Springfield, MO -- In response to the tornadoes, severe storms and flooding that devastated much of Missouri last month, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Missouri State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) are partnering to support hazard mitigation projects in all Missouri counties.
Hazard mitigation is any sustained action taken to reduce or eliminate long-term risk to people and property from natural hazards and their effects. FEMA's Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) is a cost-share program by which FEMA provides 75 percent of the cost of approved projects. The remaining 25 percent must be met with non-federal sources (cash, in-kind services, donated materials, etc.).
Eligible applicants include state or local governments; certain non-profit organizations; and certain Indian tribes or tribal organizations. Examples of eligible projects include (but are not limited to) the acquisition and demolition of flood-prone structures; the purchase and installation of tornado safe rooms; and placing electrical lines underground.
"We are currently soliciting mitigation proposals statewide," said Jerry Uhlmann, director of SEMA. "This is an excellent opportunity for all Missourians - not just those included in the current disaster declaration - to assess their risks and propose cost-effective, environmentally-sound projects that would reduce or eliminate those risks."
"The purpose of making HMGP funding available to communities now is to ensure that the opportunity to take critical mitigation measures to protect life and property from future disasters is not lost during the recovery and reconstruction process following the May disaster," explained Mike Karl, federal coordinating officer for the Missouri recovery effort.
Uhlmann said that upon receipt of project proposals, he and his staff will work in cooperation with FEMA to review the projects for eligibility. Applicants with eligible projects will be asked to provide further information on the cost-effectiveness and environmental aspects of the proposed project.
Project proposals must be received by SEMA by July 7, 2003 and must include the following information:
- Project location
- Project description
- Estimated project cost (100% of project cost)
- Explanation of how the 25% non-federal funding will be met
- Estimated work schedule
- Explanation of how the proposed project will reduce or eliminate the long-term risk to life and property from a future disaster.
For more information about the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, contact Sheela Amin at (573) 526-9116.