I had a chance to present two workshops on SAFER grants earlier this week at the Affiliate Leadership Training Summit (ALTS). We covered a lot of details, do’s and don’ts, and tips to be successful. Much to everyone’s dismay, I do not carry around a bag full of money nor can I tell you who is getting or not getting an award; however here are a few possible indicators:
• If your department/jurisdiction applied for a SAFER grant and has been contacted verbally by a grant management specialist from DHS/FEMA who asks, “If DHS/FEMA gives you an award, will you accept it?” This is an indication you may get an award – not a definite. Remember from my earlier blog, some departments/jurisdictions do not accept the awards – although this is becoming more and more unlikely, particularly with the waivers in place.
• If your department/jurisdiction applied for a SAFER grant and has been sent a SF 1199a (aka Standard Form 1199a - Direct Deposit Sign-Up Form), you might be getting an award. Obviously DHS/FEMA needs your banking information to send your money.
• If your department/jurisdiction applied for a SAFER grant worth more than $1 million dollars, and it is going to be awarded, DHS/FEMA is required by law to notify your congressman 3 days prior to your award. This typically happens on a Tuesday afternoon if your award is scheduled to come out the following Friday. This is called a congressional notification or compliance with “section 507.” So, you can call your congressman so they can call you if they receive notification.
Notification to unsuccessful applicants typically occur when very few awards are left to make and it is clear everyone has accepted their award and the money has been 100% obligated. Of the roughly $320 million available DHS/FEMA has already awarded $316 million. So if you haven’t heard from DHS/FEMA, it’s not looking good. Remember, if you are declined, get the details from FEMA on why and call our office for assistance at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-824-1575.