Press Release from the State of Georgia
Georgia Emergency Management Agency
GOVERNOR CHARLEY ENGLISH
Several County Hazard Mitigation Plans Approved by FEMA in 2008
(Atlanta) -The Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) announced today the approval of 19 county multi-jurisdictional hazard mitigation plans by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Today's announcement brings the total number of approved county plans to 117 of the 159 counties in the state. FEMA is currently reviewing 22 county plans for approval; GEMA is scheduled to submit the final 20 county plans to FEMA over the next year. Currently, the approved plans cover approximately 8.2 million people or 88% of the state's population. These approved plans allow the counties to apply for grant assistance to implement mitigation projects.
The newly approved plans are from the following counties: Atkinson, Bacon, Ben Hill, Brooks, Candler, Cook, Coweta, Dooly, Echols, Grady, Irwin, Jasper, Macon, Schley, Screven, Seminole, Towns, Turner and Ware.
"I appreciate the hard work of these 19 counties and the proactive measures taken to lessen the risk of natural disasters in their communities, "said GEMA Director Charley English. "Their plans will help to ensure the state's eligibility for assistance in the event of a disaster." So far, FEMA has funded nearly $2.3 million toward county plan development in Georgia.
Counties are required by the federal government to have approved hazard mitigation plans in place in order to be eligible to receive grant funding for mitigation projects. Since 2002, the Hazard Mitigation Division has provided technical assistance to counties throughout the state to develop the plans. FEMA recently approved the state of Georgia's Hazard Mitigation Strategy which enables the state to maintain eligibility for the full range of disaster assistance through the Stafford Act.
Hazard mitigation is any sustained action taken by state or local governments to reduce or eliminate long-term risk to its citizens and property from natural hazards. Examples of mitigation include purchase or development of warning systems, configuration of community shelters and safe rooms, property acquisition, storm water management improvements, and structure elevation or relocation.
For more information on Georgia's hazard mitigation plans or the Georgia Emergency Management Agency, call GEMA toll-free at 1-800-TRY-GEMA or visit www.gema.ga.gov.
Post Office Box 18055 - Atlanta, Georgia 30316-0055
Phone (404) 635-7000 or toll-free in Georgia 1-800-TRY-GEMA - Fax (404)635-7205