WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Federal disaster funds have been made available for Arizona to help local governments recover from the effects of another round of severe storms that struck the state in February, the head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today.
Michael D. Brown, Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Emergency Preparedness and Response, said the assistance was authorized by President Bush under a major disaster declaration issued following a review of FEMA’s analysis of the state’s request for federal aid. The declaration covers damage to public property from severe storms and flooding that occurred over the period of February 10-15. The state was declared for federal disaster assistance earlier this year for the series of storms that happened in late December and early January.
After the declaration, Brown designated the following jurisdictions eligible for federal funds 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 counties of Gila, Graham, Greenlee, Mohave, Pinal, and Yavapai, and the Havasupai Tribe, the Hopi Tribe, the San Carlos Apache Tribe and the portion of the Navajo Tribal Nation within the state.
In addition, Brown said federal funding will be available on a cost-shared basis for approved hazard mitigation projects in the counties of Gila, Graham, Greenlee, Maricopa, Mohave, Pinal and Yavapai, and the Gila River Indian Community, the Havasupai Tribe, the Hopi Tribe, the San Carlos Apache Tribe and the portion of the Navajo Tribal Nation within the state. He indicated that additional designations may be made later if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.
Sandy Coachman of FEMA was named by Brown to coordinate federal recovery operations. Coachman 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.