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Published:June 15th, 2007 05:54 EST

Additional Federal Assistance Made Available to States Impacted By the 2005 Hurricane Season

By SOP newswire

WASHINGTON, D.C. --- Under legislation signed by President Bush, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will deliver additional federal disaster assistance to supplement state and local recovery efforts impacted by the 2005 hurricane season. The bill allows for additional funding to states specifically under the Agency's Public Assistance and Other Needs Assistance programs.

The increase in federal assistance is being made available to Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, Florida and Alabama to cover costs in connection with hurricanes Katrina, Wilma, Dennis and Rita.

"FEMA remains committed to assisting in the recovery of these states hardest hit by the hurricanes," said FEMA Administrator David Paulison. "This supplemental funding provides the agency a greater ability to continue to reduce the burden on the affected communities."

The increased federal assistance was authorized on May 25, 2007, when the President signed H.R. 2206, "U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans' Care, Katrina Recovery, and Iraq Accountability Appropriations Act of 2007" (Public Law #110-28).

Under FEMA's Public Assistance Program, the federal share of eligible projects to rebuild infrastructure and replace critical assets is set at a minimum 75 percent federal funding, with state and local governments providing the additional 25 percent. Following certain extreme situations where state and local hardships necessitate, the cost-share has been amended to 90 percent federal funding with a 10 percent state and local match. This recent provision requires the federal government to cover 100 percent for all eligible projects under the Public Assistance Program for the designated disasters.

FEMA is in the process of coordinating the adjustment to each project for all eligible disasters. This will be a seamless process for the impacted states, requiring no additional work on their part.

For FEMA's Other Needs Assistance program, under which additional aid is provided to individuals and households impacted by disasters, the state is required, by law, to provide 25 percent of the costs. The recent legislation also requires the federal government to pay 100 percent of those costs for these specific disasters. FEMA will be reimbursing eligible states for the cost share of the program already paid to FEMA, and any outstanding bills related to these events will be canceled. 

FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror. 

Source:FEMA