Fla. Governments Encouraged to Reduce Future Hurricane Damage to Variety of Facilities

December 6, 2004

To lessen future storm damages to public facilities, local governments in Florida are being encouraged to rebuild damaged facilities in a more disaster-proof way by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the State Emergency Response Team (SERT).

Federal Coordinating Officer Bill Carwile of FEMA and State Coordinating Officer Craig Fugate of SERT emphasized the importance of local governmental entities taking maximum advantage of the opportunities for cost-effective mitigation measures for public facilities damaged during the storms. This can be accomplished with FEMA and SERT funding.

Specialists from FEMA’s Public Assistance (PA) Program are in the damaged areas to assist applicants (local governments) in identifying effective mitigation measures for public facilities.

The measures must apply only to the damaged elements of the facility not the undamaged parts or the entire system. Mitigation measures can be used for permanent work projects identified in the following FEMA categories that are funded by these grants:

* Roads and bridges and associated features, such as shoulders, ditches, culverts, lighting and signs.
* Water control facilities, including drainage channels and pumping facilities.
* Repair or replacement buildings, including their contents, systems and heavy equipment.
* Public utility distribution systems, such as water treatment and delivery systems; power generation facilities and distribution lines, and sewage collection and treatment facilities.
* Public park facilities, recreational facilities and other facilities, including playgrounds and swimming pools.

The project must be “appropriate and cost-effective” to be included in the reimbursement and FEMA will pay 90 percent of that amount.

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