Jackson County To Receive Federal Funds For Hurricane Shelter

BILOXI, Miss. -- A federal grant will pay for a 10,000-square-foot facility in Jackson County's Vancleave community. The building's design will follow established federal guidelines for shelter construction.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will provide a $2.8 million grant from the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) to fund the project.

The stand-alone shelter will be built to current FEMA standards, providing near absolute protection for approximately 1,000 Jackson County residents. The design and construction of the shelter must be in accordance with FEMA 361, Design and Construction Guidance for Community Shelters. The project will be 100% federally funded.

"This is a step in the right direction. This is a great thing for Jackson County. Part of recovery is taking measured steps to protect against future disasters," said Sid Melton, director of the FEMA Mississippi Transitional Recovery Office. "Communities should take full advantage of the HMGP to get prepared."

"People often think about protecting property with the HMGP but shelters like these help protect the most important thing in this state - its citizens," said Mike Womack, director of the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA).

HMGP grants can be used to fund projects to protect either public or private property, provided the project fits within the state's and local government's overall mitigation strategy and complies with HMGP guidelines.

MEMA administers the HMGP and identifies and manages the projects from beginning to closeout. The objectives of the HMGP are to reduce or eliminate future risk to lives and property from all hazards, provide funds to implement projects previously identified in state or local hazard mitigation plans, and enable mitigation measures to be implemented during the immediate recovery from a disaster.

FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.

Published on: 2008-04-24

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