CHICAGO – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) today released $238,112 in Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funds to Bayfield County, Wis., for the construction of a safe room at the Bayfield County Fairgrounds in Iron River.
“The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program enables communities to implement critical mitigation measures to reduce the risk of loss of life and property,” said Andrew Velasquez III, regional administrator, FEMA Region V. “The construction of this safe room will protect the lives of vulnerable citizens by providing a secure location to seek shelter from tornados and other high wind events."
Bayfield County has experienced numerous powerful storms in recent years. This safe room will be centrally located in the fairgrounds, across from the grandstand and provide shelter for up to 500 event participants and residents during a severe weather event.
“This safe room could provide life-saving protection during a destructive storm in Bayfield County,” said WEM Administrator Brian Satula. “I am pleased that federal, state and local governments are working together to help build this facility.”
HMGP provides grants to state and local governments to implement long-term hazard mitigation measures. Through HMGP, FEMA will pay $238,112 or 75 percent of the project’s total cost. Wisconsin Emergency Management Agency and Bayfield County will both contribute 12.5 percent of the funds, or $39,686 each.
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.