For years, state, local, tribal, and territorial governments (SLTTs) have looked to FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) to help fund projects that reduce risk and increase resilience following a major disaster declaration. Such projects often involve the construction of safe rooms, the installation of tornado sirens, dry floodproofing measures, and property acquisition/structure demolition, among other things. Interestingly, over the last ten years, FEMA has obligated nearly $100 million for 84 SLTT projects to support health and medical care facilities, i.e., lifelines, across the U.S. These projects include, but are certainly not limited to:
Generators for Critical Facilities – The Missouri State Emergency Management Agency awarded Texas County Memorial Hospital a grant to replace an existing 40-year-old generator to power critical facilities in the event of a disruption. The project amount was $60,000.
Structural Retrofitting of Existing Buildings – In the City of Wiggins, Mississippi, the police department was awarded a grant to harden its building from an estimated 90-mph wind load to a 140-mph one. The project amount was $250,000.
Flood Protection Projects – In New York, a project was awarded for the installation of connection points on the perimeter wall of the Metropolitan Hospital Center. This allowed the facility to access internal/external equipment for the restoration of essential services in the event of severe weather. The project amount was $5.2 million.
Public Education & Outreach – The hazard mitigation plans of SLTTs commonly list public education and awareness as one of their many mitigation projects, and FEMA may fund eligible activities. Take the Basement Flooding Outreach and Education Project in Chicago, Illinois, for example. It received HMGP funding for the development of educational materials, such as videos, as well as the creation of an effective community planning process (now a model for other neighborhoods to follow). The project amount was $165,000.
Now, more than ever, HMGP funds can benefit your entire community, including area health care, medical, public health, and critical facilities. At BOLDplanning, we think you’ll find FEMA’s latest Fact Sheet, Strengthening Medical Lifelines with Hazard Mitigation, both interesting and useful. It’s available online at: https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1592325127060-1f5cf3fa407d277f6e90ab836060f6ed/HMGP_Health_and_Medical_Lifelines_Fact_Sheet_508.pdf.