Commissioner George P. Bush this week announced the Texas General Land Office (GLO) approved a $70,000 grant for the City of Galveston through the Local Hazard Mitigation Plans Program (LHMPP). By updating an existing or developing a new local hazard mitigation plan, jurisdictions can access various federal funding sources for project development and implementation, such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP). The City of Galveston’s award is the first for the program, which has $25 million available for communities that experienced storm damage in 2015, 2016, and/or in 2017 with Hurricane Harvey.
“Knowledge of existing vulnerabilities and planning to prevent risks at the local level can help minimize the loss of life and property damage due to disasters,” said Commissioner George P. Bush. “Maintaining updated hazard mitigation plans and developing long-term strategies for protecting our communities is a vital function of local and state government, but funding is often lacking. The GLO’s Local Hazard Mitigation Plans Program will help at-risk communities identify vulnerabilities and mitigate against future disaster damage to better protect Texas residents.”
The GLO teamed up with the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) and Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) to encourage local entities affected by specific disasters to apply to GLO to access $25 million in grants available to assist eligible entities in developing or updating FEMA-approved local hazard mitigation plans. An approved FEMA hazard mitigation plan benefits local communities by recognizing the risks and hazards that exist, identifying ways to reduce or eliminate these risks, and qualifying communities for additional grant-funded programs.
The LHMPP is one of many programs authorized by the State of Texas Community Development Block Grant Mitigation (CDBG-MIT) Action Plan with funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to protect Texas communities hit by Hurricane Harvey and severe flooding in 2015 and 2016. The purpose of CDBG-MIT eligible activities is to reduce or eliminate the long-term risk of loss of life and loss of property from future disasters. Hazard mitigation planning is a vital first step to understand the likelihood and potential severity of hazards and risks for which local communities must prepare.
GLO, TDEM, and TWDB coordinate closely to assist local jurisdictions with accessing various grants and funding sources. The $25 million Local Hazard Mitigation Plans Program (LHMPP) implemented through GLO is intended to assist in providing funding to local jurisdictions to support their development or update a FEMA-approved local hazard mitigation plan. Local jurisdictions may be eligible for up to $100,000 in support from the GLO to develop a new Local Hazard Mitigation Plan. Communities may also be eligible for a lesser amount to update an existing plan or use as the cost share for an approved FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) local hazard mitigation plan update award.
Communities must be in federally declared counties or ZIP codes from Hurricane Harvey (DR-4332), the 2015 Floods (DR-4223), or the 2016 Floods (DR-4272) to be eligible. Having a FEMA-approved local hazard mitigation plan benefits local communities in a variety of ways, including qualifying communities for additional grants. The LHMPP Application Guide provides program information including eligibility criteria and application information. Local entities can apply at https://recovery.texas.gov/mitigation/lhmpp.
Communities that already have a FEMA-approved Local Hazard Mitigation Plan are eligible for additional grant funding through three FEMA-funded grant programs. The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) and the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) program, which are administered by TDEM. A third, the Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) program, is administered by TWDB.