FRANKFORT, Ky. -- Kentucky disaster recovery officials estimate that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will reimburse state and local governments and certain eligible non-profit agencies more than $16 million for disaster-related outlays caused by the severe storms that raked the state between May 16 and June 18.
The funding will come from FEMA’s Public Assistance (PA) program that provides supplemental grant assistance for the repair, replacement or restoration of disaster-damaged facilities, or for emergency measures undertaken during a disaster that meet the PA definition of providing essential services of a governmental nature.
The PA program reimburses eligible public sector and certain private non-profit organizations for 75 percent of the costs associated with essential infrastructure repair and replacement projects not covered by insurance. The remaining portion, 25 percent, is funded by state and local sources.
“The state and FEMA are working together to help Kentucky recover from this disaster and repairing public facilities like schools, roads and parks are a vital part of our effort,” said Michael Bolch, overseeing FEMA recovery efforts in the state.
According to Malcolm Franklin, Director of the Kentucky Division of Emergency Management, PA officials will work closely with prospective applicants in the 39 counties eligible for state/FEMA reimbursement. “This funding replenishes the drained financial resources of communities hit hard by uninsured disaster-related costs,” Franklin said. “It enables them to get back on a sound footing and continue to provide essential services.”
PA funding covers emergency work such as debris removal from public roads and emergency protective services including additional police, fire and other personnel required during the disaster. To qualify for reimbursement, the work must be completed within six months of the disaster declaration.
Funding for permanent work covers such categories as repairing or replacing public facilities and/or public areas including roads, bridges, ditches and culverts; and for water control facilities, utility distribution systems and other vital community services.
State and local officials have been attending state/FEMA applicant briefings to learn program requirements. They are also completing aid applications and establishing connections with PA program officials who will guide and assist them throughout the process. There is a 30-day deadline following a PA disaster designation for applications to be submitted.
The 39 counties eligible for PA are: Boyd, Breathitt, Carter, Clay, Daviess, Elliott, Estill, Fleming, Floyd, Franklin, Grayson, Hancock, Harlan, Henderson, Henry, Jackson, Johnson, Knott, Knox, Laurel, Lawrence, Lee, Leslie, Letcher, Lincoln, Magoffin, Martin, Menifee, Morgan, Ohio, Oldham, Owsley, Perry, Pike, Powell, Pulaski, Rowan, Webster and Wolfe.
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.