August 15, 2002
(ATLANTA) -- Thirty-two Georgia counties have been approved to receive a total of $781,804 in federal funds, according to Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) Director Gary W. McConnell.
Each of the approved counties will utilize the funds to develop a local mitigation strategy to meet the new planning requirements established by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Georgia is the first state in FEMA Region IV to receive mitigation planning grants. The federal grants will provide funding to assist eligible counties in developing cost effective mitigation measures.
GEMA staff will provide Geographic Information System data, statistical information, and on-site technical assistance detailing the potential natural hazards, technological hazards, risk and vulnerability local governments face.
"GEMA's newly created Hazard Analysis and Risk Assessment section will work closely with local governments to develop data driven mitigation plans and identify risk based future mitigation projects. This will allow our counties to determine how best to minimize the potential impact of disasters. Personnel have been stationed in our GEMA Statesboro and Cordele field offices to support our local governments in this planning effort." said McConnell.
New federal guidelines require that state and local governments have an approved mitigation plan in place by November 2003 before they can be considered for future disaster assistance.
Future mitigation planning grants will be announced as funding becomes available. For more information on hazard mitigation planning, call GEMA at 1-800-CALL-GEMA or visit the agency's Web site at www.gema.state.ga.us.
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