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Grants Help Northern Michigan Counties and Tribes Prepare for Natural Disasters

News Release
October 20, 2021

NORTHWEST LOWER, MI – Nearly $300,000 in federal grants will help two tribes and seven counties in northern Michigan prepare for natural disasters. Networks Northwest received Pre-Disaster Mitigation Grants totaling $296,937 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The first award is for the update of the tribal natural hazard mitigation plan for the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, and to update county plans for Antrim, Benzie, Kalkaska, Leelanau, Manistee, Missaukee, and Wexford Counties. The second award is for the creation of a new plan for the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians. During the planning project period (2021-2023), Networks Northwest’s Community Development team will work in partnership with each tribe and county to prepare a total of nine tribal or multi-jurisdictional natural hazard mitigation plans.

Hazard mitigation planning reduces loss of life and property by minimizing the impact of natural disasters. Creating and updating hazard mitigation plans follows a defined process of identifying hazards within the community, analyzing the risks posed by those hazards, establishing priorities for addressing those risks, and choosing specific actions that will mitigate those risks. Under the Disaster Mitigation Act (DMA), which amended the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act of 1988, state and local governments are required to adopt a state or local hazard mitigation plan (LHMP) approved by FEMA in order to qualify for federal hazard mitigation project grants. Hazard mitigation plans are valid for five years from the date of FEMA approval.

Networks Northwest began coordinating with all nine communities in July 2021 and will conclude in December 2023 when final plans will be submitted to FEMA for approval and each local jurisdiction has had an opportunity to review and adopt the plan. Resident and stakeholder feedback will be solicited throughout the planning process. The public is encouraged to attend public engagement events that will be held to collect feedback and provide direction for the plan. Project events and updates for each plan will be posted periodically throughout the process on the Networks Northwest website at

For any questions regarding the 5-year natural hazard mitigation plans please contact Jennifer Neal, Community Planner, at Networks Northwest at

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