MONTGOMERY, Al. -- Pre-disaster Mitigation (PDM) planning helps states and the federal government save money in the event of a disaster. Disaster mitigation is taking action, such as elevating structures to reduce the potential for flood damage in the future or retrofitting buildings, roads and infrastructure to lower the chances of serious damage. Most important, PDM planning reduces the risk of loss of life and reduces economic disruption which is so important in disaster recovery.
The U. S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers PDM program grants for pre-disaster mitigation planning, which can also mean fewer and less costly expenditures for federal disaster declarations.
In 2005, $233 million in PDM funds were made available for mitigation planning and projects, dissemination of mitigation information, and mitigation management. Applicants are state governments; sub-applicants may include state agencies, federally-recognized tribes and organizations, and public colleges and universities. States have the discretion to also provide assistance to relevant private organizations. Both applicants and sub-applicants must have a FEMA-approved mitigation plan in order to receive a project grant; help preparing the plan is available.
Pre-disaster mitigation funding is offered nationwide and is awarded on a competitive basis to help states and communities implement long-term plans that will tend to moderate their reliance on federal funds after a disaster strikes. There is a 75 percent federal/25 percent non-federal cost-share. However small, impoverished communities may be eligible for up to a 90 percent federal cost-share.
FEMA manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates mitigation activities, works with state and local emergency managers, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.