KANSAS CITY, MO. -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is already moving to assist public entities in six counties in Nebraska affected by severe storms and flooding June 11-16.
On Aug. 29, President Bush signed a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration authorizing FEMA's Public Assistance (PA) funding for six counties - Arthur, Chase, Dundy, Keith, McPherson and Perkins. The declaration is the third since summer storms began hitting the Midwest in early May.
"Our Public Assistance teams are already in place, working with more than 300 applicants as a result of the previous declarations," said Federal Coordinating Officer Michael Parker, in charge of the disaster recovery for FEMA in the declared areas. "It will be a seamless process to incorporate these new counties into the process."
"The partnership we have in Nebraska with the federal, state and local governments has worked well to get disaster recovery moving ahead," said State Coordinating Officer Cindy Newsham, in charge of the state response in the disaster region. "We are already moving forward to develop projects with local governments in the six new counties."
Parker said FEMA has already obligated more than $4 million in federal reimbursements for disaster-related damage to public infrastructure as a result of the storms and subsequent flooding. The new disaster is expected to generate funding to the state for eligible projects.
Federal funding is available to state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis (75 percent federal) to reimburse eligible agencies for emergency protective services, debris removal and facility repairs. Approved public repair projects are paid to local governments through the state from funding provided by FEMA and other participating federal agencies.
Federal aid is also available on a cost-sharing basis (also 75 percent federal) for projects to increase protection against future events, either as a part of disaster recovery projects in the declared counties, or as stand-alone projects under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program available to all counties and tribes in the state.
Application procedures for local governments in the six new counties will be explained at state/federal applicant briefings in the affected area in mid-September.
Nineteen Nebraska counties also received a PA declaration from the President on June 6 for the storms and tornadoes May 4 ? 19. A July 24 declaration authorized PA funding in 15 counties, including three that were declared during the first go-round. Nebraska was also declared in January for severe snow and ice conditions.
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.