Hurricane Sandy Public Assistance and Hazard Mitigation for Potter County

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Release date: 
January 24, 2013
Release Number: 
4099-006

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Hurricane Sandy Public Assistance and Hazard Mitigation briefings for designated counties in Pennsylvania began this week, according to the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

A briefing for Potter County officials will be held on Thursday, Jan. 24 in Coudersport.

DATE:

Thursday, Jan. 24

TIME:

6 p.m.

LOCATION:

Gunzburger Building

1 N. Main St.

(Water St. entrance)

Coudersport, PA 16915

All seven categories of Public Assistance (A-G) are now available to state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for eligible expenditures. Projects 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 Hurricane Sandy during the time period from Oct. 26 to Nov. 8, 2012.  

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.

Public Assistance categories  

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 insurance policy applies to a facility, FEMA will deduct from eligible costs the amount of insurance proceeds, actual or anticipated, before providing funds for restoration of the facility.

Category F: Utilities

Typical Utilities include:

Water treatment plants and delivery systems

•             Power generation and distribution facilities, including generators, substations and power lines

•             Sewage collection systems and treatment plants

•             Telecommunications

Category G: Parks, Recreational Facilities and Other Items                                                       

Repair and restoration of parks, playgrounds, pools, cemeteries and beaches are eligible. This category also is used for any work or facility that cannot be characterized adequately by Categories A-F. Other types of facilities, such as roads, buildings and utilities, that are located in parks and recreational areas are also eligible and are subject to the eligibility criteria for Categories C, D, E and F.

Natural features are not eligible facilities unless they are improved and maintained. This restriction applies to features located in parks and recreational areas. Specific criteria apply to beaches and to trees and ground cover.

Repair and restoration of parks, playgrounds, pools, cemeteries and beaches are eligible. This category also is used for any work or facility that cannot be characterized adequately by Categories A-F. Other types of facilities, such as roads, buildings and utilities, that are located in parks and recreational areas are also eligible and are subject to the eligibility criteria for Categories C, D, E and F.

Natural features are not eligible facilities unless they are improved and maintained. This restriction applies to features located in parks and recreational areas. Specific criteria apply to beaches and to trees and ground cover.

A detailed description of all seven Public Assistance categories is available online at www.FEMA.gov.

The Commonwealth begins the Public Assistance process by announcing the schedule of briefings through which potential applicants are guided through the application process. During the briefings, specialists will describe the application process. After the general applicant briefing, each applicant will meet one-on-one with an assigned Public Assistance Coordinator (PAC) at a scheduled kick-off meeting. The PAC will contact their assigned applicants within one week after a request for Public Assistance is submitted. Applicants should contact their State Public Assistance Officer to arrange the first meeting if they have not heard from their PAC within two weeks.

Here’s what to expect at a kick-off meeting:

A PAC will provide a detailed list of required records and can recommend ways of organizing them.

Applicants should be prepared to bring documents with them to their kick-off meeting, including a list of damage and a description of intended repair or replacement projects.

Applicants should try to identify circumstances that require special review, such as insurance coverage, environmental resource issues and historic preservation. The earlier these conditions are known, the faster they can be addressed, and they must be addressed before funding can be approved.

After the meeting, applicants will be able to contact their PAC with any questions or requests for assistance.

Applicants are responsible for maintaining records of completed work and work to be completed.

Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for Hazard Mitigation measures for all counties within the Commonwealth.

For a list of frequently asked questions about the Public Assistance process see www.fema.gov/public-assistance-frequently-asked-questions.

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. FEMA Region III’s jurisdiction includes Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.  Stay informed of FEMA’s activities online: videos and podcasts are available at http://www.fema.gov/medialibrary and www.youtube.com/fema. Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/femaregion3.

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Last Updated: 
March 6, 2013 - 13:46
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