County and local jurisdictions can continue applying for FEMA funding to reduce the impact of future disasters
Santa Fe, NM – Last month, the New Mexico Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM) notified Bernalillo County and participating jurisdictions that the county’s latest Hazard Mitigation Plan had been approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). This plan is a FEMA requirement that must be updated every five years for the county to remain eligible for certain federal disaster assistance. With this approval, Bernalillo County and jurisdictions within the county can continue to seek federal funding through FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) program, and they will remain eligible through 2026.
This plan represents a joint effort from Bernalillo County, the City of Albuquerque, the Village of Tijeras, the Village of Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District, the Albuquerque Metropolitan Arroyo Flood Control Authority, and the Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Water Authority, among other partners.
“A plan like this is how we save peoples’ lives and homes when disaster strikes,” said Bernalillo County Emergency Manager Richard Clark. “Our job is to plan ahead with the ability to move people, livestock, and property in extreme situations and then offer help when the threat has passed.”
“Making sure we are prepared for any emergency that comes our way is a priority for the City of Albuquerque. This multi-jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan ensures that we are making all efforts to prevent or reduce the consequences from disasters like floods or wildfires,” said Roger Ebner, Director of the Office of Emergency Management for the City of Albuquerque.
“The Village of Los Ranchos has been proud to work with our regional partners on this latest version of the Hazard Mitigation plan and greatly appreciate the ongoing support of DHSEM and FEMA as we work to make our communities safer,” said Mayor Donald T. Lopez.
HMA spans several FEMA grants, including programs for flood recovery, wildfire recovery, and various programs that help communities conduct risk assessments, develop response plans, and build critical infrastructure that is resistant to extreme weather. Notably, the Biden Administration announced in August of 2021 that an additional $3.5 billion in HMA funds would be made available to help states develop their resilience to the effects of climate change. These funds will be distributed to every state, tribe, and territory that received a major disaster declaration in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and they include $11.8 million in additional funding for New Mexico and $332,000 for the Navajo Nation.
“A plan like this requires an incredible amount of collaboration across all levels of government,” said State Hazard Mitigation Officer Chelsea Morganti. “And on behalf of DHSEM, I would like to thank all the partners who worked on this plan for their diligence and their commitment to keeping New Mexicans safe.”
DHSEM works to protect the people of New Mexico and the nation through a comprehensive and coordinated program of mitigating hazards, preparing for emergencies, preventing attacks, and recovering from disasters. The New Mexico State Fire Marshal’s Office is part of DHSEM beginning on July 1, 2021.