U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) Friday said more qualified homeowners in six South Mississippi counties could receive help to protect their homes from destructive winds through a grant approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (F.E.M.A.).
F.E.M.A. is awarding the state of Mississippi a $6.7 million grant to continue a Coastal Retrofit project that helps homeowners retrofit their homes to withstand severe winds. Individual grants will be issued for qualified homeowners in Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, Pearl River, Stone, and George counties.
“Retrofitting roofs, walls, windows, decks and other vulnerable areas of a home can help ensure that structures survive destructive hurricane or tornado winds,” said Cochran, who serves on the Senate appropriations subcommittee with jurisdiction over F.E.M.A. and the Department of Homeland Security. “This program is part of the ongoing effort to try to protect more lives and homes in Mississippi. I’m pleased these resources are being made available.”
The total project cost associated with this award is $7.4 million, with the $6.7 million F.E.M.A. Hazard Mitigation Grant Program award reflecting the 90 percent federal portion of the grant. Stakeholders would be responsible for making up the nearly $750,000 (10%) non-federal cost-share.
According to F.E.M.A., Phase I of the initiative provides individual grants for wind retrofit measures for homeowners of owner-occupied, single-family structures mounted on secure foundations. Homeowners must have a homestead exemption to be eligible for this program. Wind retrofitting procedures will be limited to two major components: roofing systems and opening protection (doors, windows, etc.).
This grant is associated with a Wind Retrofit Coastal Initiative program supported by the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency and Mississippi Department of Finance and Administration. In 2011, F.E.M.A. approved a $22 million, 75-25 percent grant to start this program in Hancock, Harrison and Jackson counties.
•Wind Retrofit Guide for Residential Buildings: http://www.fema.gov/library/viewRecord.do?id=4569