Christie Administration Announces Nearly $3 Million In Federal Grants For Comprehensive Hazard Mitigation Planning

NJ Office of recovery and Rebuilding

Funds Will Allow Counties To Make Towns More Resilient By Creating Long-Term Recovery Plans

Trenton, NJ – To better prepare New Jersey for future disasters, the Christie Administration today announced more than $2.8 million in federal grants to county emergency management agencies to prepare comprehensive hazard mitigation plans.

“With the destruction of Superstorm Sandy still fresh in our minds, now is an ideal time to consider how we can be better prepared in the future,” said Governor Christie. “These hazard mitigation plans will help county officials apply lessons learned from Sandy to their long-term planning to make their towns more resilient.”

Renewing hazard mitigation plans is part of the Christie Administration’s commitment to rebuild stronger. These funds will allow the counties to build upon the planning activities funded by the State under the Community Disaster Block Grant – Disaster Relief (CDBG-DR) program.  The CDBG-DR grants provide funding for communities to conduct a variety of post-Sandy planning activities, including developing a strategic recovery plan, preparing community design standards specific to flood hazard areas, and analyzing local land use practices. Details of that program are available at http://www.nj.gov/governor/news/news/552013/approved/20130618e.html

By planning now, the Christie Administration aims to realize creative and implementable long-term hazard mitigation measures in collaboration with its local partners. These initiatives supplement the hazard mitigation projects already underway, including home elevations, buyouts, and beach restoration and protection projects, among other measures.

“The county hazard mitigation plans are a critical step in helping communities prevent future damage,” said Colonel Rick Fuentes, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “By taking decisive action now, we can save lives and avoid property damage in the future.”

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) awards hazard mitigation funds to states after declared disasters. The Christie Administration is allocating some of the available funds to help counties revise their approach to storm preparedness and achieve multiple goals, including:

  • Protecting public safety and preventing loss of life and injury;
  • Reducing harm to existing structures and infrastructure, as well as future development;
  • Preventing damage to New Jersey’s unique economic, cultural and environmental assets;
  • Minimizing operational downtime and accelerating recovery of government and businesses after future disasters;
  • Utilizing an open public involvement process, including seeking input from a wide range of stakeholders that have a signification role in plan implementation;
  • Improving public understanding of risks and options to reduce the effects of natural disasters; and
  • Reducing the cost of disaster response and the exposure to risk for first responders.

Fourteen counties will receive funding in the amounts listed below. These amounts represent FEMA’s 75% share of the costs of the projects. The remaining counties have previously received FEMA funding to update their hazard mitigation plans. 

County

Award Amount

Gloucester

$ 200,000

Morris

$ 200,000

Passaic

$ 250,000

Atlantic

$ 150,000

Cape May

$ 250,000

Cumberland

$ 200,000

Middlesex

$ 250,000

Union

$ 250,000

Warren

$ 200,000

Hunterdon

$ 200,000

Mercer

$ 125,000

Sussex

$ 200,000

Camden

$ 200,000

Salem

$ 200,000

Total

$ 2,875,000

 

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Paymon Rouhanifard: We know our kids here in Camden are capable of greatness and we simply cannot allow these trends to continue to take hold of our children. I know firsthand it’s not only possible to decrease the achievement gap, but we can even reverse it. As we all know, the importance of attaining an excellent education has profound life implications. Those without a high school diploma are 72% more likely to be unemployed. Those with a college degree earn two and half times those who drop out of high school. We can put our students on a pathway to college and career readiness and we can put Camden on track to be the thriving city we know it is. I believe in my bones that the American Dream can live strongly here in Camden. And one reason I believe that is because I’ve lived that dream.

Governor Christie: I want to thank Paymon again for his willingness to step forward and take on this challenge. It is a significant one. But I think you can tell from his personal story that this is someone who understands challenge. And I think you can tell from the eloquence of his remarks that his parents’ commitment to him and his brother for a better education paid off. And he stands here today as a successful example of what can happen for someone who at one point in his life was homeless, penniless and didn’t speak English. And today he stands up here as a leader of a school district who has articulated a vision for the future that is uplifting for all of us. There are children in the Camden school system today, I am confident, who face some of those very same challenges. And our job is to make sure that not just one of them, but multiples of them, stand on a stage like this someday in their future like the new Superintendent has and impress an audience like you in the same way that he has impressed this audience today and will impress you even further with his work and his commitment to the people of this city.

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Press Contact:
Michael Drewniak
Colin Reed
609-777-2600

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