BILOXI, Miss. -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency is providing nearly $1.8 million to Long Beach for the construction of Fire Station No. 2.
FEMA approved Public Assistance and Hazard Mitigation Grant Program funding in 2006 for the fire station, which will also serve as a shelter for first responders. Due to recently committed funding from other sources, the city is increasing the size of the proposed building and shelter to 8,960 square feet, which will approximately double capacity for first responders during a disaster.
"Mississippi communities are rebuilding their critical facilities bigger and better," said Alec Watson, director of FEMA's Mississippi Transitional Recovery Office. "The increased size of the new
fire station will allow more first responders to immediately go to work after a disaster strikes in
Originally, the city planned to harden only one floor of the new building for shelter use. Because the construction site is narrow and the temporary fire station already on the site must remain operational during construction, it was determined that a two-story building is needed.
Both floors of the building will meet FEMA shelter standards. This design change allows for more efficient use of the facility - both as a fire station and shelter for first responders.
The additional funding will also be used for retrofitting the fire station's apparatus bays, which total 4,048 square feet. The building will shelter approximately 104 emergency personnel during a disaster.
Almost $1.4 million for the project is funded by FEMA's Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. HMGP grants 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 program is administered by the MEMA, which identifies and manages the projects from beginning to closeout.
"This is a great example of how the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program is used to rebuild stronger, safer communities and facilities," said MEMA Director Mike Womack.
The remaining portion of the more than $3 million project will come from FEMA Public Assistance grant money, insurance, Community Development Block Grant funding and local matching funds.
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.
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.