Vermilion Parish using FEMA funds to strengthen facilities

The following is a news release from the Federal Emergency Management Agency:

NEW ORLEANS, La. -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency recently announced approximately $318,000 in hazard mitigation funding to better enable Vermilion Parish's Office Complex, Cecil Picard Elementary School and Gueydan Community Center to withstand future hurricane force winds.

"Simple mitigation measures can make facilities better equipped to survive storms," said FEMA's Louisiana Recovery Office Deputy Director of Programs Andre Cadogan. "That's where FEMA comes in, providing federal dollars through our Hazard Mitigation Grant Program to assist Louisiana communities with such smart preparedness efforts."

As a result of FEMA's recent funding, the windows and doors at the office complex, elementary school and community center will all be hardened to withstand up to 120 mile-per-hour winds. Additional wind retrofitting measures at the community center include the replacement of the facility's current gravel and asphalt shingled roof — repeatedly damaged by prior wind storms -- with a stronger, prefinished metal roofing system.

"The retrofitting of these buildings will reduce their risks of incurring future wind damages," added Cadogan. "This, consequently, will help prevent the disruption of their surfaces, better protecting not only the actual facilities but also the well being of Vermilion Parish citizens."

Following hurricanes Gustav and Ike, Louisiana was deemed eligible for $279 million in HMGP funding. Out of 166 projects submitted to FEMA by the state, 19 have been approved to date for a total of $26.6 million in obligated HMGP funding.