MOBILE, Ala. -- The Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Alabama Emergency Management Agency (AEMA) disaster officials announced the approval of two hazard mitigation projects totaling nearly 1 million. The projects are aimed at addressing a number of hazards that would eliminate or reduce damages in future disasters.
The two projects included in the program are:
- City of Fultondale, Jefferson County - $913,960 for the acquisition and demolition of 11 repetitive loss properties with the land kept in open space for perpetuity.
- Chambers County - $14,400 is to be used by unincorporated and incorporated areas in the county, and include the towns of Lafayette, Lanett and Valley. Hazards to be addressed include floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, severe storms, earthquakes, winter storms, fire, dam failure, landslides and heat wave/droughts.
The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) is state-administered with projects funded by setting aside federal funds in an amount equal to 7.5 percent of total assistance distributed during a disaster. FEMA will pay 75 percent of the $928,360 total cost of the projects with local and state entities funding the remaining 25 percent.
"With mitigation sources to come, no stone will be left unturned to minimize future property, infrastructure and economic losses caused by disasters," said Tony Russell, FEMA's federal coordinating officer in charge of disaster operations.
HMGP provides grants to states and local governments to implement long-term hazard mitigation after a major disaster declaration. The purpose is to reduce the loss of life and property due to disasters and to enable mitigation measures to be implemented during the recovery from a disaster.
"Partnering is an essential part of the response to a disaster. Mitigation ranks the second most important challenge we face with people needs at the top of the list," said State Coordinating Officer Bruce Baughman. "The more we succeed, fewer people needs will come into play after disaster strikes, eliminating the drain on taxpayer and individual resources.
FEMA prepares the nation for all hazards and effectively manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates mitigation activities, trains first responders, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.