FRANKFORT, Ky. -- Kentucky is one of only nine states in the nation to have an enhanced State Mitigation Plan. Because the plan was in effect during the recent ice storm, the Commonwealth will be eligible for Hazard Mitigation Grant Program funding equivalent to 20 percent of total federal disaster assistance for the ice storm.
Kentucky's available federal mitigation funding will exceed $47 million, judging by current damage estimates. This amount will be in addition to the total amount of federal disaster assistance going to the state.
"This is great news for Kentucky and reflects positively on our advanced planning efforts," said
Brig. Gen. John W. Heltzel, director of the Kentucky Division of Emergency Management (KYEM). "The additional allotment will enable the Commonwealth to reduce or eliminate long-term risks to people and property from natural hazards."
The Commonwealth's plan, approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on
June 16, 2008, increases Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funds from the standard 15 percent to 20 percent.
"Kentucky has set an example in its far-thinking mitigation efforts," said Kim R. Kadesch, the federal coordinating officer in charge of the Kentucky recovery effort. "Any time a state invests in a stronger, more resilient infrastructure, all its citizens benefit."
The Commonwealth will use the grant money to reimburse local governments for approved hazard mitigation projects. Funded by FEMA and managed by the state, HMGP is designed to support projects that will prevent injury, loss of life, and/or property damage during future disasters.
According to Brig. Gen. Heltzel, it will be about six months before all damage figures are identified and a final hazard mitigation grant figure determined. In the meantime, he says the KYEM will be evaluating what projects to fund that will help rebuild a stronger Kentucky and develop more disaster-resistant communities.
State mitigation plans typically cover a three-year period. Kentucky's will be updated Sept. 26, 2010, and its enhanced status will be reassessed at that time.
FEMA leads and supports the nation in a risk-based, comprehensive emergency management system of preparedness, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation, to reduce the loss of life and property and protect the nation from all hazards including natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and other man-made disasters.