Idaho Bureau of Homeland Security News Release
For immediate release, February 1, 2016
Contact: Elizabeth Duncan (208) 258-6595 or (208) 866-5969
FEMA News Desk: 425-487-4610
Idaho Receives Second Major Disaster Declaration in Six Weeks
COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho – Local crews worked around the clock to restore power and clear roads after severe winter storms in December brought heavy snow and frigid temperatures to northern Idaho. As a result of President Obama’s February 1 disaster declaration, the Idaho Bureau of Homeland Security (IBHS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will be working to reimburse eligible applicants for costs incurred in keeping citizens safe and in cleaning up and repairing afterward.
State agencies, local governments and certain private nonprofit utilities in Benewah, Bonner and Kootenai counties may be eligible for funding from FEMA’s Public Assistance (PA) program as a result of the declaration for the Dec. 16-27, 2015, storms.
This is the second federal disaster declaration for northern Idaho in about six weeks. On Dec. 23, 2015, the president issued a major disaster declaration making federal Public Assistance available to eligible applicants in Benewah, Bonner, Boundary and Kootenai counties and the Coeur d’Alene Tribe. That declaration was the result of the severe storm and straight-line winds in the area on Nov. 17, 2015. “Our first responders and utilities worked day and night, and at great expense, to keep folks safe during those back-to-back storms late last year,” said IBHS Director Brad Richy. “We are working closely with FEMA to help reimburse applicants for their costs for the November storm, and we will do the same for the December events.”
Under the Public Assistance program FEMA 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 and tribal jurisdictions and nonprofit organizations that incurred costs.
“IBHS has been an outstanding partner in support of applicants in northern Idaho,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Dolph Diemont of FEMA. “With the personnel and processes already in place, we will be able build on those relationships and provide prompt assistance to all eligible applicants.”
In addition to Public Assistance grants, additional funds will be available in Idaho under FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP).
The HMGP, administered by the state, is also a cost-share program, with FEMA providing 75 percent of the funds. This program provides supplemental financial assistance to public entities and certain private nonprofits to reduce the risk to life and property in future disasters.
Additional information for the December storms, including funds obligated to the state, is available at www.fema.gov/disaster/4252. For the latest on the severe storms that occurred Nov.17, 2015 go to www.fema.gov/disaster/4246.
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The Idaho Bureau of Homeland Security is a Division of the Idaho Military Division. The services we provide are to facilitate emergency management in Idaho, and to assist neighboring states. The men and women of this Division are dedicated to their mission of protecting the lives and property of the people of Idaho, as well as preserving the environmental and the economic health of Idaho.
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.