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FEMA Awards L.A. Unified $2.1M to Protect Elementary School from Earthquake Damage

Release Date Release Number
NR-20-26
Release Date:
July 16, 2020

OAKLAND, Calif. – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) awarded $2.1 million to the Los Angeles Unified School District (L.A. Unified) to earthquake retrofit Garvanza Elementary School, making the buildings safer and less prone to major structural damage during an earthquake.

Three buildings at Garvanza Elementary School, built between 1923 and 1936, will receive extensive upgrades to strengthen their foundations and prevent movement during an earthquake. With the structures up to modern building codes, they will protect the health and safety of students, teachers, and the surrounding community, as L.A. Unified has a mutual agreement with the American Red Cross, allowing use of public schools and their equipment to serve as public shelters and emergency evacuation centers after disasters.

Since 1994, L.A. Unified has secured 30 awards from FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) to earthquake retrofit county schools – a testament to the district’s long-term disaster preparedness strategy supporting individuals, organizations, and communities in the greater Los Angeles area.

The $2.8 million project will be funded by a $2.1 million HMGP grant from FEMA, with non-federal sources covering the remaining $710,000.

FEMA’s HMGP helps states, territories, federally-recognized tribes, local communities and certain private, non-profit organizations become more resilient to potential infrastructure damage and reduce future disaster costs. In the past 31 years, FEMA has invested almost $1.4 billion to reduce disaster risk in California.

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Last updated March 18, 2021