(LINCOLN)-State and federal emergency management officials are coordinating with several Nebraska communities to jump-start disaster assistance approved by President Donald Trump in the wake of severe storms and tornadoes that battered parts of the state from June 12 to June 17.
“We have hit the ground running and are reaching out to local governments to get the disaster-assistance process started,” said Bryan Tuma, assistant director of the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency (NEMA). “We know how important it is to help our communities financially with storm costs as soon as we can.”
The major disaster declaration, approved Aug. 1, makes financial assistance available to state, tribal and eligible local governments, as well as certain private, non-profit organizations in 18 Nebraska counties to help pay certain costs associated with storm-related emergency measures and permanent repairs to publicly-owned buildings and infrastructure caused by the June 12-17 storms. Assistance to individuals and businesses is not available through this declaration.
The 18 eligible counties include Banner, Box Butte, Morrill, Sheridan, and Sioux.
Federal assistance to help pay for measures that will reduce or prevent future disaster damage is available statewide via an application to NEMA.
NEMA officials have scheduled applicant briefings in the counties where representatives from local governments will learn about how the program works, the types of clean-up and repair work that are eligible and the documentation needed to receive financial assistance. The meetings will take place in the coming weeks. Then, detailed calculations will be drawn up to identify scopes of work and eligible costs to restore public infrastructure to its pre-storm condition.
“We are partnering with NEMA and working hard to help Nebraska communities recover, and to make sure that they are receiving all the state and federal assistance that they are eligible for,” said Dolph Diemont, FEMA’s federal coordinating officer.
The aid is provided under FEMA’s Public Assistance Program, which helps defray certain storm-related costs incurred by governmental entities for things such as: debris removal from public areas; emergency protective measures taken by public safety entities such police and fire departments, damage to public buildings, equipment, parks, roads, bridges and utilities, such as public power districts.