BURLINGTON, Vt. -- With many municipalities and nonprofit organizations busy repairing and rebuilding after this spring's flooding, federal and state officials want to remind them that there may be additional funding for projects that reduce or prevent future damage.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency's Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) is available statewide, but mitigation funding is also offered for those in federally-declared counties who are receiving assistance for repairs and rebuilding of government and nonprofit facilities, including buildings, roads, bridges and water and sewer treatment plants, under the agency's Public Assistance (PA) program. These declared counties for the spring flooding are: Addison, Caledonia, Chittenden, Essex, Franklin, Grand Isle, Lamoille, Orange, Orleans and Washington.
Examples of mitigation projects include upsizing culverts to prevent clogging, or using geosynthetic materials when repairing road sections, which also prevents washouts while increasing durability and decreasing annual maintenance costs.
FEMA may reimburse the cost of the project up to 75 percent with the state and local entities sharing the remainder.
"FEMA mitigation specialists work with state and local officials to identify and develop cost-effective mitigation projects that provide the security, strength and sustainability to prepare for a better and safer tomorrow," said Federal Coordinating Officer Craig A. Gilbert.
"Mitigation programs have to be looked at as an investment with a significant return. By allowing local officials the opportunity to reduce the risk of damage to their infrastructure, we save dollars in the long term," said Vermont Emergency Management Mike O'Neil.
An independent study shows that for every dollar spent on mitigation, the applicant will save four dollars in future repair costs. More information on ways to mitigate can be found at www.fema.gov/mitigation. Here you can click on FEMA's Best Practices Portfolio which is a collection of ideas for activities and projects that can help reduce or prevent the impacts of future disasters.
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). For TTY call 800-462-7585.
FEMA's temporary housing assistance and grants for public transportation expenses, medical and dental expenses, and funeral and burial expenses do not require individuals to apply for an SBA loan. However, applicants who receive SBA loan applications must submit them to SBA loan officers to be eligible for assistance that covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses.
SBA disaster loan information and application forms may be obtained by calling the SBA's Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for people with speech or hearing disabilities) Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET or by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications can also be downloaded from www.sba.gov or completed on-line at disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/.
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.