WASHINGTON - Federal disaster funds have been made available for South Carolina to help communities recover from the effects of a crippling ice storm that struck the state last December, the head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today.
Acting FEMA Director R. David Paulison said the assistance was authorized by President Bush under a major disaster declaration issued following a review of FEMA's analysis of the state's request for federal aid. The declaration covers damage to public property from the storm that occurred December 15-16, 2005.
After the declaration, Paulison designated the counties of Anderson, Cherokee, Greenville, Laurens, Oconee, Pickens and Spartanburg eligible for federal funds 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.
In addition, Paulison said federal funding 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.
Marianne Jackson of FEMA was named by Paulison to coordinate federal recovery operations. Jackson 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. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.