WASHINGTON, D.C.-- President George W. Bush has declared a state of emergency exists in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and ordered Federal aid to supplement Commonwealth and local response efforts to help people evacuated from their homes due to Hurricane Katrina.
Assistance is available 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 67 counties of Pennsylvania are included in the designation.
Representing FEMA, Michael D. Brown, Under Secretary for Emergency Preparedness and Response, Department of Homeland Security, named Patricia G. Arcuri 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 26 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.