NASHVILLE, Tenn -- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) today amended its disaster declaration for Tennessee for the severe storms and flooding in September storms by adding Unicoi County to the 13 already eligible for Public Assistance to state and local governments.
Eligibility was granted based on a review of damage data gathered by federal and state and local disaster recovery officials. The 13 counties previously declared eligible under the major disaster declaration on October 7 are – Campbell, Carter, Clay, Cocke, Cumberland, Grundy, Hamilton, Jackson, Johnson, Meigs, Polk, Rhea and Roane.
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. Private non-profit organizations may qualify for assistance to restore certain types of facilities, including educational, utility, emergency, medical, custodial care and other facilities that provide essential government types of services.
Federal, state and local teams inspect disaster-related damage, examine expenses identified by the state or local representatives, and prepare reports which outline the scope of repair work needed and the estimated restoration or replacement cost.
“Applicant Briefings” are conducted to inform agency officials about assistance available and how to apply for it. Municipalities and agencies must file their "Request for Public Assistance" with the state within 30 days after their county or tribe is designated as eligible for assistance. FEMA and state teams also meet with potential applicants individually in "Kickoff Meetings," where damages are discussed, needs assessed, and a plan of action put in place.
For insurable structures within special flood hazard areas (SFHA), primarily buildings, assistance from FEMA is reduced by the amount of insurance settlement that could have been obtained under a standard National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policy. For structures located outside of a SFHA, FEMA will reduce the amount of eligible assistance by any available insurance proceeds.
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.