KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is already moving to assist public entities in seven counties in Missouri struck by severe storms and flooding Aug. 19-21.
On Sept. 21, President Bush signed a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration authorizing FEMA's Public Assistance (PA) funding for seven counties - Dade, Dallas, Greene, Laclede, Lawrence, Polk and Webster - in southwest Missouri. The declaration is the second in Missouri for mid-year storms. PA funding goes to public agencies as needed and warranted to repair roads, buildings and other public facilities damaged in a disaster.
"Our Public Assistance teams are already in place in this region due to other declared disasters in Missouri and Nebraska," said Federal Coordinating Officer Michael Parker, in charge of the disaster recovery for FEMA in the newest counties declared for aid. "We have four teams ready to meet with applicants as soon as requests for assistance are received."
"The federal-state-local partnership for disaster recovery is on track in northern Missouri and we expect to see the same positive effort for southwest Missouri, said State Coordinating Officer Ron Reynolds, in charge of the state response in the disaster region. "We are already moving forward to develop projects with local governments in the newly declared counties."
Parker said FEMA has already obligated more than $6 million in federal reimbursements for disaster-related damage to public infrastructure in northwest Missouri as a result of the summer storms this year and subsequent flooding. The new disaster is expected to generate additional funding to the state for eligible projects in the southern part of the state.
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 affected area will be explained at applicant briefings conducted by the State Emergency Management Agency in the disaster area during the first week of October.
The disaster declaration is the third for the state this year. On Jan. 16, 2007, the president authorized assistance in 34 counties in the state as a result of winter ice storms Jan. 12-22. On June 11, a declaration brought aid to counties in northwest Missouri impacted by storms and flooding May 5-18.
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.