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State Slated to Receive Funding Through FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program

August 11, 2021, 6:34 AM HST
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Hawai‘i is set to receive $24.7 million as part of the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly affected the life safety and livelihoods of Hawaiʻi residents. This is true across the nation and around the globe as the virus has created not only health concerns, but long-lasting economic impacts. As a result, President Joe Biden authorized FEMA to provide more than $3.46 billion to increase resilience to the impacts of climate change nationwide through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP).

This investment will be available for natural hazard mitigation measures across the 59 major disaster declarations issued due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, a FEMA spokesperson said.

“We are very pleased and grateful that FEMA has awarded the State of Hawaiʻi a Hazard Mitigation Grant in the amount of $24,740,226.00. The FEMA HMGP funds will reduce economic vulnerability and will directly combat the economic loss of COVID-19 by contributing to local job creation and building greater resilience for Hawaiʻi’s counties by reducing ongoing hazards such as sea-level rise, extreme weather, droughts and wildfires,” said Lorinda Wong Lau, Resilience Branch Chief with Hawaiʻi Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA).

The HI-EMA Resilience Branch will be working with FEMA and the State Hazard Mitigation Officer on the funding process and the program requirements.

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The total contribution authorized for the State of Hawaiʻi is $24, 740, 226. That amount is based on 4% of the estimated aggregate amount of Public Assistance for this disaster as of June 1, 2021, and it includes management costs pursuant to section 324 of the Stafford Act (42 U.S.C. 5165b).

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State Hazard Mitigation Officer Theresa Woznick added that Hazard Mitigation is a cost-effective investment that saves $6 on average for every $1 spent, according to an analysis by the National Institute of Building Sciences.

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