Public Assistance Approved for Pair of Ind. Counties After Tornado

November 22, 2005

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that disaster assistance has been designated for Warrick and Vanderburgh Counties in Indiana. The assistance is to help local governments recover a portion of the costs they incurred during the immediate response and repair public property damaged by the Nov. 6 tornado and severe storms.

FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer Brad Gair said the assistance was approved following a review of damage data gathered by federal and state disaster recovery officials.

“Public Assistance gives us a chance to provide financial support in recognition of the hard work that was done by local and state agencies in the immediate response and that continues to be done in the ongoing clean-up and restoration process,” said Gair.

Under the expanded assistance, Gair said affected local governments in Warrick and Vanderburgh Counties are eligible to apply for federal funds to pay 75 percent of the approved cost for debris removal, emergency services related to the disaster, and repairing or replacing damaged public facilities, such as roads, buildings and utilities.

“Hoosiers have been helping Hoosiers through the devastation that occurred in southwestern Indiana. Without this assistance from FEMA, there would be a tremendous burden on these counties and the state because of the costs associated with the emergency response and debris removal.” said Gov. Mitch Daniels.

The funds were authorized under the major disaster declaration issued by President Bush on Nov. 8, and made available through FEMA’s public assistance program for state and local governments.

Public Assistance is a grant program to assist state and local governments and certain private nonprofit (PNP) entities. These grants allow them to respond to disasters, to recover from their impact, and to mitigate impact from future disasters. While these grants are aimed at governments and organizations – their final goal is to help a community and all its citizens recover from devastating natural disasters.

Procedures for requesting the assistance will be explained at a series of applicant briefings for local officials at a location to be announced in the near future by state and federal disaster officials.

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