KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) today announced that more than $500,000 ($588,583) in federal funds has been made available to the city of Overland Park for a project that will reduce the risks of future flood losses.
John A. Miller, director of FEMA's regional office in Kansas City, Mo., said that the funds would be provided through FEMA's Unmet Needs Program to purchase and demolish seven residential structures that have had repetitive flood damage.
"FEMA's goal is to help reduce the potential of future flood damage and the corresponding human suffering," Miller said. "Kansas communities continue to join in this partnership in a concerted effort to develop disaster resistant communities."
The city of Overland Park is located within Johnson County, a newly designated "Project Impact Community".
The $588,583 grant represents FEMA's contribution to the project. The total cost of the project is estimated to be $692,541.
The state of Kansas, through the Kansas Division of Emergency Management, and the local community will administer and disperse the federal funds. The state determines which projects are submitted to FEMA for funding. The local units of government submit the projects to the state and determine the order in which the individual structures are purchased.
The city's goals for this voluntary acquisition project include public safety and floodplain management. This project will remove families out of harms way, reduce the risks to emergency workers, and help the community meet their responsibilities for floodplain management and stay in good standing with the National Flood Insurance Program. When the acquisition project is complete the city plans on using the land for open space.
"Removing people from harm's way and protecting facilities that provide essential services are important steps in making a community more resistant to future disasters," Miller said. "I commend the state of Kansas and the city of Overland Park for their efforts."
"The approval of this project resulted from a cooperative effort with the city of Overland Park, the Kansas Division of Emergency Management and FEMA," Miller said. "This is an example of what can be accomplished when local, state and federal governments work as partners to solve problems."
FEMA's Unmet Needs Program provides 75% of the funds for approved projects that lessen or eliminate the loss of lives and property in future disasters. The remaining 25% must be provided from non-federal sources.
These federal unmet needs funds are available as a result of a Presidential disaster declaration for the state of Kansas in 1998 for severe storms and flooding.
Project Impact: Building Disaster Resistant Communities is a national FEMA initiative that encourages communities to take steps to lessen the impact of a disaster before it strikes. These steps can include actions such as developing contingency plans that will keep businesses up and running, helping citizens with their own disaster preparedness including safe rooms, and buyout of property from the floodplain.