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On January 16 the Portland City Council accepted nearly one-quarter of a million dollars in grant funds from FEMA to advance the work of the Bureau of Emergency Management. The funds will be leveraged with a 50% match from the City’s general fund and used for the bread-and-butter of City emergency management efforts: to plan for a resilient community and protect lives, property and the environment through a coordinated, responsive program. While we are all aware of—and grateful for—the services FEMA provides to Americans in the wake of events like Superstorm Sandy, the steps we take to prepare before a disaster strikes often save the most lives and prevent the worst damage. PBEM is proud to partner with FEMA in this effort.
Also at Wednesday’s Council meeting, the City accepted a report on progress towards mitigating flood risks. As a Port City located at the confluence of two major rivers, Portland faces flood risk each year. Nationwide, floods result in billions of dollars of property loss annually, and more deaths than any other natural hazard. The City has been working to prevent loss of life and property in Portland through programs to protect and restore floodplains and increase flood storage, enforce building standards that keep people and structures safe, and acquire flood-prone property through the Willing Sellers Program. The complete report is available here.