A group of Maryland lawmakers applauded President Joe Biden for granting their request to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for federal disaster assistance through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP).
U.S. Reps. John Sarbanes (D-MD), Steny H. Hoyer (D-MD), Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD), Kweisi Mfume (D-MD), Andy Harris (R-MD), Anthony G. Brown (MD), Jamie B. Raskin (D-MD) and David Trone (D-MD) said the grant will strengthen emergency preparedness and mitigation efforts for future public health emergencies.
Authorities noted hazard mitigation is defined as sustainable action reducing or eliminating long-term risk to people and property from future disasters, breaking the cycle of disaster damage, reconstruction and repeated damage.
“This new amendment to Maryland’s COVID-19 disaster declaration will shore up necessary resources for our state to effectively respond to and prevent future pandemics and public health crises,” the legislators said. “We appreciate the Biden administration’s federal partnership with Maryland and will continue working to strengthen our public health infrastructure to keep our residents safe and healthy.”
Officials indicated the revision expands eligibility to include all areas in Maryland, for federal assistance via HMGP — adding that resources may be used to manage and prevent surge capacity in hospitals, strengthen education outreach efforts and enhance the supply chain, among other benefits.