U.S. Senators Bill Frist (R-TN) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) today announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has awarded funding for five mitigation projects in Tennessee as part of its Pre-Disaster Mitigation Program competition. The projects will receive 75 percent federal funding.
The PDM Program, first authorized in the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 and first funded in FY 2003, 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.
“Being prepared for any potential disaster reduces risks for Tennesseans and property,” said Frist. “I’m proud of these Tennessee projects which won support from this competition. Making our communities safer is our number one priority and these projects demonstrate the commitment to improving safety.”
“It is important for us to take the steps possible to prevent the loss of life and property in natural disasters,” said Alexander. “I am pleased to see FEMA’s investment in the safety and protection of Tennesseans. Senator Frist and I will continue to work to see that all Tennesseans are well protected from natural disasters.”
In Tennessee, projects include:
-#006 Giles County Mitigation Plan - $30,000
-#008 University of Tennessee Mitigation Planning Grant - $56,250
-#004 Rutherford County Greenwood Acquisition - $1,116,112.50
-#005 Rutherford County Twin Oaks Acquisition - $583,912.50
-#010 Metro Nashville Home Buyout - $1,971,765.00
Each of the awardees not only had an approved state hazard mitigation plan, and presented a competitive mitigation project, but also met a host of requirements including non-federal matching funds and approved environmental reviews. Each state applicant is receiving notification of the status of its application and finalists will begin work immediately completing the pre-award activities. Applications are currently being sought for the FY 2006 PDM grant cycle.
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 mitigation projects 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 projects chosen in the 2005 national grant competition will split a total of $235 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 cost-share.
Nearly 800 applications were received nationwide. A team of experts from Federal and state 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 project’s cost-effectiveness, management and staffing of personnel to implement the project, hazard and risk factors, and benefits to the community.