CORDELE, Ga. -- The Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have scheduled a series of workshops this month to explain a joint hazard mitigation program that funds projects designed to reduce or eliminate damage from future disasters.
A portion of funding made available for disaster response and recovery is allocated for the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP). The program provides grants to states, local governments and Indian tribes to implement long-term hazard mitigation projects after a major disaster declaration.
State and federal officials will be available to answer questions and provide recovery information to workshop participants and to anyone who is interested.
The workshops are being offered as a result of the March 1 severe storms and tornadoes that struck these areas; they are scheduled at the following times, dates and sites:
- Mitchell County: Camilla - 10 a.m. April 16: Mitchell County Emergency Services Building , 4767 Highway 37.
- Sumter County: Americus - 2:30 p.m. April 16: Sumter County Agricultural Center, 331 Highway 19 South.
- Taylor County: Butler - 10 a.m. April 17: Taylor County Government Annex, 7 Ivy St .
- Hancock County: Sparta - 10 a.m. April 18: Sandersville Technical College/Hancock County Center, 1000 Highway 15 Greensboro Highway .
- Bibb County: Macon - 10 a.m. April 19: Bibb County Emergency Management Office, 700 Poplar St.
- Fulton County: Atlanta - 10 a.m. April 20: State Operations Center, 935 East Conference Ave.
Examples of HMGP projects include, but are not limited to:
- Voluntary acquisition or relocation of hazard-prone structures for conversion to open space in perpetuity;
- Retrofitting of existing buildings and facilities for wildfire, seismic, wind or flood hazards (i.e., elevation, storm shutters, hurricane clips), including designs and feasibility studies when included as part of the proposed project;
- Construction of "safe rooms"(i.e., tornado and severe wind shelters) that meet the FEMA construction criteria in FEMA 320 "Taking Shelter from the Storm" and FEMA 361 "Design and Construction Guidance for Community Shelters";
- Minor structural hazard control or protection projects that may include vegetation management, stormwater management (e.g., culverts, floodgates, retention basins), or shoreline/landslide stabilization;
- Localized flood control projects that are designed specifically to protect critical facilities (defined as Hazardous Materials Facilities, Emergency Operation Centers , Power Facilities, Water Facilities, Sewer and Wastewater Treatment Facilities, Communications Facilities, Emergency Medical Care Facilities, Fire Protection, and Emergency Facilities) and that do not constitute a section of a larger flood control system;
- Development of State or local plans that meet Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 requirements; and
- Projects that improve the warning and communication capabilities of local governments for severe weather or emergency events.
The State's priority for the HMGP is to fund projects in the declared counties that reduce or eliminate damages to life and property resulting from high winds and tornadoes. For additional information, call Ken Davis, GEMA state public information officer, at (404) 635-7022.
FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.