COLUMBIA, Mo. -- St. Francois County is now eligible to receive all categories of Public Assistance under the major disaster declaration issued by President Bush on April 5, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
"We are committed to working with our counterparts on the state and local levels to help communities rebuild," said Federal Coordinating Officer Thomas J. Costello. "We look forward to continuing to provide necessary resources on Missouri 's path to recovery."
This decision was based on the work of joint preliminary damage assessment teams made up of local, state and federal personnel ? who were on the ground shortly after the tornadoes, storms and flooding between March 30 and April 3. Pemsicot County was previously designated for this type of assistance under the disaster declaration.
"This additional assistance is vital for Missouri communities rebuilding following the tornadoes, storms and flooding," said Ron Reynolds, director of the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency. "We will continue to work together with our FEMA partners to ensure local governments receive every dollar for which they are eligible."
This expanded public assistance allows FEMA to provide state and local agencies and certain non-profit organizations, including utility cooperatives in these counties, with funds for qualified projects to restore and repair infrastructure. The state manages the grants for all projects. FEMA pays 75 percent of the cost of projects and the state and/or applying agency is responsible for the remaining 25 percent.
FEMA manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates mitigation activities, works with state and local emergency managers, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.