ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- The Governor’s Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHS&EM) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) deployed two joint State/Federal Public Assistance Teams Thursday to the Cities of Nome and Unalakleet. The teams will be in the areas until the Thanksgiving holiday and will be working on establishing bases of operation in Nome and Unalakleet, making plans to also visit smaller communities impacted by the disaster, conducting Public Assistance Program assessments, and developing Hazard Mitigation Grant Program projects.
The deployment comes four days after President George W. Bush signed a declaration that released Federal funding to Alaska to help the Bering Strait Regional Education Attendance Area (REAA) and the Northwest Arctic Borough recover from the storm.
The Public Assistance Program is designed to help public entities and local businesses recover from the fall sea storm that hit the West Coast of Alaska between the 18th and 24th of October while the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program will establish projects to help communities lessen the effects of future disasters in the area.
An additional team will be deployed to Kotzebue over the weekend. They are scheduled to return to Anchorage on Tuesday the 23rd for the holiday. All of the teams will redeploy after Thanksgiving to continue disaster recovery assistance.
On March 1, 2003, FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. FEMA's continuing mission within the new department is to lead the effort to prepare the nation for all hazards and effectively manage federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates proactive mitigation activities, trains first responders and manages the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.