Public Assistance Mitigation Funds Can Help Break Cycle of Repetitive Loss

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Release date: 
December 13, 2012
Release Number: 
047

WINDSOR, Conn. — While the Federal Emergency Management Agency expects to help the state pay for repairing infrastructure damaged by Hurricane Sandy, FEMA can also help cover the costs of rebuilding critical infrastructure to a stronger, safer standard.

The work is known as mitigation, which is intended to break the cycle of damage and reduce repetitive losses.

“Studies show that every dollar spent on mitigation saves $4 down the road by preventing disaster-related damage and loss,” said FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer Albert Lewis.

FEMA’s Public Assistance program helps local governments and certain private, nonprofit organizations pay for eligible disaster-related costs for debris removal, emergency protective measures and repair or restoration of public infrastructure. FEMA provides a minimum of 75 percent of the cost of repairs.

Generally, the PA program restores disaster-damaged infrastructure to pre-disaster conditions.  However, where cost-effective and technically feasible, additional funding can be approved to restore the facility to a higher standard and make it more disaster-resistant.

Such projects can include:

  • Increasing the size of culverts under bridges and roadways to allow floodwaters to flow through without damage;
  • Armoring riverbanks with stone to forestall erosion; and
  • Constructing gated floodwalls to prevent the inundation of structures or neighborhoods.

Eligible applicants for Public Assistance funding and mitigation include state agencies, local and county governments, tribal nations and nonprofit agencies that provide essential services. As part of the federal assistance application process, FEMA and the state help applicants identify projects that qualify for mitigation funding.

FEMA and its state partners are encouraging applicants to take advantage of mitigation funding to help reduce repetitive losses from disasters.

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.

Last Updated: 
December 13, 2012 - 10:39
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