Hurricane Katrina

Cochran, Wicker announce grant for wind retrofitting

FEMA has approved a $22 million grant to assist eligible Coast homeowners with retrofits that will help their homes withstand hurricane winds. The Federal Emergency Management Agency approved the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency’s request for federal funding to support a Wind Retrofit Coastal Initiative the Mississippi Insurance Department has been working on for several years.

“We’ve seen the destruction that hurricane and tornado winds can cause,” said Sen. Thad Cochran, who serves on the Senate appropriations subcommittee with funding jurisdiction for FEMA. “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.”

The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program was approved on a 75 percent-25 percent cost-share basis, with a $7.3 million nonfederal 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.

FEMA 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.

Read more about this story in Wednesday's Sun Herald.