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 authorized for Illinois to supplement emergency response efforts for the record snowstorm that struck the state in late December.
Michael D. Brown, Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Emergency Preparedness and Response, said President Bush ordered the aid under an emergency declaration issued after a review of the agency's analysis of the state’s request for federal assistance. The declaration covers jurisdictions with record and near-record snowfall from the storm that occurred over the period of December 21-23, 2004.
Following the President’s action, Brown designated 16 counties eligible for federal funding to pay part of the cost for emergency protective measures undertaken as a result of the snowstorm. This includes state and local government operations needed to protect public health and safety and to prevent damage to public or private property.
The designated counties include Edwards, Franklin, Gallatin, Hamilton, Hardin, Jackson, Johnson, Lawrence, Massac, Pope, Richland, Saline, Union, Wabash, White and Williamson.
Under the emergency declaration, FEMA will provide reimbursement to state and local government agencies for 75 percent of the total eligible costs of equipment, contracts and personnel overtime related to emergency services in dealing with the snow over a 48-hour period. These are the crucial hours when work crews clear snow from emergency routes and roads to critical facilities to permit the passage of emergency vehicles. Related emergency protective measures such as sanding and salting will also be eligible for reimbursement.
Brown named Scott Wells of FEMA to coordinate the federal assistance in the affected areas.
FEMA prepares the nation for all hazards and manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates mitigation activities, trains first responders, works with state and local emergency managers, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.