WASHINGTON ? The head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security?s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today that federal disaster funds have been made available for New Mexico to help local governments recover from the effects of flooding that struck the state earlier this month.
Michael D. Brown, Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Emergency Preparedness and Response, said the assistance was authorized under a major disaster declaration issued by President Bush following a review of the agency?s analysis of the state?s request for federal aid. The declaration covers damage to public property from severe storms and flooding that occurred over the period of April 2-11.
Brown said the President?s action allows the state and affected local governments in the counties of Bernalillo, Eddy, Mora and San Miguel to apply for federal funding to pay 75 percent of the eligible cost for debris removal, emergency services related to the disaster, and the repair or replacement of damaged public facilities. Federal funds also will be available to the state on a cost-shared basis for approved projects that reduce future disaster risks.
Brown indicated that additional designations may be made later if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments. He named Thomas Davies of FEMA to coordinate federal recovery operations.
Davies said that procedures for requesting assistance will be explained at a series of applicant briefings at locations to be announced shortly in the affected areas.
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.