CORDELE, Ga. -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved Public Assistance funding for Warren, Webster and Wilkinson counties in Georgia to help local governments recover from damage associated with the severe storms and tornadoes that struck March 1-2, 2007.
The federal disaster declaration authorizes FEMA to pay 75 percent of costs that local governments incur for disaster recovery for debris removal, emergency protective services, damage to public buildings, and other activities related to disaster response. Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue announced March 8 an initial release of $3 million from the state’s emergency discretionary fund to cover a portion of the local governments’ 25 percent share of costs incurred in responding to the severe weather.
Public Assistance funding goes to local governments, state agencies and certain approved, private, nonprofit organizations, including public utilities, to assist them in the recovery. Federal funding is also available on a 75 percent cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide to increase protection against future events.
Twelve counties now qualify for Public Assistance: Baker, Clay, Crawford, McDuffie, Mitchell, Muscogee, Stewart, Sumter, Taylor, Warren, Webster and Wilkinson.
The three new counties added to the declaration were not declared for FEMA’s Individual Assistance program to households. Disaster survivors in Baker, Crawford, McDuffie, Mitchell, Sumter and Taylor counties may register for individual assistance by calling toll-free 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585 for the hearing or speech impaired. Online, applicants can register at www.fema.gov.
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.