REISTERSTOWN, MD — The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will provide Direct Technical Assistance (DTA) to the Town of Crisfield to prepare a competitive grant application for the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) program. Crisfield is only one of 20 sub-applicants in the U.S. to be selected as a recipient.
“Mitigation is crucial to the future of communities near the Chesapeake Bay as they face ever-increasing threats from flooding,” said Maryland Department of Emergency Management (MDEM) Secretary Russ Strickland. “Investing in mitigation projects saves money by reducing damages from future events. I like to say that in emergency management, mitigation is the center of the universe.”
In the fiscal year 2021, the Maryland Department of Emergency Management submitted an application for nearly $27.6 million in BRIC projects aimed at reducing disaster risk statewide. This year, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Direct Technical Assistance will help Crisfield develop competitive applications that are eligible for potential funding of mitigation projects as well as funding to administer those projects.
Like many smaller communities, Crisfield’s lack of resources and personnel makes it difficult to navigate the process required to receive funding. This Somerset County community is located where the Little Annemessex River meets the Chesapeake Bay and has been the scene of many flooding events caused by high tides, storm surges, and heavy rainfall.
BRIC grants provide funding for projects that mitigate against these and other hazards, and DTA makes it possible for communities like Crisfield to have a chance at obtaining badly needed funding for hazard mitigation projects. This program will connect the City with experienced mentors who can discuss best practices and lessons learned in other similar communities to help create successful projects to encourage community-wide resilience.
While Crisfield has seen an increase in nuisance flooding from tides and minor storms in recent years, it was the hardest hit community in Maryland during Superstorm Sandy in 2012, with severe damage to buildings and public infrastructure near its harbor. In addition to the dangers inherent to the topography, the City also has documented drainage issues due to an aging stormwater system.
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