WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today that federal disaster funds have been made available for Vermont to help state and local governments recover from the effects of a series of severe storms that began last month.
Michael D. Brown, Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Emergency Preparedness and Response, said President Bush authorized the aid under a major disaster declaration issued following a review of FEMA’s analysis of the state’s request for federal assistance. The declaration covers damage to public property from severe storms and flooding that occurred over the period of August 12 through September 12.
After the President’s action, Brown designated the counties of Addison, Caledonia, Chittenden, Franklin, Lamoille, Orleans, and Windham eligible for federal funding to pay the state and affected local governments and certain private non-profit organizations 75 percent of the approved costs for the restoration of damaged facilities. The funding also covers eligible state and local government costs for debris removal and emergency services related to the disaster.
In addition, Brown said federal funds will be available to the seven designated counties 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.
Philip E. 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 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.