WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today that federal disaster aid has been made available for North Carolina to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area struck by Hurricane Ophelia.
R. David Paulison, Acting Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Emergency Preparedness and Response and Director of FEMA, said the assistance was authorized under a major disaster declaration issued for the state by President Bush. The declaration covers damage to public property from Hurricane Ophelia that occurred over the period of September 11 through 17, 2005.
Immediately after the President's action, Paulison designated the following counties eligible for federal funding to pay the state and affected local governments and certain private non-profit organizations 75 percent of approved costs for the restoration of damaged facilities: Brunswick, Carteret, Craven, Dare, Hyde, Jones, New Hanover, Onslow, Pamlico and Pender.
Paulison said the declaration also makes cost-shared funding available to the state 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.
Michael Karl of FEMA was named by Paulison to coordinate the federal relief effort. Karl 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.