Case Study: Larchmont, NY Hazard Mitigation Success Story

Case Study: Larchmont, NY Hazard Mitigation Success Story

The damage left in the wake of hurricane Sandy affected many communities throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. To respond to these types of events, which can have impacts in the billions of dollars, the U.S. government relies on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). As part of FEMA’s multi-billion dollar budget, it provides grants to communities to assess their vulnerabilities and the potential impact to assets associated with past and potential future Hazards. Woodard & Curran has helped a number of clients obtain FEMA funding by developing and implementing hazard mitigation plans. FEMA funded projects often have significant cost sharing benefits.

Funding from FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program stems from Presidential Disaster Declarations and varies based on the impacts of the event. Currently the State of New York is seeking applications by invitation for $500M in funding from Hurricane Sandy for hazard mitigation plans and projects. And this summer Massachusetts had a $10M dollar funding round open.

Recently, Woodard & Curran helped the Village of Larchmont, NY develop an All-Hazard Mitigation Plan. This plan outlines and ranks all of the area’s potential natural hazards risks by their likelihood and lays out mitigation activities. The team drafted the plan, conducted a thorough public participation effort, and worked with the New York State Office of Emergency Management to have it reviewed by FEMA in six months – an effort like this typically takes at least 18 months. Now that the plan is finalized, the Village will be able to complete a generator project for Village Hall that was in jeopardy unless the Village could get an All-Hazard Mitigation Plan prepared and approved by September 26, 2013.

The rate at which the team completed the plan and got it reviewed by FEMA was nothing less than remarkable. Having the plan in place and a new generator ready will allow Larchmont to be better prepared if another natural disaster like Sandy hits the area again. This project, along with the other FEMA work we’ve completed, highlights the benefits of investing the time in navigating the FEMA process and positioning for future funding opportunities to implement mitigation projects.

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