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 Idaho to help communities in Nez Perce County recover from the effects of drenching rains that hit the area during May.
Michael D. Brown, Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Emergency Preparedness and Response, said President Bush authorized the assistance under a major disaster declaration issued following a review of the agency’s analysis of the state’s request for federal aid. The declaration covers damage to public property from heavy rains and flooding that occurred over the period of May 6-20.
After the declaration, Brown designated Nez Perce County, including the parts of the Nez Perce Reservation within the county, 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 repair or replacement of damaged facilities.
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.
Lee Champagne of FEMA was named by Brown to coordinate the federal relief effort. Champagne 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.