WASHINGTON, D.C. ? The head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today that President Bush has authorized the use of federal disaster funds for Kentucky to help local governments recover from the effects of the winter storm and record snowfall that hit the state late last year.
Michael D. Brown, Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Emergency Preparedness and Response, said the President took the action under a major disaster declaration issued following a review of FEMA?s analysis of the state?s request for federal assistance. The declaration covers damage to public property from the storm that occurred December 21-23, 2004.
After the declaration, Brown designated 27 counties eligible for federal funding to pay the state and affected local governments and certain private non-profit organizations 75 percent of the approved costs for emergency work and the restoration of damaged facilities.
The designated counties include Ballard, Bracken, Breckinridge, Caldwell, Carlisle, Crittenden, Franklin, Fulton, Grant, Grayson, Hancock, Harrison, Hart, Hickman, Hopkins, Larue, Livingston, Lyon, McLean, Muhlenberg, Nelson, Owen, Pendleton, Robertson, Shelby, Union and Webster.
In addition, Brown said federal funding will be available to pay part of the cost for emergency protective measures undertaken as a result of record snowfall in the counties of Ballard, Breckinridge, Caldwell, Carlisle, Crittenden, Fulton, Hancock, Hickman, Hopkins, Livingston, McLean, Muhlenberg, Union and Webster.
Under the declaration, FEMA will reimburse the state and local government agencies in those 14 counties 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 passage of emergency vehicles. Related emergency protective measures such as sanding and salting also will be eligible for reimbursement.
Brown said federal funds also will be provided for the state on a cost-shared basis for approved projects that reduce future disaster risks. He indicated that additional designations may be made later if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.
Jesse Munoz of FEMA was named by Brown to coordinate the federal relief effort. Munoz said that procedures for requesting assistance will be explained at a series of applicant briefings at locations to be announced shortly in the affected area.
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.