With this Award, FEMA has Approved Funding for 10 Safe Rooms in Forrest County since January


WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) and Congressman Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.) today announced the approval of $7.3 million to construct eight additional safe rooms in Forrest County.
All eight safe rooms will be constructed at various school locations in Forrest County, including four structures in Petal, three in Hattiesburg, and one in Brooklyn.  Since January, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved Hazard Mitigation Grant funding to construct 10 safe rooms in the Hattiesburg region.
“The addition of these eight safe rooms will protect residents of Forrest County when severe weather strikes,” Wicker said.  “I will continue to work with FEMA and local officials to invest in emergency preparedness, which will save lives.”
“I commend the leadership in Forrest County for its diligence in pursuing resources to provide shelter for youth and residents during emergency situations,” Hyde-Smith said.  “These safe rooms around the county will ensure more people survive severe weather situations.”
“The safe rooms will serve as a useful and necessary resource for the community during extreme weather events,” Palazzo said.  “This ongoing mitigation project is a smart federal investment in the Pine Belt area that will help keep our citizens out of harm’s way.”
Stand-alone safe rooms, which will be constructed to withstand winds of up to 200 mph, will be built at the following locations:
•    South Forrest Attendance Center at 8 Burbone St., Brooklyn
•    Earl Travillion Attendance Center at 316 Travillion Dr., Hattiesburg
•    North Forest Elementary School at 702 Eatonville Rd., Hattiesburg
•    North Forrest High School at 693 Eatonville Rd., Hattiesburg
•    Petal Primary School at 60 Herrington Rd., Petal
•    Petal Lower Elementary School at 1179 Highway 42, Petal
•    Petal Middle School at 203 East Central Ave., Petal
•    Petal High School at 1145 Highway 42 East, Petal
Overall, the eight projects will cost $8.7 million, with FEMA picking up almost 85 percent of the cost.  In November 2015, FEMA provided $652,000 to support preliminary work on these safe rooms.
In January, lawmakers announced a $1 million grant to construct a 5,000-square-foot safe room at the Dixie Attendance Center on Elks Lake Road in Forrest County.  Another $1.0 million grant was awarded in April for construction of a community safe room at the Forrest County Agricultural High School in Brooklyn.
The FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program provides funding to states and local governments for long-term hazard mitigation activities designed to reduce the loss of life and property due to natural disasters.  Data shows that investments in hazard mitigation before a disaster create a net savings of taxpayer dollars during post-disaster response and recovery periods.