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Public Assistance -- Rebuilding Communities After a Disaster

Release date: 
September 21, 2011
Release Number: 

MIDLOTHIAN, Va. -- With Hurricane Irene, governments face a massive -- and expensive -- workload. They are the first to respond to the storm. They must address the tons of debris that the hurricane generated. They also must repair and rebuild damaged public property.

Public Assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management helps communities clean up debris after a disaster, 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.

Public Assistance is not the type of funding that helps individuals, families or businesses.

"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 Don Keldsen.

"FEMA picks up 75 percent of the eligible cost of putting a community back on its feet. The Commonwealth funds a portion, and the applicant is responsible for remaining amount," said Virginia State Coordinating Officer Michael Cline. "Eligible private nonprofit groups, however, are responsible for the entire 25 percent."

Public Assistance is available to:

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

Public Assistance grants 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.

Twenty-four counties and 15 independent cities designated eligible to receive all categories of public assistance for Hurricane Irene are as follows:

  • Counties of Accomack, Caroline, Charles City, Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, Essex,  Henrico, Isle of Wight, James City, King George, King and Queen, King William, Lancaster, Mathews, Middlesex, New Kent, Northumberland, Prince George, Richmond, Southampton, Surry, Sussex, Westmoreland, and York.
  • Independent cities of Chesapeake, Colonial Heights, Emporia, Franklin, Hampton, Hopewell, Newport News, Norfolk, Petersburg, Poquoson, Portsmouth, Richmond, Suffolk, Virginia Beach and Williamsburg.

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: 
January 3, 2018 - 12:17