WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) today announced that the President declared an emergency exists in the state of California and ordered federal aid to supplement state and local response efforts in the area struck by wildfires beginning on October 21, 2007, and continuing.
FEMA Administrator David Paulison said that the President's action authorizes FEMA to coordinate all disaster relief efforts which have the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population, and to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures, authorized under Title V of the Stafford Act, to save lives, protect property and public health and safety, and lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara, and Ventura counties.
Specifically, FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency. Emergency protective measures, including direct Federal assistance, will be provided at 75 percent federal funding.
Paulison named Michael J. Hall as the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected area.
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.