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$12.5 million in FEMA grants awarded to support state projects that limit disaster impact

From FEMA:

AUSTIN, Texas—FEMA announced today more than $12.5 million is being awarded to support state and local efforts that reduce the impact of future disasters.

The funding—through FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program—is provided in addition to the federal aid that supports the recovery following a major disaster declaration. This year, disasters were declared following severe storms and flooding in March, April and June; the $12.5 million in grants is the total HMGP assistance for all three.

HMGP grants to the state are typically 15 percent of the total FEMA assistance provided for recovery. While funding for disaster recovery is provided only for the affected counties, HGMP funds are available for communities throughout the state.

Some recent examples of HMGP projects around the state:

• Cooke County’s safe room rebate program, which provided up to $3,000 to homeowners who built tornado shelters or safe rooms.

• Bastrop County’s hazardous fuels mitigation program, which thinned 4,000 acres of woodland and vegetative debris, effectively limiting the source of fuel for wildfires.

• The ongoing, multi-year home buyout program in Harris County, where since 1995, more than 2,000 homes have been removed from the high-risk flood zone.

• The City of San Marcos’ early-warning system of 14 sirens placed on poles at strategic locations around the community.

The federal share of each approved project is 75 percent. FEMA provides the funding to the state, which sets project priorities and administers the program. Eligible projects may be funded for or through:

• State agencies;

• Federally-recognized tribes;

• Local governments, and

• Private nonprofit organizations.

Individuals do not apply directly to the state, but their local government may apply on their behalf.

“Studies have shown that every $1 spent on mitigation avoids $4 that might have been spent for disaster recovery,” said Federal Coordinating Officer William J. Doran III, who is in charge of FEMA’s current operations in Texas.

For additional information on the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, go to www.fema.gov/hazard-mitigation-assistance. For examples of successful mitigation projects, visit www.fema.gov/mitigation-best-practices-portfolio.

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