Department of Community Affairs, Office of Community Services  




    The Department of Community Affairs gives notice of its intent to open a competitive grant application process to structurally enhance or retrofit public hurricane evacuation shelters.

    In House Bill (HB) 7121, the 2006 Legislature found that retrofitting public hurricane evacuation shelters is an efficient and economical method of accelerating state and local efforts to reduce the deficit of safe shelter space. The enacted legislation directs the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) to establish a statewide competitive grant application process for proposals to enhance or retrofit public hurricane evacuation shelters, such that those shelters will meet minimum safety criteria upon completion of the projects. Therefore, DCA is soliciting applications on a competitive basis to enhance or retrofit public hurricane evacuation shelters. The application may contain one or more independent proposals.

    All applications must include a written recommendation from the county emergency management agency that states that upon completion of the proposed enhancement or retrofit project, that the shelter will be designated as a public hurricane evacuation shelter. The Applicant must also state in writing that, for a period of not less than 15 years, upon request of local or state emergency management agencies during a declared state or local emergency, the completed shelter will be made available for emergency management purposes.

    Eligible Applicants include state, regional and local government agencies, and private non-profit organizations. The total amount of funding available under this offering is $15 million for the purpose of improving structural survivability. DCA has been authorized to use up to five percent of the funds to administer awarded grants. The application cycle officially opens June 1, 2006, with an application deadline of August 15, 2006. Grant funds provided under this application process will be provided to award recipients contingent on availability and approved Legislative Budget Authority. Projects that receive funding under this competitive grant process must be completed by June 30, 2009, unless the award is extended with the approval of DCA.

    Funding under this grant application process is subject to eligibility requirements of the federal Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP). HMGP funding is only applicable to costs associated with “above code” construction improvements that protect the hurricane shelter building, occupants and contents from natural hazards and their effects. Prior to award of HMGP funds, the Applicant is required to submit an HMGP application and be determined to meet all eligibility criteria, including demonstrated cost-effectiveness. However, completion of the HMGP-specific application is not necessary to meet the August 15, 2006 project proposal deadline. Only the application attached to this NOFA must be completed and received by the August 15, 2006 deadline. Projects offered funding under this NOFA will be required to submit an HMGP application prior to the award of funds. Failure to submit the required application, or failure to meet HMGP eligibility criteria, shall result in denial of funds. The Applicant is encouraged to provide as much information as available with their initial application. The HMGP application can be found at the following URL address: brm/hmgp_proc_forms.htm

    At a minimum, all projects that receive grant funds under this application process must meet the structural and siting criteria established in the American Red Cross’ publication “Standards for Hurricane Evacuation Shelter Selection” (ARC 4496, January 2002).   Failure to supply the required documentation, or disapproval of this documentation by DCA, shall result in denial of funds. To enhance survivability, DCA recommends hurricane performance criteria that exceed ARC 4496. DCA encourages enhancement or retrofit proposals that specify that the shelter will meet or exceed design criteria established in the Florida Building Code, Building (FBC) section 423.25 “Public Shelter Design Criteria,” including the recommended 40 mile-per-hour increase in map wind speed, plus ASTM E 1996-02 Level E windborne debris impact protection, or similar design criteria approved by DCA.

    Criteria for prioritizing and recommending the funding for enhancement or retrofitting of public hurricane evacuation shelters will include, but is not limited to, shelter needs of the county as well as the overall needs of the hurricane evacuation planning region, cost-effectiveness of the project in terms of both the number of public hurricane shelter spaces created and cost per space, and priority ranking of the proposed project in the applicable local mitigation strategy. Statewide, regional and county hurricane shelter space demand and surplus/deficit status will be based upon data published in the DCA “2006 Statewide Emergency Shelter Plan.” In reviewing proposals, DCA will consider all state and local funds already committed for the project which have not been expended, and that will decrease the project’s fiscal need once expended.

    Eligible activities include structural renovation, enhancement or retrofit of the shelter facility and essential infrastructure needed to meet the structural and siting survivability requirements. Funding may not include land acquisition, purchase of equipment, furnishings, communications and other operational systems, emergency electric power generators or prewiring systems, or recurring expenditures.

    Application and attachments are not to exceed 8 1/2'' x 11'' page size, and attachments are to be limited to a maximum of 15 pages. The cover page of the application must contain an original authorized signature by the chief elected official or the chairman of the governing board, or duly authorized chief executive officer or other government official. The signature demonstrates endorsement of the application and commitment of funds, if applicable. Evidence of the delegation of authority shall be supplied with the application. If the government entity does not have a governing board or chief elected official, then the application shall be signed by the chief administrative officer, and evidence of his or her authority supplied with the application. If the Applicant is not a governmental entity, then the application shall be signed by the governing board, or if no governing board, then the application shall be signed by the chief executive officer.

    In order to be considered for funding, one (1) original plus four (4) identical hard copies of the completed applications with attachments must be received by 4:00 p.m., local time, August 15, 2006, at the following address:

    Florida Department of Community Affairs

    Division of Emergency Management

    Bureau of Preparedness and Response

    2555 Shumard Oak Boulevard

    Tallahassee, Florida 32399-2100

    ATTN: Public Hurricane Shelter Retrofit Initiative

    Division of Emergency Management staff will be available to assist in the application process. If there are any questions, please contact Mr. Danny Kilcollins, (850)413-9859 or e-mail or Mr. Dean Griffin, (850)413-9954 or e-mail


Document Information