INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that federal Public Assistance (PA) has been made available to Indiana. Federal aid has been granted to augment state and local recovery efforts in the areas struck by severe storms, straight-line winds, and tornadoes Feb. 29-March 3 in Clark, Jefferson, Ripley, Scott and Washington counties.
All seven categories of PA (A-G) are now available to state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a 75 percent cost-sharing basis for eligible expenditures. These may include emergency work, debris removal and repair or replacement of damaged roads, bridges and other elements of the infrastructure. Public Assistance funding also covers partial or complete repair of schools and other critical functions such as public water tanks or sewer systems. Projects will be approved only if they are necessary as a direct result of storm damage during the designated timeframe.
FEMA will pay 75 percent of the cost of PA projects; the remainder is the responsibility of state and local government and, in some cases, non-profit organizations.
In cases where small improvements may reduce the risk of future disaster damage, FEMA may pay for cost-effective mitigation measures. For example, FEMA may cover the cost of such projects as increasing the size of a culvert if the increase could prevent future flooding. Otherwise, FEMA generally pays only to bring facilities back to pre-disaster condition.
Category A: Debris Removal
Removal of obtrusive items on public property, including trees, woody debris, sand, mud, silt, gravel, building components, wreckage, vehicles and personal property to eliminate an immediate threat to lives,
public health and safety. An example of an eligible project is the removal of debris from a street or highway to allow the safe passage of emergency vehicles. An example of an ineligible project is the pre-disaster sediment from engineered channels.
Category B: Emergency Protective Measures
Emergency Protective Measures are actions taken by applicants before, during and after a disaster to save
lives, protect public health and safety, and prevent damage to improved public and private property. Emergency communications, emergency access and emergency public transportation costs may also be eligible. These can include such projects as search and rescue, sandbagging and removal of health and safety hazards.
Category C: Roads and Bridges
Roads (paved, gravel, and dirt) are eligible for permanent repair or replacement, unless they are Federal-aid roads. Eligible work includes repair to surfaces, bases, shoulders, ditches, culverts, low water crossings and other features, such as guardrails. Damage to the road must be disaster-related to be eligible for repair. Eligible work includes repairs to such elements as piers and approaches.
Category D: Water Control Facilities
Water control facilities include such elements as dams and reservoirs, levees and engineered drainage channels. Restoration of the carrying capacity of engineered channels and debris basins may be eligible, but maintenance records or surveys must be produced to show the pre-disaster capacity of these facilities.
Category E: Buildings and Equipment
Buildings, including contents such as furnishings and interior systems such as electrical work, are eligible for repair or replacement. FEMA may also pay for the replacement of library books and publications. Removal of mud, silt, or other accumulated debris is eligible, along with any cleaning and painting necessary to restore the building.
If an insura...