Dublin, OH – Providing assistance to individuals and businesses is not the only concern of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Ohio Emergency Management Agency (OEMA). Public Assistance (PA) grants will soon help Ohio communities recoup emergency response and debris removal costs from storms in late June.
Thirty seven counties were declared eligible on August 20 for disaster assistance as a result of the June 29-July 2 storms and straight line winds. Under the PA Grant Program, FEMA awards grants to assist state and local governments, tribal nations and certain private nonprofit organizations with their response to and recovery from disasters.
“The declaration opens the door to FEMA grants that help public entities with reconstruction of their infrastructure,” said Mike Moore, federal coordinating officer for the disaster. “The PA program strengthens communities which do not have all the means or resources to bounce back from a disaster, helping to ensure a community's important public needs are met.”
Public assistance is based on a partnership between FEMA, state and local officials. Local governments identify their needs and costs and submit applications. The state ensures compliance and helps prioritize projects. FEMA is responsible for managing the program, approving grants and providing technical assistance on projects to the state and its applicants.
“This program is important to Ohio taxpayers,” said Nancy Dragani, state coordinating officer for Ohio EMA. “The program will provide federal and state funding to assist with debris removal, emergency protective measures and for some work performed by rural electric cooperatives.”
FEMA's Public Assistance program pays 75 percent of eligible costs. The state of Ohio is contributing 12.5 percent of the 25% percent non-federal share to eligible political subdivisions and the applicant is responsible for the remaining 12.5 percent balance.
Application procedures for local governments were explained at a series of state applicant briefings held in August and September. FEMA PA specialists provided guidance to state and local officials throughout the application process. Approved projects are paid through the state from funding provided by FEMA. The deadline for applying for assistance is September 19th.
Federal, state and local teams have already started to inspect disaster-related damage, examine expenses identified by the state or local representatives and prepare reports that outline the scope of repair work needed and the estimated restoration cost.
Non-profit organizations may qualify for assistance to restore certain types of facilities that include educational, utility, emergency, medical, custodial care and other facilities that provide essential government types of services.
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.
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