COLUMBIA, Mo. -- As of March 28, nearly $16 million has been obligated to the state of Missouri by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) under its Public Assistance grant program for costs associated with the two severe winter storms that swept through the state.
This funding will assist with costs incurred for debris removal, emergency protective measures and the repair of public utility systems damaged in the November-December and the January storms. Missouri received two presidential disaster declarations as a result of the winter storms: the first for the storm that occurred between November 30 and December 2, 2006; the second, for storm damages that struck the state January 12-22, 2007.
In all, 44 Missouri counties and the City of St. Louis are declared for one or both events. Within those designated areas, more than 550 jurisdictions have submitted Requests for Public Assistance to the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA). State, local and federal agencies have pulled together to direct and fund clean up and repair operations across the counties declared federal disaster areas.
FEMA's Public Assistance program provides financial assistance to state and local governments and eligible non-profit organizations for disaster-related cleanup and repair of damaged facilities to pre-disaster condition. FEMA pays 75 percent of eligible costs; the state of Missouri and the applicant share the remaining amount. The State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) manages the program and reimburses applicants for their eligible costs.
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.