Sarasota, FL -- Pasco County has been added to the list of Florida counties eligible for federal disaster assistance following flooding that occurred in June, federal and state disaster recovery officials announced today. Peter Martinasco, U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), made the designation following a review of additional information regarding damages incurred because of the June flood.
The designation means that government agencies and certain private nonprofit organizations in Pasco County are eligible to apply for reimbursement by FEMA through the state for 75 percent of their costs related to the flood. This includes the costs of emergency services, debris removal and to repair or replace public facilities such as roads, bridges, buildings and utilities.
According to Craig Fugate, director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management, "To date, 27 applicants in the other seven counties covered by the president's major disaster declaration have applied for an estimated $18 million in federal and state assistance."
The addition of Pasco County brings to eight the number of Florida counties eligible for public assistance as a result of a major disaster declaration issued by President Bush on July 29, 2003, following a request by Gov. Jeb Bush. Other counties eligible for disaster assistance under the Presidential disaster declaration are: Charlotte, Citrus, DeSoto, Hardee, Levy, Manatee and Sarasota.
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.