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GOHSEP Works to Expedite Federal Recovery Money

By Cedeste Lewis on January 31, 2024 Recover
GOHSEP Works to Expedite Federal Recovery Money


BATON ROUGE (January 31, 2024) – Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness Director Jacques Thibodaux is calling for a change in the delivery of Federal Public Assistance (PA) and Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) recovery funding designed to get money to the parishes in a faster, more efficient manner. GOHSEP will utilize the Express Pay process to increase the amount disbursed on eligible reimbursement requests to 90% of the amount of the federal share requested. The remaining 10% of each reimbursement will be released as the documentation is reviewed and approved. This will allow sub-recipients to receive the majority of their reimbursement funds in a timely manner and continue their recovery efforts. This policy change will immediately speed up funding for an estimated 500 requests.

Hazard Mitigation Assistance provides funding for eligible mitigation measures that reduce disaster losses, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). "Hazard mitigation" is any sustained action that reduces or eliminates long-term risk to people and property from future disasters. Hazard mitigation includes long-term solutions, such as residential mitigation, drainage, and critical facility retrofit projects, which reduce the impact of disasters in the future.

Public Assistance is a program that provides supplemental grants to state, tribal, territorial and local governments, and certain types of private non-profits, so communities can quickly respond to and recover from major disasters or emergencies. After an event like a hurricane, tornado, earthquake or wildfire, communities need help to cover their costs for debris removal, life-saving emergency protective measures, and restoring public infrastructure.

“This bold shift in policy is one of my key goals for this agency,” said GOHSEP Director Jacques Thibodaux. “There are a tremendous amount of projects identified by the parishes that will limit the impacts or stop many of the repeated problems caused by things like hurricanes and flooding. This effort will hopefully speed up the reimbursement process for those types of projects, resulting in quicker reimbursement for our parishes and state partners.”

This policy change will expedite the reimbursement process for disaster and mitigation related expenses, providing financial relief to affected communities.

PA currently has an active Express Pay system in place, and will make the revisions required to accommodate this change. HMA will develop an Express Pay system modeled after the PA process, and will establish an implementation timeline for expedited payments as quickly as possible.

Find more tips on emergency preparedness, response and recovery on GOHSEP’s Facebook and Twitter accounts. Download and subscribe to The GOHSEP Get A Game Plan Podcast. The Get A Game Plan App is another resource available to help you and your family prepare for any type emergency. You can download the Louisiana Emergency Preparedness Guide and find other information at www.getagameplan.org.


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