Parish gets portion of federal hazard mitigation pie


$580,376 in Round 1

“We are working on a project to prevent flooding of home and crops  in the south end of the parish,” said Natchitoches Parish OEP Director Mary Jones. “We are only in the beginning stage.”

The first installment in Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funding has been allocated for Louisiana parishes, including Natchitoches, impacted by Hurricane Laura. Gov. John Bel Edwards and the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) announce $40 million in HMGP funding will be available for 21 parishes in Round 1 based on FEMA Individual Assistance Program data. Additional rounds of funding will be announced in the near future for these parishes and other parishes that are declared for FEMA Public Assistance.

Additional rounds of funding may also incorporate regional projects in coordination with the Louisiana Watershed Initiative (  The total HMGP funding for Hurricane Laura is estimated to be $130 million. Funding through the federal HMGP can be used on projects that potentially save lives and reduce property loss. Working with our local partners, the goal is to reduce or eliminate long-term risk to life and property by lessening the impact of a disaster. Hazard mitigation is the only phase of emergency management specifically dedicated to breaking the cycle of damage, reconstruction and repeat damage.

“We appreciate FEMA working with GOHSEP to make this initial funding available to help protect the citizens of Louisiana,” said GOHSEP Director Jim Waskom. “As communities continue the hard work on recovery, this funding can be another helpful part of that process.

Examples of typical mitigation activities include elevation, reconstruction or acquisition of flood-prone structures and converting land to green space, localized drainage improvements, safe room construction, wind retrofit of structures, and emergency power for critical facilities. GOHSEP will work with each parish to develop a priority project list for this first installment and the remaining HMGP funding.”