The Federal Emergency Management Authority (FEMA), through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP), has awarded the St. John Community Foundation $7,030,000 to retrofit homes on the island against hurricane-force wind, debris, rain and other related hazards.
The Long-Term Recovery Group’s – Disaster Case Management (DCM) Team selected the homes for the Wind Retrofit Project after conducting community outreach activities throughout St. John. Additionally, Disaster Case Management worked with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to identify and contact individuals who were provided with individual disaster assistance and have reported home damage.
Of the 183 homes approved to apply, approximately 125 individuals completed the application process, and upwards of 100 were chosen.
“This support is an amazing opportunity that will enable us to help St. John residents avoid storm-related hardships, like what was experienced after Irma and Maria, by building back stronger than before,” said Celia Kalousek, executive director of the St. John Community Foundation. “
The Office of Disaster Recovery has partnered with various non-profit partners to collaborate on recovery solutions. The St. John Residential Wind Retrofit Project will provide for the replacement and retrofit of the chosen structures, bringing them to current building code standards.
Office of Disaster Recovery Director Williams-Octalien said, “This is one of many opportunities to come. As the recovery moves forward, this award signals progress. Once these homes are fortified, the outcome will be a more resilient community better equipped to face any wind storm.”
The project slated for completion by September 2020 is one of 24 projects in progress through Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. A total of $57, 454, 224 for this program has been awarded to the USVI to date.