Chicago, IL -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today that 11 counties have been added to the emergency declaration for snow removal made available to units of government and certain private non-profit organizations in Indiana. The original declaration, issued January 24, provided federal funds to supplement emergency response efforts as a result of last month's winter storms that produced record snowfalls.
FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer Robert Colangelo authorized the assistance for Adams, Benton, DeKalb, Grant, Laporte, Marshall, Newton, Porter, Starke, Wabash and Wells Counties after an analysis of additional snowfall data provided by the Indiana State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA). The declaration covers jurisdictions that were blanketed with record and near-record snowfall over the period of December 11-31.
This brings the total to 29 counties that have been designated eligible for federal funding to pay part of the cost for emergency protective measures undertaken as a result of the storms. This includes local units of government and state agency operations needed to protect public health and safety and to prevent damage to public or private property.
Governor Frank O'Bannon explained that the next step is for a FEMA team to link up with SEMA and work together to help local counties, cities, and towns add up storm-related expenses. Governor O'Bannon said, "It is important that communities have accurate, well-documented records for equipment and personnel to speed-up the reimbursement process."
Under the emergency declaration, FEMA will provide reimbursement to local units of government, certain private non-profit organizations, and state agencies for 75 percent of the total eligible costs of equipment, contracts, and personnel overtime related to emergency services in dealing with the snow for a 48-hour period. These are the crucial hours when work crews clear snow from emergency routes and roads to critical facilities to permit the passage of emergency vehicles. Related emergency protective measures such as sanding and salting, search and rescue, shelter operations, and police and fire department response will also be eligible for reimbursement.
The initial counties designated included Allen, Carroll, Cass, Elkhart, Fulton, Howard, Huntington, Jasper, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Lake, Miami, Noble, Pulaski, Saint Joseph, Steuben, White and Whitley.