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FEMA awards hazard mitigation grant to Cook County

Source: FEMA / Greg Henshall
EPA workers locating hazardous material moved by Ike in Texas
The funds will go toward developing an all-hazard multi-jurisdictional mitigation plan

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has released $437,325 in Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funds to Cook County, Ill., for the development of an all-hazard multi-jurisdictional mitigation plan. This plan will identify and propose ways to reduce the risks of natural and man-made hazards.

"A FEMA-approved mitigation plan for Cook County will open up potential funding for eligible mitigation actions that will protect property and the health, safety and welfare of county residents," said Janet M. Odeshoo, acting regional administrator for FEMA Region V.

Planning mitigation is a crucial component in the effort to prevent loss of life and property damage in the nation's second largest county. Over 120 Cook County jurisdictions are interested in participating in this planning effort. Cook County will be divided into three regions - north, central and south - and public meetings will be held in each region to provide input on risk assessment and project prioritisation.

This plan will identify and propose ways to reduce the risks of natural and man-made hazards

HMGP provides grants to state and local governments to implement long-term hazard mitigation measures. The purpose of the programme is to reduce the loss of life and property, lessen the impact to local communities due to natural disasters, and enable recovery after a disaster. Through HMGP, FEMA will fund up to 75 percent of the $583,100 project. Local jurisdictions will contribute staff time and assets to provide the remaining 25 percent of the project cost. The Illinois Emergency Management Agency administers the mitigation programme.

FEMA's mission is to support US citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation the US works together to build, sustain, and improve its capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

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