$428 million in federal funding for eligible FEMA HMGP activities and projects.
    • PrepareCA Match – FEMA HMGP – $255 million in federal funding for FEMA HMGP activities and projects benefiting eligible socially vulnerable and high hazard risk communities. o PrepareCA Match will provide $85 million in state funding to cover the required 25% local cost share (non-federal share).
    • 2021 FEMA HMGP – ~$173 million in federal funding for eligible FEMA HMGP activities and projects to communities state-wide. o Communities will be responsible for covering the required 25% local cost share (non-federal share).

2021 FAQ - Notice of Funding Opportunity Update

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) relating to the 2021 Notice of Funding Opportunity Update

Prepare California FEMA HMGP Funding Flyer

This flyer includes program objectives, application instructions, comparison of funding opportunities, and funding priorities.

Social Vulnerability & High Hazard Risk Community Criteria and Map

In this analysis, we consider five hazard types facing California communities: wildfires, earthquakes, floods, drought, and extreme heat. To identify communities that might benefit most from support to implement hazard mitigation projects, we 1) attempt to objectively estimate community exposures to each of these hazards across the state, and 2) link these estimates to a commonly used measure of social vulnerability, the Social Vulnerability Index (SVI) published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

This analysis is done at the census tract level. All census tracts with available data are ranked from lowest to highest in terms of their overall hazard exposure and social vulnerability, and then assigned a percentile rank relative to all other census tracts in the state. This ranking ranges from zero to one, where a higher rank indicates greater estimated hazard exposure or social vulnerability. For example, if a census tract has an overall hazard percentile rank of 0.75, 75% of census tracts in the state should have lower hazard exposure than that tract and 25% should have higher exposure.

Our approach to estimating hazard exposures attempts to characterize the relative likelihood of an event occurring in a particular census tract using available data. We do not attempt to estimate the population, economic, or business damages that would result from a disaster event.

Technical Assistance

Our subject matter experts are available to discuss project eligibility, benefit cost analysis, technical feasibility, EHP requirements, the application process, or other related matters.

For assistance with PrepareCA Match, please reach out to

For questions specific to the PrepareCA Jumpstart program, reach out to