KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Residents of Nebraska have witnessed how disasters threaten more than personal property and homes. The severe storms, flooding and tornadoes that occurred May 4 through May 19 damaged public buildings, utility systems, bridges, roads, and culverts, not to mention disrupting communications and emergency services.
President Bush signed a federal disaster declaration on June 6, 2007 authorizing the release of grants through the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Public Assistance (PA) program to help affected communities recover.
"The Presidential declaration opens the door to FEMA grants that help public entities with reconstruction of their infrastructure," said Lee Rosenberg, Federal Coordinating Officer for the disaster. "The PA program strengthens communities which do not have the means or resources to bounce back from a disaster, helping to ensure a community's important public needs are met."
Federal funding is available to state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis in the counties of Blaine, Brown, Cass, Custer, Gage, Garfield, Jefferson, Johnson, Keya Paha, Knox, Loup, Nemaha, Otoe, Pawnee, Richardson, Saline, Saunders and Wheeler. This aid will be used for repairing or replacing damaged public facilities, such as roads, bridges, utilities, buildings, schools, recreational areas and similar publicly owned property.
Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.
Application procedures for local governments will be explained at a series of federal/state applicant briefings with locations to be announced in the affected area by recovery officials. Approved public repair projects are paid through the state from funding provided by FEMA and other participating federal agencies
FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.