Federal, State Agencies Plan to Rebuild Public Facilities Smarter

The presidential disaster declaration of May 9, 2011, opened the door for federal Public Assistance (PA) in declared counties including state and federal cost-sharing for mitigation funding in all disaster-affected counties.

For areas recovering from this spring’s severe storms, tornadoes, and flooding, repairing public buildings, damaged roads, and infrastructure by reducing or mitigating the impact of future events presents a challenge.

The presidential disaster declaration of May 9, 2011, opened the door for federal Public Assistance (PA) in declared counties including state and federal cost-sharing for mitigation funding in all disaster-affected counties.

Federal Emergency Management (FEMA's) PA coordinators work with state and local officials to identify and develop cost-effective mitigation projects designed to provide the security, strength, and sustainability necessary for communities to plan and prepare for a better and safer tomorrow.

"Disaster recovery includes building smarter and stronger for better protection from future disasters," said federal Coordinating Officer Libby Turner. "Mitigation specialists in FEMA's PA program will work closely with our state and local partners to identify cost effective mitigation measures because all eligible projects may reduce risk of future damage."

The FEMA PA program may include the restoration of disaster damaged government and certain private nonprofit organizations' facilities. Facilities include buildings, roads, bridges, and water and sewer plants.

In addition, FEMA and the state will provide recommendations for project-specific hazard mitigation as part of the restoration process.

"The goal is to allow local officials an opportunity to reduce risk of damage to their infrastructure and in the long term save scarce local dollars," Turner said. "Mitigation programs have to be looked at as an investment with a significant return. An independent study shows that for every dollar spent on 406 mitigation, the applicant will save $4 in future repair costs."

Declared counties eligible for PA are Barry, Bollinger, Butler, Cape Girardeau, Carter, Christian, Douglas, Dunklin, Howell, Iron, Jasper, Madison, McDonald, Miller, Mississippi, New Madrid, Newton, Oregon, Ozark, Pemiscot, Perry, Pettis, Polk, Reynolds, Ripley, Saint Francois, Saint Louis, Sainte Genevieve, Scott, Shannon, Stoddard, Stone, Taney, Texas, Washington, Wayne, Webster, and Wright.

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