Following Tropical Storm Irene’s destructive path through western Massachusetts in late August, officials with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) say they want to inform all recovering municipalities and nonprofit organizations that there may be additional funding available to reduce or prevent future flood damage, according to a FEMA press release.
“FEMA officials are meeting with local and state officials in Berkshire, Franklin, Hampshire, and Hampden counties to assess flood damage to public facilities, such as roads and bridges,” said Mark H. Landry, a federal coordinating officer. “FEMA mitigation specialists are also members of these teams, providing suggestions on how to rebuild better, safer, and smarter with additional cost-effective mitigation measures.”
This additional hazard mitigation funding is provided through Section 406 of the federal law, which authorizes FEMA to respond to disasters, the release said. Mitigation is described as “any long-term, sustained measure or action that reduces future damages and other impacts of a hazard on people, structures, and the environment.”
The press release cited examples of mitigation projects under this Section 406 post-disaster mitigation program, including: using geosynthetic materials in road repairs that can prevent future erosion and decrease maintenance costs; upsizing culverts to prevent clogging; elevating utilities above the base flood level in critical facilities; and flood proofing and elevation of eligible, substantially damaged buildings.