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Pre-Disaster Mitigation Programs

Soldiers of the Minnesota National Guard's 682nd Engineer Battalion repaired a washed-out levee that also served as a neighborhood access road in Minot, N.D., July 11-12. Using heavy equipment provided by the North Dakota National Guard, the 682nd filled 1-ton sand bags, trucked them to the site and lifted them into place preventing the further destruction of the levee road. Pfc. Aaron Karjala, 850th Horizontal Engineer Company, hooked each sandbag cable on the crane bucket.

This is a good example of:

Programs and funding for pre-disaster mitigation projects


Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) programs provide consulting and funds to select recipients for hazard mitigation planning and hazard mitigation projects, including construction, prior to a disaster event.


Benefits & Problems Addressed

Prevention of loss of life and property damage: Programs identify locations/structures at highest risk from likely high-impact events.

Infrastructure improvements: Infrastructure repairs and upgrade provide immediate everyday benefits.

Tips & Techniques

Getting started: Check with the local and state emergency management departments to see current programs and offerings, in particular required Hazard Mitigation Plans. Check with planning departments to see if there is a (1) a list of highest potential risks and (2)  risk profiles for sensitive areas, infrastructure, parcels and/or structures  (e.g., structures in floodplains).

Eligibility: Many programs limit and/or prioritize consulting and funds to certain organizations. In general, public facilities, infrastructure and larger institutions (hospitals, universities) are given access and priority. Homeowners and privately-owned properties are typically eligible as sub-applicants (i.e. apply to the state or local government office that is the primary applicant). Cities can also provide non-funding benefits such as risk profiles and consultations.

Typical priority components: Program benefits are typically ranked and awarded to projects that (1) mitigate critical facilities and/or save lives, (2) benefit small, vulnerable & low-income communities, (3) benefit large numbers of people, (4) deliver multiple hazard mitigation benefits.

Program components: (1) Infrastructure and structure risk and ranking, (2) Cost-benefit analyses, (3) Coordination with FEMA grants & programs, (4)

Types of mitigation projects: (1) Property Acquisition, (2) Structure elevation, shoring and retrofits, (3) Wildfire mitigation & vegetation management, (4) Localized flood control & stormwater projects, (5) safe rooms (tornado shelters), (6) Critical infrastructure.

Hot Buttons: Public funds to improve private property.

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Federal, state and local Emergency Management Agencies

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