WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today that federal disaster funds have been made available for Utah to help communities in Kane and Washington counties recover from the effects of flooding that struck the area early last month.
Michael D. Brown, Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Emergency Preparedness and Response, said President Bush authorized the aid under a major disaster declaration issued following a review of FEMA’s analysis of the state’s request for federal assistance. The declaration covers damage to public property from severe storms and flooding that occurred over the period of January 8-12.
After the President’s action, Brown designated the counties of Kane and Washington eligible for federal funding to pay the state and affected local governments and certain private non-profit organizations 75 percent of the approved costs for the restoration of damaged facilities. The funding also covers eligible state and local government costs for debris removal and emergency services related to the disaster.
In addition, Brown said federal funds will be available to the state on a cost-shared basis for approved projects that reduce future disaster risks. He indicated that additional designations may be made later if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.
Justin DeMello of FEMA was named by Brown to coordinate the federal relief effort. DeMello said that procedures for requesting assistance will be explained at a series of applicant briefings at locations to be announced shortly in the affected area.
FEMA prepares the nation for all hazards and manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates mitigation activities, trains first responders, works with state and local emergency managers, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.