NORTH LITTLE ROCK – (RealEstateRama) — Federal assistance is being offered to help Arkansas communities rebuild infrastructure to higher, more disaster-resistant standards and state officials are encouraging local governments to take advantage of that funding.
The assistance to communities is part of the aid that became available following the severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and flooding Dec. 26, 2015 to Jan. 22, 2016.
“Generally, the federal Public Assistance program restores disaster damaged infrastructure to pre-disaster conditions,” said John Long, federal coordinating officer for the Federal Emergency Management Agency. “But when cost effective and technically feasible, it makes sense to rebuild to higher standards that can prevent future loss. FEMA makes available the funds to do so.”
FEMA’s Public Assistance program provides federal funds to reimburse a minimum of 75 percent of the costs for removing debris, conducting emergency protective measures and repairing levees, roads, bridges, public utilities, water control facilities, public buildings and parks. Mitigation funding may be considered in each project category.
Eligible applicants may include:
local and county governments
private nonprofit organizations that own or operate facilities that provide essential government-type services
“Studies show that every $1 paid toward mitigation saves an average of $4 in future disaster-related costs,” said State Coordinating Officer Scott Bass of the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management Agency. “By adding mitigation money to repair costs, our goal is to reduce or eliminate damages from future disasters.”
As part of the process for applying for federal assistance, experts from ADEM and FEMA help identify projects that will qualify for the special mitigation program. Officials urge applicants to take advantage of the funds.
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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.