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Public Assistance -- Rebuilding Communities After a Disaster

Release date: 
July 15, 2011
Release Number: 

CLINTON, Miss. -- Mississippi homes and businesses were not the only casualties of the great flood of 2011.

Government entities face a massive -- and expensive -- workload. They were the first to respond to the rising waters. They must address the tons of debris that the flooding generated. They also must repair and rebuild damaged public property.

Public Assistance is a form of disaster aid that addresses the needs of an entire community. Administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, PA benefits everyone -- neighborhoods, cities, counties, states and certain private nonprofit agencies.

PA dollars clean up the community, repair bridges, put water systems and utilities back in order, rebuild libraries and replace damaged books, repair hospitals and emergency services, rebuild schools and universities, and restore damaged public parks so that families can enjoy them again.

"FEMA Public Assistance dollars come to the community through a cost-sharing partnership between the state, local authorities and the federal government," said Federal Coordinating Officer Terry L. Quarles.

"FEMA picks up 75 percent of the eligible cost of putting a community back on its feet. In Mississippi, the state funds 12.5 percent and the applicant is responsible for the remaining 12.5 percent," said Mississippi Emergency Management Agency Director Mike Womack. "Eligible private nonprofit groups, however, are responsible for the entire 25 percent."

Public Assistance is available to:

  • State government agencies.
  • Local and county governments.
  • Private nonprofit organizations that own or operate facilities that provide essential government-type services.

PA grants are available to cover costs in seven work categories:

  • Category A: Debris removal.
  • Category B: Emergency protective measures.
  • Category C: Road systems and bridges.
  • Category D: Water control facilities.
  • Category E: Public buildings, contents and equipment.
  • Category F: Utilities.
  • Category G: Parks and recreational facilities.

Thirteen Mississippi counties recently were designated eligible to receive all categories of public assistance: Adams, Bolivar, Claiborne, Coahoma, Humphreys, Issaquena, Jefferson, Sharkey, Tunica, Warren, Washington, Wilkinson and Yazoo.

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.

Last Updated: 
July 8, 2017 - 10:42
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