TRENTON, N.J. -- Community involvement and public input is a vital aspect of local hazard mitigation plan development. Pre-planned, pre-identified, and cost-effective mitigation strategies can save lives and money during disasters.
State and local municipalities can reap benefits by preparing now for future natural disasters with the development of an adopted hazard mitigation plan. With mitigation plans in place, communities have access to federal grant programs otherwise unavailable to those whose local governments have not yet adopted these plans.
There are three main mitigation grant programs that become available to communities with completed mitigation plans.
Flood Mitigation Assistance Program (FMA) provides annual funding to those states and local governments working to reduce long term flood risk. These grants may be used to help communities create the hazard mitigation plans necessary to be eligible for the FMA award.
Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) is a cost sharing plan with the State or local government to finance mitigation projects that reduce future loss of life and property due to natural disasters. HMGP funds may be used for local community projects or to raise or purchase outright those properties at risk for repetitive flood damage.
Pre-Disaster Mitigation Competitive Grants (PDM-C) is a Federal grant program for States and communities to address natural hazards with mitigation projects before a disaster strikes.
These mitigation programs can save money, lives, and emotional turmoil that can arise from repetitive flooding disasters. Only those municipalities with adopted natural disaster and all-hazard mitigation plans can benefit from these programs. These are community programs and as such, individual homeowners and businesses may not apply directly to the programs but should work with local officials to provide important input on plan development.
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.