PASADENA, Calif. -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) today added three southern California counties for disaster assistance to local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations.
Federal Coordinating Officer David Fukutomi said, “I am happy to be able to announce that Undersecretary Michael D. Brown has approved the addition of Kern, San Bernardino and San Diego counties to the four original ones that the President included his declaration (Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and Ventura.) We will now be able to reimburse local governments for many of their costs responding to and recovering from the storms of February 16th to 23rd.”
As a result, all seven counties that Governor Schwarzenegger included in his request to the President for a federal disaster declaration are now covered. They have been approved for both Public Assistance (to local governments and nonprofits) and Hazard Mitigation (projects to prevent or minimize future disaster damage.)
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.