ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Three State/Federal disaster public assistance field teams will begin working this week in the Matanuska-Susitna and Denali Boroughs and areas in the Chugach Rural Educational Attendance Area (REAA) to help local officials recoup costs associated with infrastructure damages or losses that occurred during the August storm.
The Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHS&EM) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) joint field team visits come ten days after President Bush signed a disaster declaration that released federal funds to help the State recover from the Aug. 15-25 severe storms, flooding, landslides and mudslides.
“With the Oct. 16 presidential declaration, government entities in the declared area can now apply for help with costs incurred because of the August storm,” said Bill Lokey, Federal Coordinating Officer for the disaster. “Assistance is also available to certain private non-profit groups that provide a governmental type service.”
The first step toward providing assistance will be a State-sponsored briefing for applicants.
“The State and FEMA will conduct briefings to explain the public assistance process to applicants,” said DHS&EM’s State Coordinating Officer Jim Butchart. “Applicants will be notified of their briefing date, time and location through their emergency management offices.”
FEMA’s Public Assistance program helps public agencies respond to disasters, recover from their impact, and mitigate against future disasters. Public Assistance grants reimburse State and local governments, tribal authorities, and certain private non-profit organizations for eligible costs associated with debris removal and emergency measures, as well as permanent repairs and replacement of public buildings and infrastructure. DHS&EM is the State’s grants manager for all projects.
FEMA manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident, initiates mitigation activities and manages the National Flood Insurance Program. FEMA works closely with State and local emergency managers, law enforcement personnel, firefighters, and other first responders. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.