HONOLULU, Hawaii -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Hawaii Department of Defense, Civil Defense Division, have joined forces to provide federal and state assistance to public infrastructure located in the City and County of Honolulu for damages resulting from severe storms and flash flooding on Oct. 30, 2004.
At the request of Governor Linda Lingle, President George W. Bush issued a major disaster declaration for the city and county of Honolulu on Feb.1. Based on that declaration, the state and local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations can apply for reimbursement of eligible costs. FEMA reimbursement covers emergency response costs, emergency protective measures, debris removal, and the repair or replacement of damaged public facilities.
“We will be actively working with potential applicants like the University of Hawaii, Manoa Campus, to move the process along,” said Vice Director of Civil Defense and the State Coordinating Officer Ed Teixeira. “State Civil Defense and FEMA representatives will begin by briefing potential applicants at meetings soon.”
FEMA’s Public Assistance program provides grants on a 75 to 25 percent cost-sharing basis. The 25 percent is shared between the state of Hawaii and local entities with the Hawaii State Civil Defense acting as administrator of the grants.
“We will work closely with the state to expedite the process,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Michael Karl. “We will be meeting with the University of Hawaii soon to determine how our activities can best meet their needs.”
The federal disaster declaration also makes funding available for hazard mitigation grants. Working in cooperation with the state of Hawaii, FEMA can fund cost-effective mitigation measures that would reduce or eliminate the threat of future damage to a facility damaged during the disaster. The program may provide a state with up to 7.5 percent of the total disaster grants awarded by FEMA.
State Civil Defense coordinates state-wide emergency preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation programs for a wide range of natural and human-caused threats and disasters including terrorism. As part of its responsibilities, State Civil Defense manages state and federal grants provided to local communities for disaster recovery and mitigation.
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.