In less than a month’s time, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has announced four major disaster declarations. The first was approved on September 13, 2019 for the State of Arkansas following severe storms and flooding. Two others were approved on September 19, 2019: one for the State of Louisiana after flooding, and another for the State of Illinois following severe storms and flooding. The third declaration came on October 4, 2019, for the State of North Carolina following Hurricane Dorian. Such declarations mean these states are now eligible to apply for assistance under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP).
Per FEMA, the key purpose of HMGP, which is authorized under Section 404 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act), is to enact mitigation measures that reduce the risk of loss of life and property from future disasters. Such measures can provide a number of key benefits. In fact, the National Institute of Building Sciences now estimates that for every dollar invested in mitigation saves six dollars in prevented damages (up from four dollars in previous years).
- Supports risk reduction activities
- Improves resiliency
- Eliminates the impact of future events
- Provides a long-term