WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) today designated the Kansas counties of Geary, Shawnee and Wyandotte eligible for federal disaster funds to help local governments recover from the effects of a recent series of severe storms.
Michael D. Brown, Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Emergency Preparedness and Response, said President Bush authorized the assistance under a major declaration issued following a review of the agency’s analysis of the state’s request for federal aid. Brown made the designations immediately after the declaration, which covers damage to public property from severe storms, tornadoes and flooding beginning June 12.
Under the declaration, Brown said the state and affected local governments and certain private non-profit organizations in the designated counties are eligible to apply for federal funding to pay 75 percent of the approved cost for the repair or replacement of damaged facilities. The funding also covers eligible state and local government costs for debris removal and emergency services related to the disaster, including requested emergency work undertaken by the federal government.
In addition, Brown said federal funds will be provided for the state on a cost-shared for approved projects that reduce future disaster risks. He indicated that damage surveys are continuing and additional counties may be designated for assistance later based on the results of the assessments.
Philip Parr of FEMA was named by Brown to coordinate the federal relief effort. Parr 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.