CHICAGO, Ill. -- In response to community interest, FEMA Region V officials have provided additional information on the Snow Emergency Declaration issued by the President on January 15. Forty-seven counties in central and northern Indiana have been designated for federal funding to help reimburse costs for snow removal and emergency protective services.
The following details will help local officials and Indiana residents understand the federal emergency declaration process:
- FEMA was in contact with the Indiana State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) when snow began to accumulate Saturday, Jan. 2.
- On Monday, Jan. 11, Gov. Frank O'Bannon asked for emergency federal assistance for the severe winter storm that posed a threat to public health and safety in numerous counties of Indiana.
- President Clinton approved an Emergency Declaration on Friday, Jan. 15 after reviewing FEMA's analysis of the request. FEMA coordinates the federal response when a disaster is declared and provides federal funds released by the President's declaration to the affected state.
- Director Witt designated 47 counties eligible for federal funding to pay 75 percent of the eligible cost of emergency protective measures. These counties in central and northern Indiana had met the assistance criteria by recording "record" or "near record" levels of snowfall.
- Assistance made available by this emergency declaration is meant to supplement state and local recovery efforts which have been ongoing -- that is to provide reimbursement to state agencies, counties, cities, towns or authorized public entities and certain private non-profit organizations that performed specific emergency snow removal activities.
- Under an emergency declaration, federal disaster assistance is not available to individuals or business owners.
- FEMA will provide reimbursement through SEMA to governmental units, communities and certain non-profit organizations for 75 percent of the total eligible costs of snow removal equipment operations, contract personnel and equipment, and overtime for permanent personnel. The State and/or local governments will assume the remaining non-federal share of costs.
- Related emergency protective measures such as sanding and salting, search and rescue, shelter operations, and police and fire departments' response may also be eligible for reimbursement.
- FEMA will provide emergency funding to cover a 48-hour period. Applicants will designate the specific 48-hour period to be used for their respective snow removal assistance requests.
- If severe winter storm conditions required emergency assistance beyond 48 hours, SEMA may request a waiver to this provision. FEMA will evaluate these requests on a case-by-case basis and, if deemed appropriate, will increase the time period.
- SEMA may also request the addition of a county(ies) if the county had a "record" or "near record" snowfall. SEMA would submit the request to FEMA for evaluation.
- Potential eligible applicants will be contacted in the next several days to establish an Applicants' Briefing schedule. These information briefings are designed to walk applicants through the assistance process. State and federal representatives will explain what costs are eligible, how to report equipment/personnel information and payment procedures and will answer any questions that applicants may have.