Nashville, Tenn. -- On October 7, the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) made funds available for Tennessee to assist state and local governments recover from the effects of recent severe storms and flooding that occurred over the period of September 16-20. This assistance will help fund repairs to damaged public property in Campbell, Carter, Clay, Cocke, Cumberland, Grundy, Hamilton, Jackson, Johnson, Meigs, Polk, Rhea and Roane counties.
“Applicant Briefings,” which are conducted to inform state and local agency officials about FEMA and state assistance and how to apply, were completed on October 14. Municipalities and agencies must now file their "Request for Public Assistance" with the state within 30 days after their county designated as eligible for assistance.
“Our program will assist local governments with recovery from the damage caused by Hurricane Ivan’s heavy rains,” said Holly Hollingsworth, Public Assistance Officer for FEMA. “In particular, FEMA has made funding available to reestablish normal transportation routes. Efforts include removing mudslide material that is blocking roadways and rebuilding roads destroyed by erosion. Additionally, we provide funding to restore electric, water and telephone service to affected victims quickly. Ultimately, we will assist in repairing other public facilities such as parks and damage to public buildings so that the devastation from Ivan in Tennessee will no longer be an inconvenience to any citizen.”
FEMA’s Public Assistance program provides 75 percent reimbursement for debris removal, the costs of emergency protective measures, and repairs to road systems and bridges, water control facilities, public buildings and contents, public utilities, parks, and recreational facilities.
Although designated disaster funds did not include assistance for individuals, Governor Phil Bredsen has asked the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to make low-interest disaster loans available to individuals, renters and businesses in some affected counties. That request is pending. Meanwhile, affected individuals should contact their insurance company immediately.
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.