The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved mitigation grants totaling nearly $7.8 million for the Territory of Guam. The funds, provided under FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP), will help pay for major projects undertaken by the territorial departments of Education and Public Works.
“The HMGP funds are based on a percentage of the total disaster assistance funds provided to Guam after Supertyphoon Pongsona,” said Karen Armes, acting regional director of FEMA Region IX, which serves Guam. “The projects aim to reduce the impact of future disasters on people and property.”
Supertyphoon Pongsona struck the island in December 2002. Pongsona caused millions of dollars in damage to utilities and public buildings. Generally, FEMA funds 75 percent of eligible project costs, with the remaining 25 percent coming from local resources. In this case, FEMA is paying 90 percent and local agencies are paying 10 percent.
The Department of Education will receive nearly $5.4 million to help fortify facilities to withstand winds in excess of 200 miles per hour. A grant of $2.4 million will go to the Department of Public Works for construction and reinforcement designed to lessen the risk of future damage due to water overflow after heavy rains.
The total cost of the two departments’ mitigation projects is $8,618,096. Of that sum, FEMA is providing $7,756,287. Funding for each recipient is as follows:
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