Kewaunee County receives FEMA grant for natural disaster plan update
LUXEMBURG – Kewaunee County Emergency Management was awarded a grant of $27,923.34 by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to update its plan for dealing with natural disasters.
Emergency Management Director Tracy Nollenberg, who applied for the grant, said 75 percent of the grant, or $20,942.50, is FEMA's obligation to the grant. The remaining 25 percent accounts for time spent by county employees, local town board members and others working on the update.
The grant is aimed at helping the county better prepare to manage its vulnerability to disaster by updating a plan that will serve as a road map for potential cost-effective hazard mitigation activities, some of which might be available for future grant funding.
The plan will look at risks and vulnerabilities the county faces from natural disasters and highlight mitigation strategies that might reduce future losses.
According to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, 2017 was the costliest year ever for weather and climate disasters in the United States, totaling $215 billion in disasters, or $5.9 million a week. Wisconsin has also incurred billions of dollars of disaster-related damages in the last couple of decades.
These losses can be reduced through mitigation activities. A 2017 study estimated that mitigation saves an average of $6 for every $1 spent through federal agency grant programs by breaking the cycle of damage and repair.
Mitigation is intended to reduce or eliminate long-term risk to life and property from hazards. These preventative actions can range from elevating a furnace in a basement that sometimes has water on the floor to relocating buildings out of floodplains or strengthening critical facilities to prevent wind damage.
Nollenberg is assembling a work group to review and guide the planning activities, and members of the community are welcome to provide input.
“I am very excited about this part of the planning process," Nollenberg said in a press release. "The input from the work group can have long-lasting impacts, making Kewaunee County safer and more disaster-resistant.”
For more information about the plan, or to offer input, call Nollenberg at 920-845-9701.
This article originally appeared on Green Bay Press-Gazette: Kewaunee County receives FEMA grant for natural disaster plan update