MIDLOTHIAN, Va. -- Public Assistance is now authorized for Louisa County, officials of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) announced.
President Obama's November 4 declaration of a major disaster authorized Individual Assistance for residents of Louisa County who suffered earthquake-related losses. That declaration has now been amended to authorize Public Assistance as well.
FEMA's Public Assistance (PA) program provides aid to state and local governments as well as certain private nonprofit organizations for emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities. Examples of eligible private nonprofit facilities are electric and water utilities, custodial care and medical organizations, and educational institutions.
In response to a request from Commonwealth Governor Bob McDonnell, the president and FEMA amended the declaration on November 10 to add FEMA's Public Assistance Program.
Approved public repair projects are paid through the state from funding provided by FEMA. PA is a cost-share reimbursement program. Grant funds are administered by the Commonwealth.
In Louisa County, the PA funds are expected to help offset costs of repairing the Thomas Jefferson Elementary School, the Louisa County High School, and other public facilities that sustained earthquake damages. Additionally, PA funds will help commonwealth and county governments recover costs of repairing damage to critical infrastructure, removing debris, and providing emergency services.
Another source of disaster-aid funds is FEMA's Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. This program provides grants to prevent or reduce long-term risk to life and property from natural or man-made disasters. All counties in the Commonwealth are eligible to apply for Hazard Mitigation grants.
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.