SALEM, Ore. -- As a result of President Bush's disaster declaration for Public Assistance following the severe winter storms that occurred December 26, 2003 through January 14, 2004, federal disaster help is available to some private non-profit organizations (PNPs).
PNPs that had damages or losses from the storm are encouraged to call the Public Assistance Helpline at 1-877-365-1016 for referral to either the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Public Assistance Program or the U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The toll-free line is available Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
PNPs that provide essential governmental services are eligible for disaster recovery assistance. At the time of application, FEMA will classify the essential governmental service as either critical or non-critical.
Eligible PNP facilities that provide critical services may apply for a grant through FEMA's Public Assistance program by completing both a Request for Public Assistance and a PNP questionnaire. Some examples of PNP facilities in this category are those that provide power, water, sewer, wastewater treatment, communications, emergency medical care and fire or rescue services.
While eligible PNP facilities that provide non-critical services apply to FEMA and complete a Request for Public Assistance and PNP questionnaire, they will also need to apply to the U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for a low-interest disaster loan to cover property damages. If SBA cannot approve a loan or meet all the PNP needs, the applicant will be referred back to FEMA. Some examples of PNP facilities in this category are food kitchens, homeless shelters, museums, libraries, youth programs, YMCAs and YWCAs.
The deadline to apply to FEMA for Public Assistance is March 19, 2004. The SBA disaster assistance deadline is April 19, 2004. PNP applicants may contact SBA toll-free at 1-800-488-5323.
Oregon counties included in the disaster declaration are: Baker, Benton, Clackamas, Clatsop, Columbia, Deschutes, Douglas, Gilliam, Hood River, Jefferson, Lake, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Malheur, Marion, Morrow, Multnomah, Polk, Sherman, Tillamook, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa, Wasco, and Yamhill.
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 the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.