Earlier this week, we welcomed the end of the 2020 hurricane season. What a season it was! We also announced the approval of our updated, multijurisdictional 2020 Hazard Mitigation Plan by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness. This approval secures St. Tammany’s eligibility for Hazard Mitigation grants administered by FEMA including: Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) post-disaster-funding; pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM), a nationally competitive program for mitigation projects and planning grants; and Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA), a nationally competitive program for Flood Mitigation projects. Continued eligibility for Hazard Mitigation Assistance Grants administered by FEMA — both pre and post-disaster — is vitally important to the resilience of our community.
The significant amount of coordinated work that went into updating this plan cannot be understated, especially in an environment where COVID-19 was a factor. Several municipalities as well as our citizens — through public input meetings — worked together to formulate, update, and prepare the document. The approved, participating jurisdictions include: unincorporated St. Tammany Parish, the Town of Abita Springs, the City of Covington, the Village of Folsom, the Town of Madisonville, the City of Mandeville, the Town of Pearl River, the City of Slidell, and the Village of Sun.
I want to thank everyone involved for making sure St. Tammany remains prepared with a working plan moving forward. You may view the plan here.
As we all know, our COVID-19 numbers are increasing. We, like the hospitals in our area, are closely watching these numbers. We can all help to flatten this new curve, contribute to the recovery, and help our hospitals manage the care of all patients by taking personal responsibility and doing simple things. We all need to continue to physically distance, avoid large gatherings — especially gatherings with people you have not been in contact with recently. If you are out in the community wear a mask — especially when inside local businesses and restaurants. I will reiterate what we have been saying, and that is that I continue to work to balance the health of our community with the health of our economy. I ask each and every citizen to continue to work with me to achieve this balance. I hope each one of you will continue to help me spread this message.
Should you have questions or if I may be of assistance to you in any way, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Michael B. Cooper