BILOXI, Miss. -- The city of Moss Point will receive a grant of more than $188,000 to increase the number of building department positions and upgrade the city's computer systems. The Pearl River County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) will receive a grant of more than $8,000 to install storm shutters to protect their operations room.
With more building department staff, Moss Point can increase field inspections. In turn, more inspections can ensure correct construction methods are being used and buildings are within proper codes and standards. Frequent inspections can also uncover poor construction or building workmanship. These precautions can aid in preventing significant building and structural damage and subsequent repair costs during future storm events.
The Pearl River County Emergency Operations Center serves as the designated meeting area during emergency operations and contains several pieces of specialized emergency management and communications equipment. The shutters will provide an added measure of protection and secure the building.
The Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has awarded the $8,310 grant to Pearl River County and the $188,317 grant to Moss Point from the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP). The grant amount is based on a 75 percent federal, 25 percent non-federal cost share and will be administered by the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency. HMGP funds are activated following a disaster declaration and based on a percentage of the estimated federal funding to be spent on Public and Individual Assistance programs.
The HMGP can be used to fund projects to protect either public or private property, provided the project fits within the state's and local government's overall mitigation strategy and complies with HMGP guidelines.
The objectives of the HMGP are to significantly reduce or permanently eliminate future risk to lives and property from all hazards, provide funds to implement projects previously identified in state or local hazard mitigation plans, and enable mitigation measures to be implemented during the immediate recovery from a disaster.
FEMA manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident, initiates mitigation activities and manages the National Flood Insurance Program. FEMA works closely with state and local emergency managers, law enforcement personnel, firefighters and other first responders. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.
Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, economic status or retaliation. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, you should call FEMA toll-free at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or contact your State Office of Equal rights. If suspicious of any abuse of FEMA programs, please contact the fraud hotline at 1-800-323-8603.