CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Lou Botta, federal coordinating officer for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Steve Kappa, state coordinating officer for the West Virginia Office of Emergency Services (WVOES) met with Representative Shelley Moore Capito in her Charleston office on Thursday, August 12. The FEMA/state officials updated Representative Capito on the status of the disasters declared in June and August of this year.
Several aspects of response and recovery were discussed, including repetitive flooding and pre-disaster mitigation efforts—major concerns in West Virginia. The partnership of FEMA and WVOES with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Small Business Administration and with other members of the federal family was also explored.
Representative Capito felt that her constituents were being well served through the recovery efforts. “FEMA and the state are doing a good job,“ she said.
President George W. Bush issued a major disaster declaration on August 6 for Fayette, Lincoln and Logan Counties. Individuals who live or work in the counties and suffered storm-related losses as a result of the July 22 storms should call the FEMA toll-free number, 1-800-621-3362 (FEMA) or TTY 1-800-462-7585 for the speech- or hearing-impaired to register for disaster aid.
A disaster declaration was also issued on June 7 for 24 West Virginia counties affected by the Memorial Day storms. FEMA/state assistance to applicants totaled $32.3 million. The application period for this disaster has closed.
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.