HOLYOKE, MA. -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has now obligated in excess of $5 million to reimburse seven Massachusetts counties for the eligible costs associated with their response to the December 11, 2008 ice storm.
More than 277 Massachusetts communities and eligible private-non-profits in the seven declared counties, as well as several state agencies, have applied for federal assistance through FEMA's Public Assistance (PA) program. These entities applied for aid to offset the costs of eligible resources associated with the state and local response during the incident period which lasted from December 11 through December 18, 2008.
These funds are made available to the Commonwealth which then allocates the funds back to the applicants based upon the projects and associated costs submitted by the applicant and subsequently approved by the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and FEMA. The submission process is facilitated by kick-off meetings held by a FEMA project specialist and representatives from the entity applying. FEMA has held more than 258 kick-off meetings since January 14, 2009.
"This $5 million dollar milestone represents approximately ten percent of the total aid we anticipate to be requested by the eligible applicants," says Mark H. Landry, FEMA's Federal Coordinating Officer.
FEMA public assistance grants typically reimburse 75% of the eligible costs of projects that may include debris removal, emergency services, and repairing or replacing damaged public facilities. Eligible facilities include schools, libraries and other public buildings, roads, bridges, water control facilities, utilities and recreational facilities. Nonprofit organizations may also qualify for assistance to restore certain types of facilities that include educational, utility, emergency, medical, custodial care and others that provide essential government services. State and local applicants cover the remaining 25% of approved projects.
"Working in partnership with FEMA to reimburse these eligible applicants as quickly as possible remains a priority for all of us," said MEMA Director Don Boyce.
FEMA leads and supports the nation in a risk-based, comprehensive emergency management system of preparedness, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation, to reduce the loss of life and property and protect the nation from all hazards including natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and other man-made disasters.