MARION, Ill. -- State and local agencies and certain private non-profit organizations in some southern Illinois counties have very little time left to apply for federal disaster assistance.
Public Assistance (PA) funds for reimbursement or restoration are available in eight Illinois counties as a result of the severe storms, flooding and tornadoes that occurred May 8 and 9. The July 2 presidential disaster declaration provides funds for expenses or damage incurred during the disaster. Federal assistance 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 Illinois, according to officials from the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Applicants have 30 days from the date their county was designated eligible for PA to submit an RPA. Since some counties were designated on different dates, those counties also have different deadlines to submit.
The deadline for organizations in Franklin, Gallatin, Jackson, Randolph, Saline and Williamson counties to submit a Request for Public Assistance (RPA) to IEMA is Aug. 1, 2009. The deadline for organizations in Hamilton and Union counties to submit an RPA to IEMA is Aug. 21, 2009.
Organizations should contact IEMA at 217-782-8719 to submit an RPA. Additional information on the PA Program is available at www.iema.illinois.gov/iema/disaster/pa.htm.
To date, more than 100 RPAs have been submitted, but IEMA and FEMA officials believe there may be other eligible organizations that have yet to apply.
The main goal of FEMA's PA program is to restore eligible public facilities to their pre-disaster levels. Funds are available that allow certain projects to be rebuilt to a higher standard if it can be shown the increased costs will save taxpayers money in the future.
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders and 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.