PASADENA, Calif. -- The Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced more than $1.2 million in public assistance funding to the California Highway Patrol for eligible costs incurred while providing emergency protective measures to save lives and protect health and safety during the recent Southern California wildfires.
Under the FEMA Public Assistance Program, state and local governments, Native American tribes, and certain private non-profit organizations in the disaster-designated counties may be eligible for assistance in paying for costs incurred in the disaster.
“It is important to understand that during a time of a national disaster, there are programs to provide the necessary assistance to provide for public safety concerns,” said Michael D. Brown, Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Emergency Preparedness and Response. “States should not have the added burden of worrying where funding will come from when they are recovering from a disaster.”
The Governor’s Office of Emergency Services administers the Public Assistance program. FEMA provided 75 percent of the projects $1.6 million cost, with the remaining 25 percent coming from the State of California.
The Public Assistance program funds essential government costs. The categories of expenses eligible for assistance can include debris removal; immediate protective measures, including overtime pay for emergency workers; repair of roads and bridges; repair of water control facilities; repair of public buildings and equipment; repair of public utilities; and repair of recreational facilities such as parks.
The Governor’s Office of Emergency Services coordinates overall state agency response to major disasters in support of local government. The office is responsible for ensuring California’s readiness to respond to and recover from natural, and manmade emergencies and for assisting local governments in their emergency preparedness, response, mitigation and recovery efforts.
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.