LAREDO, Texas -- The Public Assistance (PA) process, targeting all categories of work for damages inflicted by Hurricane Alex and subsequent flooding in late June, is well underway in Texas. The PA declaration was amended today to include Calhoun County.
The PA program is helping state and local governments as well as certain Private Nonprofits (PNPs) recover from the disaster.
"There's a process and timeline in place to address the eligibility of damages," explained FEMA Public Assistance Officer Melinda Dunn. "It may seem complex, but there are often big dollar amounts involved. We partner with the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) to assist applicants in getting the right assistance."
There are seven categories of work, encompassing debris removal, emergency protective measures, and permanent restoration of infrastructure and damaged roads and bridges. Categories of work include the following:
- Category A: Removal of debris, including clearance of trees, woody debris, and building wreckage; sand, mud, silt, and gravel; and other disaster-related material on public property.
- Category B: Measures taken before, during, and after a disaster to save lives and protect public health and safety.
- Category C: Roads, bridges, and associated features, such as shoulders, ditches, culverts, lighting and signs.
- Category D: Water control facilities, including drainage channels, pumping facilities, and the emergency repair of levees. Permanent repair of flood control works is the responsibility of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
- Category E: Buildings including their contents and systems.
- Category F: Utility distribution systems, such as water treatment and delivery systems, power generation facilities and distribution lines, and sewage collection and treatment facilities.
- Category G: Public parks, recreational facilities and other facilities, including playgrounds, swimming pools and cemeteries.
Soon after a declaration is made, an applicant can send in a Request for Public Assistance (RPA) to the state. Thursday, Sept. 2 is the deadline for state and local agencies and certain private nonprofits to apply for PA in Cameron, Hidalgo, Jim Hogg, Jim Wells, Maverick, Starr, Webb, Willacy and Zapata counties.
Monday, Sept. 13 is the deadline for state and local agencies and certain private nonprofit organizations to apply for Public Assistance in Cottle, Floyd, Foard, Garza, Lamb, Lubbock, Lynn, Motley and Terry counties.
Friday, Sept. 17 is the deadline for state and local agencies and certain private non-profit organizations to apply for Public Assistance in Dawson County.
Friday, Oct. 1 is the deadline for state and local agencies and certain private non-profit organizations to apply for Public Assistance in Calhoun County.
"An RPA needs to be completed in order for federal assistance to be available," said TDEM Public Assistance Officer Monique Ortiz. “Due to the flooding, we anticipate about 110 requests to be filed."
The PA process includes applicant briefings with designated county, city and eligible PNP organization officials followed by a kickoff meeting. The kickoff meetings are scheduled to be completed by Sept. 24. Applicants must identify and submit damages within 60 days of the FEMA kickoff meeting. Project worksheets are then written for each category of damage.
"Site inspections are conducted prior to writing the project worksheets," said Dunn. "We expect to process between 1,000 and 1,200 project worksheets f...