ATLANTA (WSAV) – Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama are among the states that will get federal dollars to help guard against weather-related risks.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is providing $112 million across the country to fund building codes, which means each state is eligible for up to $2 million for these projects.
Georgia communities can apply for these grants for both building codes and mitigation programs to get their structures ready in case severe weather hits.
“We are trying to be more proactive than reactive and that has the building codes and look at aging infrastructure,” said Jacky Bell, mitigation division director for FEMA Region 4. “Projects under that could be stormwater management or acquiring people’s flood-prone properties.”
Another grant provides $800 million to fund projects that reduce risks for homes and communities in flood zones.
“You see a lot of elevation projects like the ones on the coast and like in Florida, and if you elevate your property, the flood risk is less,” Bell said.
“We also get a lot of inland flooding – we have seen that in Atlanta and many areas,” she added.
Communities can use the money for hurricane preparations, building safe rooms for tornadoes or improving old building codes.
FEMA says the goal is to mitigate risk and prepare communities ahead of climate change and severe weather and ultimately save taxpayer dollars.
States can apply through local partners – like the Georgia Emergency Management Agency – for the specific grants. The winning projects will then be awarded the funds next year.
Visit fema.gov for more information on how to apply.