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FAQs - Grants Process

Q: What kind of funding is available?

A: Primarily funds available through DHS are federal dollars allocated to the state and passed-through to local jurisdictions through the means of sub-grants which are to be used to build emergency response efforts in the state's communities. In addition, there are a limited number of federal grants which are competitive in nature meaning that the state must compete against other states and jurisdictions for the funding with no guarantee that any dollars will be awarded to North Dakota.

Q: Who is eligible to apply for a DHS grant?

A: Eligibility for these federal funds is dictated by the federal granting agency and may differ depending upon the funding agency. However, in general, jurisdictions eligible for pass-through sub-grants must be a governmental entity (county, tribe, city or township) and its sub-divisions (i.e. fire district). Non-governmental entities providing first responder services are not eligible to receive direct funding but may apply through its respective county, tribe and/or city.

Q: How long do we have to spend the money?

A: The terms of grants are dictated by the federal granting agency and can vary. Typically the length of time a grantee has to accomplish the grant activities and spend the funds ranges from 12 to 30 months.

Q: How are obligations determined?

A: Obligations vary depending on the grant. Some obligations are formula based, others are competitive based, and still others are based on the ability to match federal funding.

Q: What is "match" and how do I meet the requirement?

A: Some federal grants require a local "match" within the grants. That means the grantee must provide some of the dollars needed to accomplish the grant project. The amount of match can vary (20 percent or greater of the total project cost). Match can be either hard (cash) or soft (in-kind) depending on the grant. In-kind match can include such things as the value of time spent on the project by employees or volunteers, donation of land or other property, use of space for meetings. All match must be verifiable and must be eligible under the grant program.

Q: When can I purchase items on the approved budget?

A: After a sub-grant to a jurisdiction has been approved, DES will issue an award document including grant requirements. Spending of funds may begin as soon as officials of the jurisdiction sign, date, and return the Notice of Grant Award form to DES.

Q: How does the grant process work as far as getting reimbursed for expenditures?

A: The sub-grants awarded by DES are reimbursement grants only, meaning that the jurisdiction must spend the money upfront and then apply to DES for reimbursement of those expenditures. Jurisdictions may submit the proper Financial Reimbursement Request Detail forms with supporting documentation at any time after its expenditures.

Q: What are the supporting documents needed to get reimbursed?

A: All requests for reimbursement must include the signed and dated Financial Reimbursement Request Detail form, copies of "invoices" (not statements or quotes) and proof of payment. Exercise reimbursement requests must also include a copy of the after action report (HSEEP) and Training reimbursement requests must also include a roster of those attending the training along with an outline of the training course. In addition, Planning reimbursement requests must include a copy of the planning document.

Q: What is accepted as "proof of payment"?

A: Cancelled checks, signed auditor's Warrant, or treasurer's ledger statement constitute proof of payment.


Q: Why do I need to provide proof of payment?

A: DES "reimburses" only. Proof of payment ensures that the request is a reimbursement not an advance.

Q: How long does it take to get reimbursed?

A: If all the required documentation is submitted with the reimbursement request it will take 7 to 10 days for completion of the request.

Q: After a grant has been approved, may we make changes in the grant?

A: Generally, changes in the intent of an award are not allowed. On a limited basis DES may consider some changes but the jurisdiction will have to document justification for such an adjustment to the grant.

Q: Can changes be made in the grant budget?

A: Changes are allowed within a grant's budget on a limited basis. But the entity must request those changes in writing along with a written justification for the adjustment, and if the change is for $1,000 or more the entity must first seek approval from the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) or the committee used to determine local funding allocations. Entities may NOT move funds between grant awards such as from a Planning grant to an Equipment grant.

Q: What happens when all my grant funds have been expended?

A: DES will issue a Closeout Letter to the jurisdiction. Officials of the jurisdiction are asked to sign, date, and return a copy of the Closeout Letter to DES.

Q: What happens to grant funds that aren't expended?

A: Once the spending cycle of a grant has been reached all sub-grants are closed and any remaining funds from the awards are pooled. DES will request grant proposals from interested jurisdictions which can accomplish its proposed project and spend the funds in a short period of time - typically 60 to 90 days.

Q: Are extensions available on grant funding?

A: Extensions can be granted on a limited basis as long as the federal deadline is not violated. Extensions are granted only under special circumstances. The jurisdiction must justify and request the extension in writing.

Q: Why am I required to keep documentation after my grant is closed?

A: Federal law requires that documentation (all financial records, supporting documents, statistical records, and all other records pertinent to the award) be retained by each organization for at least three years from the date the grant is closed at a federal level.

Q: What is NIMS Compliance?

A: To be determined compliant, states, territories, tribal nations, and local governments must complete its respective metrics assessment (NIMSCAST) to demonstrate that they have met the expectation of all compliance objectives

Q: Why are progress reports required?

A: Progress reports are necessary to provide DHS the tools to meet its federal reporting and monitoring requirements on the status of grants awarded to the state.

Q: I still have not received my training certificate for a course I took on the EMI Web site. What should I do?

A: If you have inquiries regarding certificates or EMI online courses, please contact the Emergency Management Institute's Independent Study Office at: (301) 447-1200 or e-mail them at: Independent.Study@dhs.gov.

Q: Who has to take NIMS and ICS training?

A: Stakeholders will define the emergency management/response personnel within their jurisdiction, agency, or organization who require ongoing training. This includes all emergency services related disciplines such as EMS, hospitals, public health, fire service, law enforcement, public works/utilities, skilled support personnel, and other emergency management response, support and volunteer personnel. In general determination should be made as follows:

Entry Level:

  • FEMA IS-700: NIMS, An Introduction
  • ICS-100: Introduction to ICS or equivalent First Line, Single Resource, Field Supervisors:
  • IS-700.A, ICS-100, and ICS-200: Basic ICS or its equivalent
    Middle Management: Strike Team Leaders, Division Supervisors, EOC Staff, etc.
  • IS-700.A, IS-800.B NRF, ICS-100, ICS-200, and ICS-300
    Command and General Staff; Area, Emergency, and EOC Managers:
  • IS-700.A, IS-800.B NRF, ICS-100, ICS-200, ICS-300, and ICS-400

Q: What level of NIMS training is required for elected officials?

A: The National Integration Center (NIC) Incident Management Systems Integration (IMSI) Division strongly recommends that all elected officials who will be interacting with multiple jurisdictions and agencies during an incident at the minimum complete IS-700: NIMS, An Introduction and ICS-100: Introduction to ICS. These courses provide a basic understanding of the National Incident Management System and the Incident Command System. Everyone directly involved in managing an emergency should understand the command reporting structures, common terminology, and roles and responsibilities inherent in a response operation.

Q: What training do I need to be an ICS instructor?

A: Broken down, the requirements are as follows:

ICS-100: Instructor Qualifications

  • Successful completion of accredited ICS-100, ICS-200, and IS-700.A.
  • Service in a mid-level emergency management and incident response position within five years in real-world incidents, planned events, or accredited exercises.
  • Recognized qualifications in techniques of instruction and adult education methodologies.
ICS-200: Instructor Qualifications

  • Successful completion of accredited ICS-100, ICS-200, IS-700.A, and IS-800.B.
  • Service in a mid-level emergency management and incident response position within five years in real-world incidents, planned events, or accredited exercises.
  • Recognized qualifications in techniques of instruction and adult education methodologies.
ICS-300: Instructor Qualifications
  • Successful completion of accredited ICS-100, ICS-200, ICS-300, ICS-400, IS-700.A, and IS-800.B.
  • Service in a mid-level incident management position within five years in real-world incidents, planned events, or accredited exercises.
  • Recognized qualifications in techniques of instruction and adult education methodologies.
ICS 400: Instructor Qualifications

  • Successful completion of accredited ICS-100, ICS-200, ICS-300, ICS-400, IS-700.A, and IS-800.B.
  • Service in a mid-level emergency management and incident response position within five years in real-world incidents, planned events, or accredited exercises.
  • Recognized qualifications in techniques of instruction and adult education methodologies.
For additional information, refer to the Five-Year NIMS Training Plan. An instructor's qualifications must be verified by the agency sponsoring the training.

Q: What are the requirements for a HSEEP compliant exercise program?

A: HSEEP Compliance is defined as adherence to specific HSEEP-mandated practices for exercise program management, design, development, conduct, evaluation, and improvement planning. In order for an entity to be considered HSEEP compliant it must satisfy four distinct performance requirements:

  1. Conducting an annual Training and Exercise Plan Workshop and developing and maintaining a Multi-year Training and Exercise Plan.
  2. Planning and conducting exercises in accordance with the guidelines set forth in HSEEP Volumes I-III.
  3. Developing and submitting a properly formatted After-Action Report/Improvement Plan (AAR/IP). The format for the AAR/IP is found in HSEEP Volume III.
  4. Tracking and implementing corrective actions identified in the AAR/IP.




This site updated as of 10/22/2014.