COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Local governments in 13 Ohio counties will be eligible for federal disaster assistance to help rebuild public property damaged by the flooding in the state between May 18and June 21, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today.
The assistance was approved after a review of damage data gathered by federal and state disaster officials, said Lee Champagne, federal coordinating officer for the disaster recovery.
“Ensuring that vital community services are restored as quickly as possible is part of our continuing commitment to help Ohio achieve a full and lasting recovery,” Champagne said.
The counties approved for infrastructure assistance are Carroll, Columbiana, Cuyahoga, Guernsey, Harrison, Hocking, Jefferson, Knox, Medina, Noble, Perry, Portage and Summit.
Under the expanded assistance, affected local governments in the designated counties can apply for federal funds to pay 75 percent of the approved cost for debris removal, disaster-related emergency services, and repairing or replacing damaged public facilities such as roads, buildings and utilities.
The funds were authorized under the major disaster declaration issued by President Bush June 3 and are made available through FEMA’s Public Assistance Program for state and local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations. The grants allow them to respond to disasters, to recover from their impact and to mitigate impact from future disasters. Procedures for requesting assistance will be explained at a series of applicant briefings for local officials.
The Ohio EMA coordinates State assistance and resources during an emergency and prepares the state for all hazards through planning, training, exercises and funding activities at the state and local level. This includes providing assistance to individuals and administering state and federal assistance to individuals and governmental entities recovering from disaster-related damage and costs. Ohio EMA coordinates homeland security funding, weapons of mass destruction training, anti-terrorism planning and training, and assists local and state agencies determine homeland strategies and priorities.
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.