Akron, OH - Disaster assistance for Ashland, Ashtabula, Erie, Geauga, Huron, Knox, Lake, Lorain, Lucas, Portage, Summit, and Trumbull Counties has been approved to aid local governments affected by the recent blackout in Ohio, the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today. Cuyahoga County had been previously designated for federal and state assistance on September 24.
Michael D. Brown, FEMA Director and Under Secretary for Emergency Preparedness and Response at The Department of Homeland Security, said the additional counties were added after reviewing the agency's analysis of the state's request for federal assistance.
According to Brown, the emergency declaration authorizes FEMA to provide up to $5 million in federal funds to reimburse state and affected local governments in affected counties at a 75 percent federal share for the costs of emergency measures undertaken to save lives, protect property, and insure public health and safety during the period of August 14-17.
Procedures for requesting the assistance will be explained at a series of applicant briefings for local officials at locations to be announced shortly by state and federal disaster officials.
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 Citizens Corps, the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.