Contact: Kelly Vence
Public Information Officer
ELIZABETH, NJ—January 7, 2016—Mayor J. Christian Bollwage is pleased to announce that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region II has approved the City of Elizabeth’s single-jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan for a period of five years. 
“Developing a comprehensive plan of this magnitude can be challenging, as many components and elements need to be examined," said Mayor J. Christian Bollwage. “While natural disasters cannot be prevented from occurring, the continued implementation of mitigation strategies identified in the plan will make Elizabeth more sustainable and resilient. This approval enables us to apply for designated federal grant funding, which will reduce expenses incurred by the municipality.”
Hazard mitigation is any cost-effective and sustained action taken to reduce the long-term risk to human life, property and infrastructure from hazards. It describes an area’s vulnerability to the various natural hazards that are typically present, along with an array of actions and projects for reducing key risks. 
On October 30, 2000, President Clinton signed into law the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000, also known as DMA 2000. Among its other features, DMA 2000 established a requirement that in order to remain eligible for federal disaster assistance and grant funds, local and state governments must develop and adopt hazard mitigation plans. On February 26, 2002, FEMA published an Interim Final Rule (IFR) that set forth the guidance and regulations under which such plans are supposed to be developed. The IFR provides detailed descriptions of the planning process that states and localities are required to observe as well as the contents of the plan that emerges.
“It is very important that Elizabeth has a detailed and effective plan in place,” said Council President Nelson Gonzalez. “The City’s proactive approaches and departmental readiness are meeting the needs of our neighborhoods while preparing for future demands as well as potential events that will require response."
Addressing natural hazards, the primary objectives of the Mitigation Plan are: "to protect human life, safety and property by reducing potential future harm caused by natural hazards;  reduce and minimize future damages and economic losses resulting from natural hazards; increase resiliency and sustainability, therefore, hastening recovery and redevelopment following every disaster or natural hazard event; maintain critical facilities (i.e., hospitals and bridges), power infrastructures, and traffic circulation in functioning order during and after a disaster or hazard event; and obtain funding in both pre-disaster and post-disaster situations to continue serving and protecting the City’s vulnerable population from natural hazards."
The City of Elizabeth is now eligible as a sub-grantee for project grants under FEMA’S Hazard Mitigation Assistance programs, including the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, Pre-Disaster Mitigation and Flood Mitigation Assistance programs.
To view the plan, please visit http://elizabethnj.org/hazard-mitigation-plan.