HOLYOKE, Mass. -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has obligated $32,058,172 to reimburse seven Massachusetts counties for eligible costs associated with their response to the December 11 through December 18, 2008, ice storm. This amount represents the 75% federal share of funding for the work. The remaining 25% of the cost is the responsibility of the 272 Massachusetts communities, eligible private-non-profits, and state agencies that applied for federal aid through FEMA's Public Assistance (PA) program.
Funds are made available to the Commonwealth which then allocates money 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. Applicants are provided contracts by MEMA and money begins to flow after those contracts are signed and returned to MEMA.
"We have worked in close collaboration with MEMA to evaluate the damages and get funding to the communities that were so hard-hit by this unusual storm," says Mark H. Landry, FEMA's Federal Coordinating Officer.
FEMA public assistance grants may cover 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.
"We are anxious to complete the recovery process because we know how difficult this period has been for many towns in the state," said MEMA Director Don Boyce. "We urge them to return their contracts to us as quickly as possible so we can get money back into their hands."
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.