The State of Ohio Long-Term Recovery Committee established by Governor Bob Taft met for the first time recently to identify disaster-related issues for communities impacted by flooding in the late summer and to coordinate and implement long-term recovery measures over the next two years.
“Achieving economic viability and opportunity in disaster-impacted communities now will have a dramatic impact for families, businesses and local government for years to come,” Taft said. “Agencies not typically associated with disaster response will be part of this effort and offer resources and programs that collectively can lead to innovative recovery solutions.”
The committee will identify and prioritize needs in the 21 counties that received damage from severe storms and flooding that began Aug. 27 and continued through Sept. 27 in eastern and southeastern Ohio. On Sept. 19, President George W. Bush authorized the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to implement individual and public assistance programs that will likely total more than $80 million in federal-state disaster assistance. The committee will address the long-term effects of damage that will continue to be a challenge for communities who have already accessed federal disaster relief programs.
Disaster assistance programs currently being provided through FEMA provide partial remedies and short-term solutions for disaster-related losses but not necessarily for long-term recovery. Flooding from August and September caused approximately $54.6 million in damage to public property and more than $30 million is being provided in individual assistance.
Ohio Emergency Management Agency (Ohio EMA) Executive Director Dale Shipley, as the State Coordinating Officer for this disaster, facilitates the committee’s activities. The Long-Term Recovery Committee membership includes representatives from the following agencies: Ohio Department of Administrative Services, Ohio Department of Aging, Ohio Department of Health, Ohio Department of Insurance, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Ohio Department of Transportation, Ohio Department of Taxation, Ohio Public Works Commission, Governor’s Office of Appalachia, Ohio Schools Facilities Commission, Ohio Volunteer Organization Active in Disasters, State Fire Marshal’s Office, Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services, Athens County EMA, Governor’s Office, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Small Business Administration, FEMA and Ohio EMA.
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