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 made available for Nebraska to help local governments recover from the effects of severe storms that struck the south-central part of the state last month.
Michael D. Brown, Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Emergency Preparedness and Response, said President Bush authorized the aid 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 storms and flooding that occurred May 11-12.
After the President’s action, Brown designated the following 11counties 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: Adams, Buffalo, Fillmore, Frontier, Hall, Hamilton, Howard, Kearney, Merrick, Seward and York.
In addition, Brown said federal funds will be available to 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.
Thomas J. Costello of FEMA was named by Brown to coordinate the federal relief effort. Costello 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.