COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Officials of the South Carolina Emergency Preparedness Division (SCEPD) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have scheduled a meeting for Horry County government officials and representatives of qualified private non-profit agencies regarding application for disaster assistance made available under President Clinton's disaster declarations.
The Horry County applicant briefing for local officials will be held at 2 p.m. on Friday, October 1 in Horry County Council Chambers at 103 Elm Street in Conway.
"This briefing has been arranged to clarify the federal assistance application process, administrative and funding requirements and infrastructure program eligibility criteria," explained Stan McKinney, State Coordinating Officer. Following the briefing, a team of state and federal inspectors will be available to make arrangements with local officials for the verification of eligible project costs.
Prior to Hurricane Floyd's landfall, President Clinton signed a declaration releasing emergency federal funds to 27 South Carolina counties to cover the costs of debris removal and emergency services necessary to meet immediate human needs, protect property and insure public health and safety. In his major disaster declaration issued Sept. 21and amended on Sept. 28, the President confirmed that nine of those counties - Beaufort, Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton, Georgetown, Horry, Jasper, Marion and Williamsburg - will receive additional assistance with the restoration of damaged public facilities such as roads, bridges and utilities. Funds may also be provided to eligible private non-profit organizations in these counties for the repair of damaged facilities. Grants are provided on a 75% federal, 25% non-federal cost sharing basis.
In addition, the state and local governments can apply for federal funds on a cost-shared basis to complete approved projects that can reduce future disaster risks. "As the water recedes along the South Carolina coast," said Federal Coordinating Officer Larry Bailey, "we will be looking at a variety of measures that might be taken to keep this from happening again as part of our Project Impact initiative."
Through Project Impact: Building Disaster Resistant Communities, FEMA is working with communities across the country to reduce the impact that hurricanes have on people's lives. This major mitigation effort, initiated by Director James Lee Witt in 1997, expands the agency's focus beyond simply responding when disaster strikes to planning for the prevention of future disaster-related damage and loss.