SALEM , OR -- Oregon is one the first states in the nation to have an Enhanced State Hazard Mitigation Plan approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Approval of the plan increases Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funds from 7.5 percent to 20 percent, providing a greater allotment to implement the state's mitigation program.
"Oregon's Enhanced Hazard Mitigation Plan is really paying off," said Lee Champagne, federal coordinating officer for this disaster. "Residents are benefiting from the state's excellent hazard mitigation planning."
Using the increased HMGP funding, the state is working with local governments to implement elevation and acquisition projects identified in local community hazard mitigation plans. The funds are being used to reduce future losses to substantially-damaged and/or repetitive flood loss properties that sustained damage during the severe storms, flooding, mudslides, and landslides that occurred in late December and early January that prompted this disaster declaration.
"Because there was no individual assistance component approved for this disaster, the state has decided to use these funds for homes that have been damaged time and time again," said State Coordinating Officer Abby Kershaw.
Early in the disaster, it was determined that two areas were particularly hard-hit by flooding. These areas are located in Jackson and Coos Counties and both have a FEMA-approved local hazard mitigation plans, a requirement for HMGP.
FEMA and the state are providing technical assistant to "fast-track" the elevation or acquisition of thirteen properties in Jackson and Coos Counties . Other properties have been identified in Clackamas and Douglas counties and Oregon City for landslide mitigation. The mitigation project in Douglas County could involve the acquisition or relocation of a home located in a debris flow (rapidly moving landslide) hazard area.
FEMA manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates mitigation activities, works with state and local emergency managers, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003