FRANKFORT, Ky. -- Gov. Steve Beshear's request for Estill and Fulton counties to be designated for public assistance under the recent federal disaster declaration for damage caused by storms and flooding in May has been approved. Government agencies and certain private nonprofit organizations in these counties are now eligible to apply for help with their disaster costs.
Public assistance grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are awarded to help local governments pay for emergency protective measures and permanent work. Emergency measures include such items as police overtime, debris clearance to open vital roads and rights-of-way, and removal of threats to public safety. Permanent work includes repairing and rebuilding of roads, public buildings, utilities, and parks and recreation facilities to their pre-disaster function. In some cases, additional funds may be provided to help prevent the same type of damage from a future storm.
FEMA approves grants and provides technical assistance to the commonwealth and applicants. The commonwealth educates applicants about the program and disburses grants. Local and commonwealth applicants are responsible for identifying storm and flood damage, providing documentation and managing the funded projects.
FEMA generally pays 75 percent of public assistance project costs, with the remaining share coming from local and state government.
With the addition of Estill and Fulton counties, the total number of counties eligible for the public assistance program as a result of the May storms and flooding has increased to 24. Ballard, Breathitt, Carlisle, Clay, Crittenden, Floyd, Grayson, Hickman, Jackson, Knott, Lawrence, Lee, Leslie, Letcher, Madison, Magoffin, Marshall, Owsley, Perry, Pike, Russell, and Trigg counties were previously designated.
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.