BATON ROUGE, La. -- East Feliciana, Franklin, Lafourche and Richland parishes have been added to the original 22 parishes receiving federal funding to reimburse necessary emergency protective measures for potential flooding under President Obama’s emergency disaster declaration issued on May 6.
The emergency declaration authorizes the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency to support all disaster relief efforts in areas of Louisiana affected by flooding beginning on April 25, 2011, and continuing. Specifically, 22 parishes (listed below) were included in the declaration, authorizing FEMA to provide appropriate assistance and resources to the state to save lives and to protect property, public health and safety throughout these communities.
An amendment to the emergency declaration authorizes FEMA to provide cost share funding under the Public Assistance to all 26 parishes.
“FEMA is responding to the needs of state and local officials as they continue to work this emergency with the intent of alleviating hardships to the affected local population,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Gerry Stolar, the head of FEMA operations for this emergency declaration.
In addition to the four recently added parishes, the 22 parishes previously made eligible for assistance are Avoyelles, Ascension, Assumption, Catahoula, Concordia, East Carroll, Iberia, Iberville, LaSalle, Madison, Pointe Coupee, East Baton Rouge, St. Charles, St. James, St. John, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Mary, Tensas, Terrebonne, West Baton Rouge and West Feliciana. Additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.
While an emergency declaration is a pre-incident declaration, allowing initial emergency protective measures to be funded by FEMA, a disaster declaration, if issued, follows a disaster and activates a broader array of federal programs to assist related response and recovery efforts. Not all programs, however, are activated for every disaster declaration. The determination of which programs are activated, such as FEMA’s Individual Assistance Program, is based on the needs found during disaster damage assessments.
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.