AUSTIN, Texas -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recently obligated $5.1 million to further help the State of Texas recover from the effects of Hurricane Rita.
Through its Public Assistance Program, FEMA reimburses state and local government units for eligible and documented disaster-related expenses. Most of the approved Public Assistance projects fund the cost of debris removal, the restoration of damaged infrastructure, and emergency actions taken during and immediately after a disaster to protect life and property.
Following Rita, the State of Texas has received and administered more that $368 million in Public Assistance grants from FEMA to reimburse state and local government units. The latest obligation funds the following two projects on a cost-shared basis:
Texas Department of Transportation—$4 million for extraordinary expenses incurred for emergency protective measures during response and recovery efforts. The FEMA funding provides 100 percent reimbursement for materials, equipment usage and overtime labor.
Lamar University—$1.1 million for disaster-related expenses incurred at the Vincent-Beck Baseball Stadium, including the repair or replacement of outfield fences, field lights, scoreboard, office furnishings and baseball uniforms. The FEMA funding provides 90 percent of eligible repair costs, less insurance proceeds.
FEMA's Public Assistance reimbursement program is one way federal assistance gets to the state and local governments and to certain private nonprofit organizations. These reimbursement grants allow them to respond to disasters, to recover from their impact and to mitigate impact from future disasters. While these grants are aimed at governments and organizations – their final goal is to help a community and all its citizens recover from devastating natural disasters.
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.