FEMA news desk
WASHINGTON (AP) R. David Paulison, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency announced today that FEMA has selected four mitigation activities in Montana as finalists in its Pre- Disaster Mitigation Program national competition. Those applications, once meeting additional criteria, will be eligible to receive 75 percent federal funding. The PDM Program, first authorized in the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 and first funded by President Bush in his FY 2003 budget, provides funding for mitigation plans and the implementation of cost-effective projects, such as buyouts of flood-prone buildings, construction of safe rooms, elevations of homes located in the floodplain or making structures more earthquake resistant, prior to disaster events. “Mitigation saves our nation $4 for every dollar spent. This program encourages local leaders across the nation to look ahead and plan against what could be catastrophic events. These mitigation activities in Montana show that the state and local communities are working together with FEMA and other partners to make mitigation happen,” said Paulison. “Mitigation is the cornerstone of emergency preparedness and management. Funding these plans and projects reduces risks to lives and property. By making our communities safer in the first place, we make great strides toward reducing the need for federal post-disaster recovery funds.” In Montana, the activities include:
Project Federal Share
Butte-Silver Bow County Geological Hazards $210,329
Petroleum County PDM Plan Update 2007 $6,250
Helena South Hills Fuel Reduction 2007 $102,956
Northeastern Montana PDM Plan Update 2007 $27,500.
All funding is contingent on completion by the applicant of required pre-award activities such as verification of non-federal matching funds, environmental reviews, etc. Each state applicant is receiving notification of the status of their application and finalists will begin work immediately completing the pre-award activities. “Our national team faced an extraordinary challenge in picking out the best projects from all the applicants,” said David Maurstad, director of FEMA’s Mitigation Division. “While many projects met all the necessary criteria, we worked to choose the best projects for the amount of funds available. These projects really are the cream of the crop and they show how seriously the nation, the states and applicants take mitigation activities.” The Pre-Disaster Mitigation Program provides funds to states, territories, Indian tribes, communities, colleges and universities for pre-disaster mitigation planning and the implementation of cost-effective and technically feasible mitigation activities before a disaster occurs. Funding these plans and projects reduces overall risks to the population and structures, while also reducing reliance on funding from actual disaster declarations. The 210 activities in 44 states, six tribes and one territory chosen in the 2007 national grant competition will split a total of $88.9 million for plans and projects. Most projects will be eligible for a 75 percent federal share with a 25 percent non-federal match, but small, impoverished communities may be eligible for up to a 90 percent federal costshare. FEMA received 470 applications for the competition. A team of experts from federal, state, territorial, local and tribal governments evaluated all eligible applications and based their determinations on a wide range of criteria such as the technical feasibility of the proposed project, the project1s cost-effectiveness, management and staffing of personnel to implement the project, hazard and risk factors, and benefits to the community. New legislation ensured each state with activities meeting eligibility criteria received at least $500,000 from the program. “There are some very bright people with some very creative ideas on the landscape who are all working day in and day out to mitigate the effects of disasters,” Maurstad said. “While we were able to fund the absolute best projects, there were many other terrific projects which we could not fund, but which we hope will compete again in the future.” FEMA coordinates the Federal government’s role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.