Music NARRATOR: Mitigation planning is crucial to any community susceptible to recurring events such as hurricanes, flooding, tornadoes or earthquakes. Proper planning is essential to a community's long-term strategy to reduce disaster losses and break the cycle of damage, reconstruction, and repeated damage. As federal, state, and local governments establish their hazard mitigation plans, they may need to know information on community residents who have applied to FEMA for assistance during a particular disaster, or where most of the damage occurred. These governments can use information from FEMA's Disaster Assistance System of Records to assist in assessing, implementing, and enforcing their hazard mitigation plan. While the Privacy Act states personally identifiable information, or PII collected by FEMA can only be disclosed with written consent, there are exceptions. These exceptions are called "Routine Uses." Routine Use "(J)" allows information sharing to Federal, state and local governments in support of mitigation activities. FEMA can disclose PII to Federal, state, or local government agencies who work on the implementation of hazard mitigation measures and its enforcement. The entity must submit a written request to FEMA, stating the official disaster number, outline the data needed and the use for that data. To request PII under Routine Use "(J)", the requesting entity sends a written request to the Joint Field Office, or JFO, if it is open, or to the FEMA Regional Office. The appropriate office will review and determine if it is a valid request. If accepted, FEMA will request the applicable data from the National Processing Service Center or NPSC. FEMA then sends an official response to the requesting entity. Any information released cannot be further disclosed. The JFO or Regional Office will keep a copy of the incoming request, response, and data disclosed. In order to break the cycle of re-occurring damage that happens in vulnerable communities, hazard mitigation planning and enforcement is essential. Receiving this information from FEMA enables state and local government agencies to ensure owners repair or rebuild structures in conformance with applicable hazard-specific building codes, standards and ordinances, enforce hazard mitigation codes and prevent duplication of benefits. Routine Use "(J)" allows FEMA to share valuable information to those who need it to plan the proper procedures to create safer communities and reduce loss of life and property. There are many particular situations and needs unique to every disaster event. For more information please contact your State Emergency Management Representative or FEMA Regional Office.