Kokomo, IN - Disaster assistance for Indiana has been expanded to include aid for local governments affected by the severe storms, tornadoes and flooding that began July 4 in the counties of Adams, Allen, Carroll, Howard, Huntington, Jasper, Kosciusko, Miami, Newton, Parke, Tippecanoe, Warren and Wells, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today.
Thomas J. Costello, FEMA federal coordinating officer, said the assistance was approved following a review of damage data gathered by federal and state disaster recovery officials. These 13 counties, plus 27 others, were previously designated for aid to individuals, families and business owners.
"Our continuing commitment is not only to help meet the recovery needs of families and businesses who suffered from the severe storms, tornadoes and flooding," Costello said, " but to ensure that the vital community services they also depend on are restored as quickly and efficiently as possible."
Under the Public Assistance Program, affected local governments and certain private non-profit entities are eligible to apply for federal funds to pay 75 percent of the approved cost for debris removal, emergency services related to the disaster, and repairing or replacing damaged public facilities, such as roads, buildings and utilities. The funding may be used to cover overtime payroll, equipment costs, and material purchases. The program also encourages protection from future damage by providing assistance for implementing hazard mitigation measures.
Eligible private, nonprofit institutions include educational, utility, emergency medical, custodial care and those facilities providing essential service of a governmental nature. Volunteer fire departments, nonprofit utilities, water districts, community centers, museums, zoos, and libraries may also be eligible.
To assist public jurisdictions in applying for funding, state and federal officials are conducting informational briefings for interested applicants.
On March 1, 2003, FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. FEMA's continuing mission within the new department is to lead the effort to prepare the nation for all hazards and effectively manage federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates proactive mitigation activities, trains first responders, and manages Citizen Corps, the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.