WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today that President Bush declared an emergency exists in the State of Missouri and ordered Federal aid to supplement State and local recovery efforts in the area struck by severe storms beginning on July 19, 2006, and continuing.
FEMA Director David Paulison said the President's action authorizes FEMA to coordinate all disaster relief efforts which have the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population. FEMA is also authorized to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures, authorized under Title V of the Stafford Act, to save lives, protect property and public health and safety, or to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe. The emergency declaration is for the independent City of St. Louis, the counties of Dent, Iron, Jefferson, St. Charles, St. Louis, and Washington.
Specifically, FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency. Debris removal and emergency protective measures, including direct Federal assistance, will be provided at 75 percent Federal funding.
Representing FEMA, Paulison named Thomas J. Costello as the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected area.
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. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.