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The Oregon Office of Emergency Management is dedicated to helping state and local governments mitigate against natural hazards. The office has made approximately $60 million in FEMA state hazard mitigation grants available to Oregon communities, including local governments, tribes, state parks, schools, public utility commissions and some private nonprofit organizations. July 1 is the application deadline.

After wildfires and other disasters, mitigation funds may be used to help communities rebuild stronger and safer. Examples of mitigation actions include planning and zoning, floodplain protection, property acquisition and relocation or public outreach projects surrounding identified natural hazards.

“From wildfires to droughts to ice storms to the looming Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake, Oregon faces an incredibly diverse set of hazards,” said Andrew Phelps, director of Oregon Office of Emergency Management. “While we cannot eliminate each hazard, through hazard mitigation we can strengthen our infrastructure, proactively address existing vulnerabilities, and take personal actions to reduce risk and keep ourselves and our communities safe.”

Mitigation planning is a key process used to break the cycle of disaster damage, reconstruction, and repeated damage. FEMA requires state, tribal and local governments to develop and adopt natural hazard mitigation plans as a condition for receiving certain types of non-emergency disaster assistance, including funding for Hazard Mitigation Assistance projects.

Hazard Mitigation Grant Program

FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program provides funding to state, local, tribal and territorial governments so they can rebuild in a way that reduces, or mitigates, future disaster losses in their communities. This grant funding is available after a presidentially declared disaster. In this program, homeowners and businesses cannot apply for a grant; however, a local community may apply for funding on their behalf. Private nonprofits are also eligible to apply.

Flood Mitigation Assistance

Flood Mitigation Assistance provides funding to states, U.S. territories, federally recognized tribes and local communities for projects and planning that reduce or eliminate long-term risk of flood damage to structures insured under the National Flood Insurance Program.

Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities

Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities is a new FEMA pre-disaster hazard mitigation program that replaces the Pre-Disaster Mitigation program. The BRIC program assist states, U.S. territories, federally recognized tribes and local communities in implementing a sustained pre-disaster natural hazard mitigation program. BRIC grants may fund planning or projects and provide opportunities to raise public awareness about reducing future losses before disaster strikes. The program supports communities through capability and capacity building; encourages and enables innovation; promotes partnerships; enables large projects; maintains flexibility; and provides consistency.

Mitigation is different from preparedness, which is action taken to improve emergency response or operational preparedness. Examples of preparedness actions are interoperable communications equipment or conducting emergency response training; these actions are not eligible under hazard mitigation grant funding.

Potential applicants may speak with a state hazard mitigation officer to schedule a time to answer questions or provide guidance. Contact State Hazard Mitigation Officer Amie Bashant or Deputy State Hazard Mitigation Officer Anna Feigum at shmo@mil.state.or.us.

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