COLUMBIA, Mo. -- For state, county and local governments recovering from this spring’s severe storms, tornadoes and flooding, repairing public buildings, damaged roads and infrastructure by reducing or mitigating the impact of future events makes sense.
The presidential disaster declaration of May 9, 2011, opened the door for federal Public Assistance (PA) in declared counties including state and federal cost-sharing for mitigation funding in all disaster-affected counties. Declared counties eligible for PA are Barry, Bollinger, Butler, Cape Girardeau, Carter, Christian, Douglas, Dunklin, Howell, Iron, Jasper, Madison, McDonald, Miller, Mississippi, New Madrid, Newton, Oregon, Ozark, Pemiscot, Perry, Pettis, Polk, Reynolds, Ripley, Saint Francois, Saint Louis, Sainte Genevieve, Scott, Shannon, Stoddard, Stone, Taney, Texas, Washington, Wayne, Webster and Wright.
Federal Emergency Management (FEMA's) PA coordinators work with state and local officials to identify and develop cost-effective mitigation projects designed to provide the security, strength and sustainability necessary for communities to plan and prepare for a better and safer tomorrow.
"Disaster recovery includes building smarter and stronger for better protection from future disasters," said Federal Coordinating Officer Libby Turner. "Mitigation specialists in FEMA's PA program will work closely with our state and local partners to identify cost effective mitigation measures because all eligible projects may reduce risk of future damage."
The FEMA PA program may include the restoration of disaster damaged government and certain private nonprofit organizations' facilities. Facilities are buildings, roads, bridges, and water and sewer plants.
In addition, FEMA and the state will provide recommendations for project specific hazard mitigation as part of the restoration process.
"The goal is to allow local officials an opportunity to reduce risk of damage to their infrastructure and in the long term save scarce local dollars," said Turner. "Mitigation programs have to be looked at as an investment with a significant return. An independent study shows that for every dollar spent on 406 mitigation, the applicant will save $4 in future repair costs."
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.
Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). Those with a speech disability or hearing loss who use a TTY call 1-800-462-7585; or use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS) to call 1-800-621-3362.