DHS Awards Nearly $1.2 Million In Additional Grants To Reduce Risk Through Pre-Disaster Planning

Washington, D.C. – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced that six more states have received 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) Pre-Disaster Mitigation program, will soon be a prerequisite for receiving certain types of mitigation funding and disaster assistance.

“One of our principal missions is to help reduce the loss of life and property due to disasters,” said Michael D. Brown, Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Emergency Preparedness and Response. “Supporting comprehensive plans to reduce risks before a disaster strikes is the most effective way to meet that mission.”

Connecticut, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Oregon, Tennessee and Wisconsin have each received $248,375 to support development of hazard mitigation plans that meet FEMA guidelines. These funds require a 25 percent cost share to be provided from a non-federal source.

Beginning in late May, Brown had announced similar planning grants to Alabama, American Samoa, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, South Dakota, Texas, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming.

“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,” said Anthony S. Lowe, director of FEMA’s Mitigation Division. “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.”

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. FEMA-approved local plans are not required for project grants awarded with FY 2003 pre-disaster mitigation funds. 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.

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