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FEMA approves wind-retrofitting grant for Coast homeowners

MISSISSIPPI GULF COAST — U.S. Senators Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) announced the approval of a $22-million grant to assist eligible homeowners in Mississippi’s coastal counties in retrofitting their homes to withstand destructive winds.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency’s request for federal funding to support a Wind Retrofit Coastal Initiative proposed by the Mississippi Department of Finance and Administration.

“We’ve seen the destruction that hurricane and tornado winds can cause. The wind retrofit program gives eligible homeowners opportunities to install cost-effective safety devices that could help protect their families and their homes in future storms,” said Cochran, who serves on the Senate appropriations subcommittee with funding jurisdiction for FEMA.

The $22-million FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program award was approved on a 75 percent-25 percent cost-share basis, with a $7.3-million non-federal match expected from participating homeowners. In all, $29.3 million would be dedicated to the program, which will initially be offered to homeowners in Harrison, Hancock and Jackson counties. The initiative would be expanded to Pearl River, Stone and George counties based on funding availability.

According to FEMA, Phase I of the initiative will provide individual grants for wind retrofit measures for homeowners of owner-occupied, single-family structures mounted on secure foundations. Homeowners must have a homestead exemption to be eligible for this program.

Wind retrofitting procedures will be limited to two major components: roofing systems and opening protection (doors, windows, etc.).

Source: Sen. Thad Cochran

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