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Rebuilding stronger and better

Release date: 
May 21, 2019
Release Number: 

AUSTIN, Texas Rebuilding after a disaster can present opportunities as well as challenges.

The challenges include getting the job done quickly and efficiently. The opportunities involve rebuilding stronger and better.


When it comes to repairing and rebuilding infrastructure damaged by Hurricane Harvey, FEMA’s Stafford Act Section 406 can provide mitigation funds for risk-reduction during the rebuild. This Section 406 or Public Assistance mitigation can pay for improvements to roads, waterways, bridges, dams, buildings and other public structures already eligible for Public Assistance reimbursement.


Mitigation projects are being undertaken throughout the 53 Texas counties designated eligible for FEMA Public Assistance. The goal is to reduce risk, reduce damages, and reduce the threat to life and property from similar events.


As Texans continue recovery efforts, 377 Public Assistance repair projects valued at $61.2 million now include some form of Public Assistance mitigation.


Many of these projects involve "armoring," or shoring up, banks and beaches scraped and weakened by the flooding and hurricane force winds. Workers are also elevating electrical equipment out of harm’s way in public buildings and in the field and doing what they can to strengthen piers and other supports under bridges. These mitigation efforts can potentially save millions if the same infrastructure is damaged by a future disaster.


FEMA reimburses at least 90 percent of eligible costs for Harvey-related projects that return infrastructure to its pre-disaster condition. Under certain circumstances, FEMA can also fund Public Assistance Mitigation measures at 90 percent as long the project is cost effective.


Cost-effectiveness, along with other conditions of eligibility, are determined on a case-by-case basis. Applicants with public assistance projects should consult with their FEMA program delivery manager for more details.


For additional information on Hurricane Harvey and Texas recovery, visit the Hurricane Harvey disaster web page at, Facebook at, the FEMA Region 6 Twitter account at or the Texas Division of Emergency Management website at


Last Updated: 
May 21, 2019 - 16:46