Federal funding will help prepare for natural disasters by updating hazard mitigation plans in Northwest Minnesota

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tina Smith (D-MN) announced that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has awarded the Minnesota Department of Public Safety the nation’s first Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) program grant. This $171,000 award will update hazard mitigation plans for Jackson, Kittson, Marshall, Pope, and Red Lake Counties.

“We can’t control natural disasters, but we can ensure our state has the resources to prepare for and mitigate damages,” Klobuchar said. “This federal funding will help Minnesotans plan ahead for extreme weather to protect their communities. I’m glad FEMA’s first grant of this type is heading to our state, and I will continue working to strengthen Minnesota’s infrastructure resiliency.”  

“As we work to prevent the worst effects of climate change, we must recognize the harsh reality that extreme weather events will continue to get worse before they get better,” Smith said. “That’s why it’s essential to prepare for climate related disasters before they happen, not just clean up after. This program will help ensure communities in Minnesota are safer, stronger, and more prepared in the face of these challenges.”

“FEMA’s Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities or BRIC program seeks to shift the focus from reactive disaster spending toward proactive investment in community resilience,” said Moises Dugan, acting regional administrator of FEMA’s Region 5. “As the first project to ever be funded under this program, we’re proud to support the state of Minnesota and their efforts to take action against future disaster risks, making their communities safer and stronger as a result.”

BRIC will help Minnesota prepare for natural disasters by supporting activities and projects that invest in resiliency, reduce disaster suffering, and avoid future disaster costs. Projects eligible for BRIC funding include flood control, utility and infrastructure protection, wildfire management, and shelter construction.