Dhs Distributes Grants For Natural Disaster Preparedness
The Department of Homeland Security has released of nearly $26 million in Pre-Disaster Mitigation Competitive (PDM-C) Grant Program funds to states, territories, and federally recognized tribes for pre-disaster mitigation planning and preparedness activities. The grant program is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency for pre-disaster mitigation planning and projects primarily addressing natural hazards.
The PDM-C awards includes the following grants to the Fort Smith Public Schools:
Fairview Safe Room Project $663,495.75
Euper Lane Elementary Safe Room $441,970.50
Ballman Elementary Safe Room $441,970.50
Trusty Elementary Safe Room $441,970.50
Bonneville Elementary Safe Room $441,970.50
Sutton Elementary Safe Room $441,970.50
Beard Elementary Safe Room $441,970.50
Albert Pike Elementary Safe Room $441,970.50
Spradling Elementary Safe Room $441,970.50
The Fort Smith awards are the first PDM-C grants to be awarded in Arkansas and will further the state’s priorities to promote tornado safe rooms. With today’s funding, the Fort Smith Public Schools will have safe rooms at 15 area elementary schools. Statewide, there will be 58 school safe rooms when the nine safe rooms approved today are completed.
FEMA provides 75 percent of the safe room construction costs and the remaining 25 percent comes from local resources. The Arkansas Department of Emergency Management will administer the PDM-C grants.
The fiscal year 2003 budget provided $150 million under the National Pre-Disaster Mitigation Fund to initiate a competitive grant program for pre-disaster mitigation activities, and has moved forward since Congress recently reauthorized the Pre-Disaster Mitigation Grant Program this past January.
The intent of the PDM-C grant program is to provide a consistent source of funding to state, tribal, and local governments for pre-disaster mitigation planning and projects. Funding these plans and projects reduces overall risks to the population and structures, while also reducing reliance on funding from actual disaster declarations.
States, territories, tribes, and local governments submitted over 450 mitigation project and planning sub-applications for consideration under the PDM-C grant program.
To select the most cost-effective applications and to fulfill the competitive requirements of the program, all applications were reviewed for their eligibility and completeness, and then ranked and evaluated by a competitive national evaluation panel.