URBANDALE, IA -- Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division (HSEMD) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today that Mahaska and Polk Counties have been added to the Presidential Disaster Declaration for Iowa counties affected by recent severe winter weather. This presidential disaster enables public agencies to be eligible to receive federal disaster aid.
Public entities in 48 Iowa counties will be eligible for public assistance and debris removal as the result of severe winter weather that began February 23, 2007. The counties included in the declaration are Benton, Black Hawk, Boone, Bremer, Buchanan, Butler, Calhoun, Cedar, Chickasaw, Clinton, Des Moines, Fayette, Floyd, Franklin, Greene, Grundy, Hamilton, Hardin, Henry, Howard, Humboldt, Iowa, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Johnson, Jones, Keokuk, Lee, Linn, Louisa, Mahaska, Marion, Marshall, Mitchell, Muscatine, Pocahontas, Polk, Poweshiek, Story, Tama, Van Buren, Wapello, Washington, Winnebago, Winneshiek, Worth, and Wright. The declaration makes federal funds available to public entities for debris removal, emergency protective measures, and repairs to publicly-owned facilities and infrastructure.
While uninsured personal property losses were not high enough to request federal assistance for individual Iowans, the state has started the Iowa Assistance Program to fill that void for the neediest Iowans.
An application form for this State program with instructions is available on the front page of the Department of Human Services Web site dhs.iowa.gov or applicants may go to any county office of the Iowa Department of Human Services or to any county emergency management office. Completed applications will be taken to the county emergency management coordinator. A list of county emergency management offices is available at the Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Web site at www.iowahomelandsecurity.org Look for the Iowa Assistance Program link on the front page.
The Iowa Department of Human Services has set up a toll free hotline (866-434-4692) for those with questions.
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.