PORTSMOUTH, N.H. -- Gov. Craig R. Benson signed a federal/state agreement yesterday that paves the way for the release of disaster funds for snow removal expenses incurred after last December's record snowfall. The event was held at the State House in Concord.
Signing on behalf of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was Kenneth L. Horak, Acting Director, Region I.
"Eight counties in our state were hit hard by the storms," Gov. Benson said. "Thanks to both President Bush and FEMA, we can get the funds to the communities that need them most."
The FEMA Public Assistance program reimburses 75 percent of eligible snow removal expenses, including de-icing, salting and sanding of roads, and overtime for emergency protective services. State and local governments share the remaining 25 percent of the costs.
Officials from FEMA and the N.H. Department of Safety's Bureau of Emergency Management are currently completing a series of workshops to explain the procedures for requesting assistance to officials in the affected counties. The eight counties are Belknap, Carroll, Cheshire, Coos, Grafton, Hillsborough, Merrimack, and Sullivan.
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 efforts, trains first responders, and manages Citizen Corps, the National Flood Insurance Program, and the U.S. Fire Administration.