Washington, DC – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced that nine states will receive grants to help state, local and tribal governments protect lives and property by developing multi-hazard mitigation plans. These plans, funded through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA’s) Pre-Disaster Mitigation program, will soon be a prerequisite for receiving certain types of mitigation funding and disaster assistance.
Michael D. Brown, Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Emergency Preparedness and Response, said Arizona, California, Hawaii, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Vermont will each receive $248,375 to support development of hazard mitigation plans that meet FEMA guidelines. These funds constitute 75 percent of the anticipated cost of these plans. The remaining 25 percent represents a cost share to be provided from a non-federal source.
On May 21, Brown had announced similar planning grants to Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Washington.
“One of our principal missions is to help reduce the loss of life and property due to disasters,” Brown said. “Supporting comprehensive plans to reduce risks before a disaster strikes is the most effective way to meet that mission.”
Anthony S. Lowe, director of FEMA’s Mitigation Division, said state and local hazard mitigation planning is so important that it will soon be required for states to be eligible for pre- and post-disaster mitigation assistance.
“States that show they are serious about reducing risks through strong pre-disaster planning will be eligible to receive federal funds in the future to support their efforts,” Lowe said.
After November 1, 2003, FEMA-approved local mitigation plans will be required as a condition of receiving pre-disaster mitigation grants for local mitigation projects. After November 1, 2004, a FEMA-approved state mitigation plan will also be required to receive pre-disaster mitigation grants for both state and local mitigation projects.
A state mitigation plan will also be required for non-emergency assistance provided under the Stafford Act following a presidentially declared disaster, including public assistance for restoration of damaged facilities and post-disaster Hazard Mitigation Grant Program funding.
Multi-hazard mitigation planning may include hazards caused by non-natural events but must be focused primarily on natural hazards. The funds can be used to develop multi-jurisdictional plans, if adopted by all participating political jurisdictions, since many issues are better resolved by evaluating hazards in a more comprehensive fashion. Risk assessments in support of mitigation planning are also eligible.
Information about mitigation programs is available at www.fema.gov/fima/.