WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Michael D. Brown, Department of Homeland Security’s Principal Federal Official for Hurricane Katrina response and head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency announced today that federal disaster aid has been made available to the state of Washington to supplement its efforts to assist evacuees from areas struck by Hurricane Katrina.
Assistance is available in response to a declaration by President George W. Bush to state and eligible local governments for emergency protective measures that are undertaken to save lives and protect public health and safety. Emergency protective measures, including direct federal assistance, will be provided at 100 percent federal funding.
This action provides emergency assistance and funds to those areas beginning on August 29, 2005, and continuing. All 39 counties of Washington are included in the designation.
Representing FEMA, Michael D. Brown, Under Secretary for Emergency Preparedness and Response, Department of Homeland Security, named John E. Pennington as the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected areas.
Secretary Brown has indicated that this is the largest response to a national disaster ever in the U.S., impacting 90,000 square miles in the gulf coast region. A total of 18 states plus Washington, D.C. are now included in emergency declarations.
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.