Thursday, September 17, 2009

Application period opens for seismic rehabilitation grants

SALEM, Ore – Oregon Emergency Management (OEM) announced today that grants are available for eligible applicants for seismic rehabilitation projects on certain type facilities. Grant applications will be accepted effective Sept. 15 through mid November, 2009. Information regarding eligibility and grant information can be located on OEM’s website: http://www.oregon.go/OMD/OEM/index.shtml.

The Seismic Rehabilitation Grant Program (SRGP) provides funds to strengthen public schools and emergency services buildings so they will be less damaged during an earthquake. Reducing property damage, injuries, and casualties caused by earthquakes is the goal of the SRGP.

Senate President Peter Courtney has been instrumental in sponsoring legislation to provide the means to begin these projects. Approximately $30 million included in the 2009-11 Governor’s Recommended Budget to fund this program received approval by the Legislative Assembly during the 2009 Legislative Session.

“We have a responsibility to keep Oregonians as safe as possible,” Courtney said Tuesday. “This is a great opportunity for Oregon to move forward to retrofit school buildings and emergency services facilities.”

A 2007 report from Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries shows over 1,000 school and emergency services buildings at high or very high risk for collapse during an earthquake.

A recent report, “The Geologic Hazards, Earthquake and Landslide Hazard Maps, and Future Damage Estimates for Six Counties in the Mid/Southern Willamette Valley” indicates that an earthquake measuring 9.0 on the Richter Scale in Cascadia Subduction Zone off the Oregon Coast would result in future damage estimates at $12 billion in property damage and nearly 1,000 deaths in the region, which includes Yamhill, Marion, Polk, Benton, Linn, and Lane Counties.

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