SALEM, Ore. ─ Oregon’s severe winter storm in February left thousands of residents without power and roadways blocked with downed trees and other debris. Today, teams from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are working side by side with state and local officials to help communities recover from the disaster.
The presidential disaster declaration stemming from the Feb. 6-10 storm makes FEMA grants available to eligible applicants in Benton, Lane, Lincoln and Linn counties.
FEMA’s help comes through the Public Assistance (PA) Grant Program, which reimburses state and local governments, federally recognized tribes and certain private nonprofit organizations for eligible expenses they incurred in protecting lives and property during and following the storm, and in cleaning up and rebuilding afterward. The grant program also provides mitigation funds to help rebuild infrastructure that is better able to withstand future storms.
“Oregon’s responders made enormous efforts to protect our citizens and get power lines fixed and debris removed during and after the storm,” said State Coordinating Officer Sean McCormick of the Oregon Office of Emergency Management (OEM). “FEMA grants will go a long way toward reimbursing applicants for those expenses.”
“FEMA funds go to government entities and nonprofits that restored critical infrastructure in the aftermath of the storm,” said Thomas J. Dargan, FEMA’s federal coordinating officer for the recovery effort. “We also seek to make communities and infrastructure more resilient to future storms to better protect citizens and property.”
Under the PA program, FEMA generally reimburses applicants for 75 percent of their eligible expenses, while the other 25 percent is the nonfederal share. The federal portion is paid directly to the state, which then makes disbursements to the local jurisdictions and organizations that incurred costs.
More information about the PA program is available at www.fema.gov/public-assistance-local-state-tribal-and-non-profit and on the OEM website at www.oregon.gov/OMD/OEM/pages/index.aspx.