Saturday, February 28, 2009

FEMA Approves Georgia's Hazard Mitigation Strategy - Enhanced Status

Governor Sonny Perdue announced today that Georgia is among only 13 states to earn "enhanced state" status from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for approval of its new hazard mitigation plan. The enhancement makes state agencies and local governments eligible for a 33 percent increase in federal funds through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) in the aftermath of a presidentially declared natural disaster.

"FEMA's approval of the Georgia Hazard Mitigation Strategy (GHMS) - Enhanced Status is a very important accomplishment," said Governor Sonny Perdue. "This designation gives local communities more access to mitigation funding through the Georgia Emergency Managment Agency (GEMA) for the development of plans and implementation of projects that will reduce or eliminate the cost of natural disasters."

FEMA's "enhanced state" designation requires an increased commitment on the part of GEMA to include local and state planning and program management into a unified mitigation plan. With this approval, FEMA recognizes Georgia's commitment to comprehensive mitigation planning and program management.

GHMS serves as a guide for local and state decision-makers in their allocation of resources to help reduce the effects of natural hazards.

GHMS identifies the state's risks and vulnerabilities to multiple hazards. It identifies goals, objectives and actions to address those risks and vulnerabilities, and provides a comprehensive framework for statewide disaster mitigation actions.

Mitigation is any sustained action taken to reduce or eliminate long-term risk to people and property from hazards. The purpose of mitigation is two-fold: to protect people and property, and to minimize the cost of disaster response and recovery.

GHMS is reviewed and updated for gubernatorial and federal approval at a minimum of once every three years.

For more information on GHMS or emergency management visit GEMA's Web site at
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