Hazard Mitigation Can Help Reduce Risk to Health and Medical Facilities
Hazard mitigation, as emergency management professionals know, is key to breaking the cycle of disaster damage, reconstruction, and repeated damage. They also know, now more than ever, the tremendous role health and medical facilities play within the state, local, tribal, or territorial governments they serve. And that’s all the more reason to help ensure they can remain operational at all times, especially during natural disasters.
Fortunately, federal grant dollars available to the emergency management community can actually help fund mitigation projects for health and medical facilities nationwide.
According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), its Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) has funded 84 projects totaling $118.7 million during a single, ten-year period (2008 to 2018). Examples of such projects include the purchase of generators to keep facilities operational during power outages, seismic and wind retrofits, utility and infrastructure improvements, and the construction of safe rooms, among other things. To be considered for funding under HMGP, a project simply must:
Conform with the approved state and local mitigation plan
Benefit the disaster area
Conform with environmental regulations
Solve a problem and be technically feasible
Meet all applicable state and local codes and standards
Consider a range of alternatives
If your health and medical facility believes it can benefit from additional hazard mitigation measures, express the needs to state, local, tribal, or territorial government leaders. Only they may request HMGP funding to support the projects identified within their Hazard Mitigation Plans (HMPs).
HMPs, per FEMA, are to be updated every five years, so it’s best to start the conversation as soon as possible.