COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Disaster assistance for Vinton County has been expanded to include aid for local governments affected by the recent storms and flooding in Ohio, the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today.
Michael D. Brown, FEMA Director and Under Secretary for Emergency Preparedness and Response at the Department of Homeland Security said the additional assistance was approved following a review of damage data gathered by federal and state disaster recovery officials. Under the original declaration issued by President Bush on September 19, the county was designated for aid to individuals, families and business owners.
“Our continuing commitment is not only to help meet the recovery needs of devastated families and businesses,” Lee Champagne, FEMA federal coordinating officer, said, “but to ensure that the vital community services they also depend on are restored as quickly and efficiently as possible.”
Under the expanded assistance, FEMA said affected local governments and certain private non-profit organizations in Vinton County are eligible to apply for federal funds to pay 75 percent of the approved cost for debris removal, emergency services related to the disaster, and repairing or replacing damaged public facilities, such as roads, buildings and utilities. State and federal disaster officials will meet with community leaders next week to explain the public assistance process.
The disaster-designated counties for Public Assistance (Infrastructure) are Athens, Belmont, Carroll, Columbiana, Gallia, Guernsey, Harrison, Jefferson, Lawrence, Mahoning, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, Perry, Stark, Trumbull, Tuscarawas, Vinton and Washington.
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.