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Hazard Mitigation Assistance Grant Funding Available

Local governments may apply for Hazard Mitigation Assistance grant funding, the Ohio Emergency Management Agency (Ohio EMA) recently announced.

“These hazard mitigation grants fund activities that reduce disaster losses and protect life and property from future damages,” said Sima Merick, executive director of the Ohio EMA. “Here in Ohio, the majority of these funds go toward the acquisition and demolition of repetitively flooded structures.”

“The remaining land is then deed restricted as open space to ensure nothing is constructed on the property in the future,” said Steve Ferryman, Ohio EMA’s mitigation branch chief. “Elevating homes in place above flood levels, and the construction of community safe rooms to protect lives during a tornado are examples of other frequently funded project types.”

Mitigation project priorities are identified in local hazard mitigation plans. In Ohio, most mitigation projects address the hazards of flooding or wind, Ferryman said.

In accordance with the Federal Emergency Management Agency guidelines, the application period for two Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) grant programs -- the Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) program and the Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) program – begins in March.

There are two application deadline dates for Ohio applicants:
  • March 18, 2016 – Communities/counties considering the development of an application for PDM or FMA must send an email to Ohio EMA with a brief project description
  • April 29, 2016 – Date for all applications to be submitted to Ohio EMA for review and comment prior to final submittal to FEMA in June.
Additional information on the Ohio grant deadlines and the HMA grant programs is available on Ohio EMA’s Hazard Mitigation Assistance website

Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP) Completed

The Cuyahoga County Office of Emergency Management (CCOEM) has become the first county Emergency Management Agency (EMA) in Ohio, and the 26th local EMA in the nation, to achieve accreditation by the Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP).

“Accreditation demonstrates that Cuyahoga County continues to make public safety a priority," said George Taylor, Cuyahoga County Director of Public Safety and Justice Services.  "The Office of Emergency Management has devoted significant time and energy to ensuring that public safety agencies throughout the county are prepared for disaster or emergency. We are proud to be the first county-level emergency management agency in Ohio to be accredited."  
The two-year process required CCOEM to comply fully with 64 separate performance standards that cover all aspects of emergency management including planning, training, communications, operations, and administration. The capstone of the process was a week-long assessment visit by a team of EMAP assessors who painstakingly evaluated all aspects of the county's emergency management program. 

“Having gone through the EMAP accreditation process here at Ohio EMA, we recognize the significant effort it takes, as well as the tremendous benefits of going through this process," said Sima Merick, Executive Director of the Ohio Emergency Management Agency. This is a fantastic accomplishment and a testament to the work Cuyahoga County’s emergency managers do each and every day. 

Barb Graff, Director of the Seattle Office of Emergency Management and Chair of the EMAP Commission, added that accreditation demonstrates a community's "commitment and desire to prove to their communities that their safety is the priority."

Accreditation is valid for five years. CCOEM must maintain compliance with EMAP standards and be reassessed in 2020 to maintain accredited status. 


CCOEM staff with County Executive Armond Budish