LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Indiana state and local agencies and certain private non-profit organizations that are eligible for federal disaster assistance are running out of time to apply.
Public Assistance (PA) funds for reimbursement or restoration are available in thirteen Indiana counties as part of a presidential disaster declaration for floods that occurred Jan. 7 ? March 14. These funds are for expenses or damage incurred during the disaster and cover items such as debris removal, emergency protective measures, repair or replacement of roads, bridges, water control facilities, buildings, equipment, utilities, parks and other facilities.
To apply, eligible agencies and organizations must first submit a Request for Public Assistance (RPA) to the State of Indiana.
To date, 62 RPAs have been submitted, but officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) believe there are many other eligible organizations that have yet to apply. No RPA will be considered after the deadline date of May 25.
?Disasters such as this winter?s floods are an unexpected hit to an agency?s budget,? said Joseph E. Wainscott, Jr., executive director of IDHS. ?Without this assistance, many agencies will be pushed into the red.?
?We urge any agency or organization that may be eligible to contact their local emergency manager,? said Mike Smith, FEMA federal coordinating officer for the Indiana recovery. ?And be a good neighbor ? get on the phone and remind people in other agencies that this aid is available.?
PA funds are made available by FEMA on a cost sharing basis with FEMA picking up 75 percent of the tab. The remaining 25 percent of costs are the responsibility of the state/local agency or eligible non-profit organization.
The 13 counties eligible for public assistance are Benton, Carroll, Cass, Dekalb, Elkhart, Jasper, Kosciusko, Marshall, Newton, Noble, Pulaski, Starke and White.
Private non-profit organizations wishing to apply for PA must also complete an additional qualifying form to determine eligibility. The form can be found Online at www.in.gov/dhs. Once completed, the form should be faxed to FEMA/IDHS at 1-765-447-0608.
The main goal of FEMA?s Public Assistance program is to restore facilities to pre-disaster levels. However, there are funds available that allow certain projects to be rebuilt to a higher standard if it can be demonstrated the increased costs will save money in the future.
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.