OTTAWA, Ill. -- Disaster assistance for LaSalle and Putnam Counties has been expanded to include aid for local governments affected by the April tornadoes and severe storms, the head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today.
Michael D. Brown, Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Emergency Preparedness and Response, said the additional assistance was approved following a thorough review of damage data gathered by federal and state disaster recovery officials. Under the original declaration issued by President Bush on April 23, the counties were designated for aid to individuals, families and business owners.
“Our continuing commitment is not only to help meet the recovery needs of devastated families and businesses,” Brown said, “ but to ensure that the vital community services they also depend on are restored as quickly and efficiently as possible.”
Under the expanded assistance, FEMA said affected local governments in LaSalle and Putnam Counties are eligible to apply for federal funds to pay 75 percent of the approved cost for debris removal, emergency services related to the disaster, and repairing or replacing damaged public facilities.
Procedures for requesting the assistance will be explained at a series of applicant briefings for local officials at a location 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 the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.