AUSTIN, Texas -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has awarded $2,598,750 in Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funding to the State of Texas to strengthen Memorial Hermann Baptist Beaumont Hospital against future damages from flood, wind-storm and loss of power and water.
The Jefferson County critical care facility served as the designated site for FEMA’s Disaster Medical Assistance Team in the aftermath of Hurricane Rita, providing emergency medical triage and emergency transport in the region.
Officials with FEMA and the Governor's Division of Emergency Management will present a giant check representing the grant funds to the hospital in a ceremony Monday, Feb. 12 in the hospital’s main lobby, 3080 College Street, Beaumont. The event will begin at 2 p.m.
E.C. “Butch” Smith, director of the Texas Transitional Recovery Office in Austin, said, “This hospital provides patient care and community service to more than a half million people in Chambers, Hardin, Jasper, Jefferson, Liberty, Newton, Orange and Tyler counties, an area of about 6,800 square miles in S.E. Texas. In the days after Rita’s devastation, the hospital’s actions highlighted the partnership that was so vital to the Hurricane Rita response effort. This grant was well earned and is well deserved.”
David Parmer, Memorial Hermann Baptist Hospitals’ Chief Executive Officer, said, “As we focus on serving the medical needs of the region, this hazard mitigation grant will enable us to minimize future losses, and in the face of another catastrophic event, have immediate access to emergency back-up power and water.”
Parmer added, “This funding will ensure additional environmental controls to maintain our hi-tech medical equipment and supplies, and ensure that we will, once again, be able to provide quality healthcare services before, during and after a disaster.”
FEMA’s grant will fund the retrofit of the hospital with flood proofing and wind-storm damage protection to include installation of an Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM) roof and storm shutters in critical locations throughout the hospital. The retrofit also includes access to backup power and water to maintain operations and equipment necessary to provide first-responder, emergency and critical acute medical care services during an emergency.
Authorized under Section 404 of the Stafford Act, the HMGP provides funds to states and local governments to implement long-term hazard mitigation measures after a major disaster declaration. Grant funds may be used to fund projects that will reduce or eliminate losses from future disasters. This grant is under the disaster declaration for Hurricane Rita.
Projects must provide a long-term solution to a problem. A project’s potential savings must be more than the cost of implementing the project. HMGP is administered through a coordinated effort between FEMA, the State of Texas and the applicant.
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.