West Trenton, NJ – And the envelope please… The winner is New Jersey Office of Emergency Management’s (NJOEM) Hazard Mitigation Unit with almost $38 million in FEMA mitigation grant projects selected in a competitive application process. That amount is more than any other state received and beats all previous New Jersey application amounts for these grants.
This year the process had a much shorter application timeline of three months for FEMA’s Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) and Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) programs, which ended on August 28th, 2015.
This tight deadline meant the Hazard Mitigation Unit needed to reach out to its potential applicants immediately in order to capitalize on these programs. The unit created a team to collaborate with applicants to bring much needed mitigation measures to the State of New Jersey.
“New Jersey benefits greatly from these programs,” said Col. Rick Fuentes, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police and Director of the NJOEM. “Our strong partnerships within the Emergency Management Community allow us to obtain and utilize these grants to strengthen our resiliency to natural disasters. This enhances our ability to minimize the effects of disaster on people, property, and infrastructure.”
According to Lt. Colonel Jeff Mottley, Deputy Superintendent of Homeland Security that oversees the Emergency Management Section, “Our staff brings a wealth of experience to the table, and we had excellent participation from our motivated public and private partners who completed these technically demanding applications.”
The strategy was simple: incorporate the knowledge gained from hazard mitigation planning into the FMA applications and align them as closely as possible with the stated grant criteria. The need is clear in New Jersey and unit members wanted to make sure to claim the largest share of funding possible.
NJOEM’s strategy paid off. Fiscal Year 2015 selections for the PDM and FMA programs were based on agency priorities identified on the Funding Opportunity Announcement. In the Pre-Disaster Mitigation category, New Jersey has been selected for three of its submissions totaling $450k. For Flood Mitigation Assistance, FEMA selected seven New Jersey submissions totaling $37.4 million, which is nearly 25% of the national FMA total and more than any other state. It is also the largest selection in New Jersey State history.
Applicants can review the status of each FY15 application online at www.fema.gov/pre-disaster-mitigation-program-fy-2015-subapplication-status for PDM and www.fema.gov/flood-mitigation-assistance-fy-2015-subapplication-status for FMA. FEMA will not send initial notification letters to each applicant regarding their application status.
FEMA and NJOEM will work with applicants to conduct programmatic reviews of the selected applications identified for further review before making a final decision. Grant applicants should contact their county representative or they can contact NJOEM by email NJMitigation@gw.njsp.org or phone 609-882-2000 ext. 6208. Further information is available at www.fema.gov/hazard-mitigation-assistance.