TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Florida's State Emergency Response Team (SERT) announced today that Hamilton and Madison counties are now eligible for Public Assistance (PA) to help them recover from severe storms that began March 26. There are now 18 north Florida counties eligible for PA in the wake of these storms.
Last week Hamilton and Madison counties were deemed eligible for Individual Assistance, which enabled homeowners, renters and businesses to apply for federal disaster assistance from FEMA. Now eligible governments, state agencies and certain private not-for-profits (that provide public services) can apply and may qualify for disaster aid through FEMA's PA program. This may mean reimbursement for up to 75 percent of eligible expenses they incurred responding to and recovering from the storms.
Approval of the PA designation follows a joint review-by SERT and FEMA- of damage assessments completed for Hamilton and Madison counties. Counties eligible for PA may be reimbursed for storm-related costs for:
- Debris removal
- Emergency protective measures
- Repair/replacement of damaged roads and bridges
- Repair/replacement of water control facilities
- Repair/replacement of public buildings and their contents
- Repair/replacement of publicly owned utilities
- Repair/replacement of parks and recreation areas
The main goal of FEMA's PA program is to restore eligible facilities to their pre-disaster levels. Funds are available that allow certain projects to be rebuilt with cost-effective mitigation methods in a way that reduces future damage from disasters, thereby saving taxpayer dollars.
The 18 north Florida counties eligible for FEMA's PA program are: Bay, Calhoun, Escambia, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Hamilton, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Wakulla, Walton, and Washington.
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.