FEMA Public Assistance Will Help Arkansas Recovery

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Additional federal assistance has been authorized to help speed the state of Arkansas’ recovery from damage caused by the recent severe ice storms.

Today President Obama signed a disaster declaration authorizing the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide federal help for 23 counties. Gov. Mike Beebe submitted a request for the additional aid on Feb. 3.

“FEMA has been here in Arkansas since before the storm hit to help provide emergency assistance,” said Arkansas State Coordinating Officer Rich Griffin with the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management (ADEM).“But with the huge amount of damage, the state definitely needs the additional federal aid.”

Federal Coordinating Officer Mike Moore noted that the newly announced program authorizes FEMA to provide help only to state, county, and local government and some qualified non-profit entities. “At this time, FEMA is not authorized to provide assistance to individuals,” Moore said.

Baxter, Benton, Boone, Carroll, Clay, Craighead, Franklin, Fulton, Greene, Independence, Izard, Jackson, Johnson, Lawrence, Madison, Marion, Mississippi, Newton, Searcy, Sharp, Stone, Van Buren, and Washington counties are now eligible for all categories of FEMA’s Public Assistance program for storm damage starting Jan. 26 and continuing. Other counties may be added at a later date.

Eligible entities in the approved counties may apply for reimbursement for disaster-related costs by submitting a request to state officials and may obtain more information from their county emergency managers or the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management. Eligible costs may include removal of debris from public property, emergency protective measures, and restoration or replacement of such public facilities as buildings, roads, bridges, utilities and recreation areas.

FEMA’s Public Assistance program funds 75 percent of the cost for eligible work by state and local governments and certain nonprofit organizations that provide public services. The state receives and manages all project grants.