WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Federal disaster funds have been made available for California to supplement state and local recovery efforts in San Joaquin County struck by floods stemming from a levee break that occurred early last month, 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 President Bush authorized the aid under a major disaster declaration signed last night following a review of FEMA's analysis of the state's request for federal assistance. The declaration covers damage to public property from flooding beginning on June 3.
After the President's action, Brown designated San Joaquin County eligible for federal funding to pay state and affected local governments 75 percent of the approved costs for debris removal, emergency services related to the floods, and the repair or replacement of damaged public facilities.
Brown said federal funds also will be available to the county on a cost-shared basis for approved projects that reduce future disaster risks. He indicated that additional designations may be made later if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.
William L. Carwile, III of FEMA was named by Brown to coordinate the federal relief effort. Carwile said that procedures for requesting assistance will be explained at a series of applicant briefings at locations to be announced shortly in the affected area.
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.