ATLANTA, Ga. – Five Southeastern states have been awarded a total of $8 million in Pre-Disaster Mitigation funds by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help them take steps now that are designed to reduce losses from future primarily natural disasters.
The combined total of grants to Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky and Tennessee amounts to nearly one third of the $26 million recently distributed nationwide.
The Pre-Disaster Mitigation program is designed to fund cost-effective measures that will help protect our communities before disaster strikes by providing assistance to undertake a host of mitigation activities. The five southeastern states are part of a FEMA region where storms, hurricanes and tornadoes typically inflict the heaviest losses in the nation. Following are the grants to these states:
ALABAMA: a grant of $2,946,570 to Birmingham to remove 70 structures from three neighborhoods that have repeatedly flooded over the past half-century, causing flood recovery expenses each time. The project is in the Valley Creek floodplain and includes the neighborhoods of Princeton, Roosevelt City and Graymont. Birmingham will pay the balance of the total project cost of $3,928,760.
FLORIDA: grants totaling $2,587,308 to entities in Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, Broward and Sarasota Counties for the following projects:
Village of Wellington Community Center in Palm Beach County will be retrofitted with storm shutters to reduce its vulnerability to tropical storm and hurricane force winds. FEMA will pay $41,250 of the $55,000 total project cost.
North Lauderdale Fire Station #44. The fire station will be fitted with bay doors to strengthen its vulnerability to wind. FEMA will pay $112,500 of the $150,000 total project cost.
City of Miami Fleet Maintenance Garage. The garage will be retrofitted with bay doors and storm shutters that meet the wind load criteria of the South Florida Building Code. All of the city’s police, fire, and emergency response vehicles are maintained and repaired at this facility. FEMA will pay $564,968 of the total $753,291 project cost.
Miami-Dade School Board annex. Exeter StormShields will be installed on 58 windows, and eight storefront doors will be replaced with missile-resistant laminated glass units on the four-
story Jefferson Annex building, protecting the school board’s administrative offices and vital records. FEMA will pay $654,599 of the total $872,798 project cost.
City of Plantation Fire Stations 1,2,3,4,and 5. Hurricane shutters and roll-down garage bay doors will be installed on five of the city’s fire stations. FEMA will pay $107,690 of the $143,586 total project cost.
City of Plantation water treatment plants. Windows, doors and vents at the Central and East water treatment plants will be strengthened to protect against storm and hurricane force winds as well as wind borne debris. Roll-down shutters will also be installed on doors at the Central plant. FEMA will pay $116,072 of the total $154,762 cost.
North Lauderdale Municipal Complex. Hurricane shutters will be installed on doors and windows of the two-story Municipal Building. FEMA will pay $112,500 of the total $150,000 project cost.
Bishop Nevins Academy. This Catholic school in Sarasota County also serves as a hurricane shelter during storm events. The school’s various “domes,” i.e., dome-shaped buildings that are stronger and more wind-resistant than conventional construction, will be outfitted with hurricane shutters. FEMA will pay $241,052 of the $321,403 total project cost.
Broward County Courthouse, North Wing. GlassLock window film will be applied to provide hurricane debris and bomb blast protection to this part of the Broward County Judicial Center. FEMA will pay $693,821 of the $925,095 total project cost.
GEORGIA: $2,163,808, $146,308 of which of which goes to Augusta-Richmond county consolidated government for acquisition and demolition of Rocky Creek dwellings; $2,017,500 to the state to develop hazard mitigation plan in 104 counties.
KENTUCKY: $173,269 to develop hazard mitigation plans in the Barren River and Big Sandy areas.
TENNESSEE: $165,000 for the Rutherford County Midland Fosterville Road mitigation project to permit the acquisition and demolition of two properties along Dry Fork Creek that have an extensive history of flooding
The fiscal year 2003 budget provided $150 million under the National Pre-Disaster Mitigation Fund to initiate a competitive grant program for pre-disaster mitigation activities, and has moved forward since Congress recently reauthorized the Pre-Disaster Mitigation Grant Program this past January. The intent of the PDM-C grant program is to provide a consistent source of funding to state, tribal, and local governments for pre-disaster mitigation planning and projects. Funding these plans and projects reduces overall risks to the population and structures, while also reducing reliance on funding from actual disaster declarations.
States, territories, tribes, and local governments submitted over 450-mitigation project and planning sub-applications for consideration under the PDM-C grant program. To fulfill the competitive requirements of the program and to select the most cost-effective applications, all applications were reviewed for their eligibility and completeness, and then ranked and evaluated by a competitive national evaluation panel. The national evaluation process was rigorous in design and implementation, ensuring that all applications competed fairly and that the most cost-effective applications were recommended for selection.
On March 1, 2003, FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. FEMA’s continuing mission within the new department is to lead the effort to prepare the nation for all hazards and effectively manage federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates proactive mitigation activities, trains first responders, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.