STATEWIDE — Virginia is set to bring in more than $63 million dollars through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP).
According to a press release from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM), the grant will come as part of President Joe Biden’s $3.46 billion plan to help states better fortify themselves against the negative effects of climate change.
According to VDEM, the HMGP is a post disaster funding program states receive from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The $62 million is 4 percent of the funding the state is projected to be reimbursed through FEMA. This will be the most funding Virginia has been awarded through this grant since the aftermath of Hurricane Isabel in 2003.
The program has been essential in reducing flood risk and removing flood prone homes in vulnerable communities like Gloucester, Accomack, Southhampton and other counties around the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.
VDEM has also helped localities file HMGP applications for assistance after 2018 hurricane season. Currently the Department is working with the Virginia Modeling and Simulation Center (VMASC) at Old Dominion University, as well as the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation and Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development to organize sub-regional Hazard Mitigation Equity Workshops. In the workshops all cities and counties were analyzed and ranked for population vulnerability and flood risk.
“I am proud of the work VDEM continues to do on behalf of the Commonwealth and their demonstrated commitment to prevention and preparedness efforts,” said Brian Moran, Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security. “It is important to focus on the needs and priorities of vulnerable areas, as they are disproportionately impacted by disasters. This is why VDEM’s priority to invest in reducing the risk in these areas is more critical now than ever before.”