Boise, Idaho – The Idaho Office of Emergency Management (IOEM), in partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), has activated a program that offers project grants to communities to reduce and prevent loss of life and damage from disasters.
“While we can’t prevent severe weather and natural disasters, we can lessen and prevent damage from them,” said IOEM Deputy Chief Brad Richy. “These projects can save property and lives.”
As a result of a recent presidential disaster declaration for severe storms and flooding that occurred in February, funds will available through FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) on a cost-sharing basis, with 75 percent provided by FEMA and 25 percent coming from nonfederal sources. IOEM administers the program and awards the grants.
Projects in the disaster-designated counties – Elmore, Washington, Gooding, Lincoln, Minidoka, Cassia, Jerome, Twin Falls, Franklin, Bingham and Jefferson – will be considered first. If available funds from those counties are not committed, IOEM will extend grant opportunities to entities throughout the state.
Some examples of these projects include upsizing culverts to prevent clogging; using geosynthetic materials when repairing road sections to prevent washouts, increase durability and decrease annual maintenance costs; elevating roads, bridges and other structures; adopting and developing standards and enforcing building codes.
“We have many cases in which HMGP grants have greatly helped our communities,” said IOEM Mitigation Section Chief Susan Cleverly. “For example, a bridge in the city of Inkom was frequently washed out before it was elevated and enlarged in 2015. During recent flooding, it has withstood floodwaters and remained intact.”
“Mitigation programs have to be looked at as an investment with a significant return,” said FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer Timothy Manner. “They give communities the opportunity to reduce the risk of damage and save money in the long run.”
Counties and jurisdictions that have identified projects and adopted mitigation plans are encouraged to review and identify potential hazard mitigation sites in communities and apply for funds under the HMGP grant program. Interested applicants must file a Letter of Intent with IOEM by May 22 to Mitigation2017@imd.idaho.gov if they are planning to request funds for HMGP projects. Applications are due to IOEM by August 25.
State hazard mitigation information is available on the IOEM website at https://ioem.idaho.gov. https://ioem.idaho.gov/Pages/Operations/DisasterAssistance/HMGP.aspx. More information about hazard mitigation is available at www.fema.gov/hazard-mitigation-grant-program.
Additional information on the federal role in this disaster recovery mission is available at the FEMA disaster-specific website at www.fema.gov/disaster/4310.
The Idaho Office of Emergency Management is a Division of the Idaho Military Division. The services we provide are to facilitate emergency management in Idaho, and to assist neighboring states. The men and women of this Division are dedicated to their mission of protecting the lives and property of the people of Idaho, as well as preserving the environmental and the economic health of Idaho.
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.