President Obama issues disaster declaration for eight Iowa counties impacted by storms in August
Governor also issues disaster proclamation for two additional counties for September flooding
SEPT. 30, 2016 - Gov. Terry E. Branstad has received word that President Obama approved his request for a Presidential Disaster Declaration for eight counties impacted by severe storms in August.
The counties included in the declaration are: Allamakee, Chickasaw, Clayton, Fayette, Floyd, Howard, Mitchell, and Winneshiek.
The governor sent the request for a declaration on Sept. 19, 2016, in response to significant damage that was caused by severe storms and flooding from Aug. 23-27, 2016.
The declaration by the President will provide federal funding to the declared counties under the Public Assistance Program. A Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for Public Assistance puts into motion long-term federal recovery programs, some of which are matched by state programs, and designed to help public entities and select non-profits. Public Assistance funds may be used for emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities and may include debris removal, emergency protective measures, repair of damaged public property, loans needed by communities for essential government functions and grants for public schools.
The Governor also received notification that the Presidential Disaster Declaration includes funding to conduct hazard mitigation activities for the entire state. With this funding, Iowa will be able to minimize the impact of future disasters by taking steps now to strengthen existing infrastructure.
NOTE: THIS DISASTER DECLARATION IS NOT RELATED TO MORE RECENT FLOODING IN IOWA BEGINING ON SEPTEMBER 21.
This Presidential Disaster Declaration is the 23rd Presidential Disaster Declaration Iowa has received since March 2007.
State leaders are grateful for the coordination and follow up on this request from the Iowa congressional delegation.
New Governor's Disaster Proclamation
In addition, Gov. Branstad has issued a proclamation of disaster emergency for Fayette and Muscatine counties. This is in response to recent flooding that began Sept. 21, 2016. A total of 23 counties have now been proclaimed by the Governor: Allamakee, Benton, Black Hawk, Bremer, Buchanan, Butler, Cedar, Cerro Gordo, Chickasaw, Delaware, Floyd, Franklin, Hancock, Howard, Jones, Linn, Louisa, Mitchell, Story, Worth and Wright.
The governor’s proclamation allows State resources to be utilized to respond to and recover from the effects of these storms. Today’s proclamation also activates the Iowa Individual Assistance Program for both counties.
The Iowa Individual Assistance Program provides grants of up to $5,000 for households with incomes up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level or a maximum annual income of $40,180, for a family of three. Grants are available for home or car repairs, replacement of clothing or food, and for the expense of temporary housing. Original receipts are required for those seeking reimbursement for actual expenses related to storm recovery. The grant application and instructions are available on the Iowa Department of Human Services website. Potential applicants have 45 days from the date of the proclamation to submit a claim.
State, local, and federal teams are conducting joint damage assessments in nine counties impacted by the recent flooding. The assessments will be conducted in Benton, Black Hawk, Bremer, Buchanan, Butler, Delaware, Floyd, Jones and Linn counties.
Data from the joint damage assessments could be used by Gov. Branstad to request a Presidential Disaster Declaration, which, if granted, would make Individual Assistance funding available in the designated counties. The FEMA Individual Assistance Program is made available to homeowners, renters and businesses and can include grants and low-interest loans to help pay for temporary housing, home repairs and other disaster-related expenses not covered by insurance or other aid programs.
Assessments of damage to public infrastructure have not been scheduled at this time.
In order to request a Presidential Disaster Declaration, damage incurred must meet criteria set by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Protect your "everyday"
Those who wish to do us harm are constantly plotting, planning for additional opportunities that may or may not come. So what are we as Americans–as Iowans–to do? How do we protect our "everyday?"
If you witness any type of suspicious activity, it is wise to report such activity to your local law enforcement agency. An alert public helps to keep our communities safe. Suspicious activity is any observed behavior that could indicate terrorism or terrorism-related crime. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Unusual items or situations. A vehicle is parked in an odd location, a package or some luggage is unattended, a window or door is open that is usually closed, or something else out of the ordinary.
- Eliciting information. A person questions individuals at a level beyond curiosity about a building’s purpose, operations, security procedures and/or personnel, shift changes, etc.
- Observation/surveillance. Someone pays unusual attention to facilities or buildings beyond a casual or professional interest. This includes extended loitering without explanation (particularly in concealed locations); unusual, repeated, and/or prolonged observation of a building (for example, with binoculars or video camera); taking notes or measurements; counting paces; sketching floor plans, etc.
While some of these activities may be innocent, it’s ultimately up to law enforcement to determine whether the behavior warrants investigation. Factors such as race, ethnicity, and/or religious affiliation are not suspicious. It is behavior, rather than appearance, that should be used in determining suspicious activity.
When reporting suspicious activity, remember to describe specifically what you observed, including:
- What or Who you saw
- When you saw it
- Where it occurred
- Why it is suspicious
It all boils down to one simple phrase: If you See Something, Say SomethingTM. Call 9-1-1, and notify your local law enforcement.
Police, security guards, and other officials cannot be everywhere, all the time. In the end it is up to all of us to protect our friends, our family, our neighbors, and the community as a whole.
State of Iowa receives $96.9 million HUD grant
Jan. 22, 2016 - Gov. Terry E. Branstad has been notified that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has awarded Iowa $96.9 million for disaster resilience projects.
Through the National Disaster Resilience Competition, HUD has awarded the State $96.9 million to conduct a program to help Iowa communities recover from prior disasters and improve their ability to recover more quickly from future disasters. The award comes after a two-phase competition, during which several state and local agencies collaborated to create a program called the Iowa Watershed Approach (IWA). The IWA will accomplish six goals, including reducing flood risk, improving water quality, increasing resilience, engaging stakeholders, improving quality of life and health, and developing a program that can be replicated throughout the Midwest and the nation. The HUD National Disaster Resilience competition awarded nearly $1 billion to communities across the United States.
The agencies involved in the development of the HUD grant application are the office of Gov. Terry Branstad, Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA), Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEMD), Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS), Iowa Flood Center at the University of Iowa, Iowa Water Center at Iowa State University, and the City of Dubuque.
IEDA will be administering the grant award, which will include ensuring timely and successful completion of the program, monitoring Community Development Block Grant compliance, and making all final financial decisions.
HSEMD will provide technical support to implement the IWA and coordinate disaster preparedness and hazard mitigation activities. HSEMD Director Mark Schouten said the Iowa Watershed Approach will be consistent with other statewide programs in Iowa to reduce flooding and improve water quality. These programs include the Iowa Flood Mitigation Program, which has awarded funding to 10 communities to increase flood protection and prevention, and the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy, that will lead to a measurable reduction of nutrients in our waterways.
Other agencies involved in implementation of the IWA will include the Iowa Flood Center, which, along with the City of Dubuque, will use their technical expertise and stakeholder connections to lead technical and programmatic implementation.
Links and Documents
- HUD press release
- Grant award fact sheet
- Award Q&A
- Map of Iowa watersheds included in the grant award
- Grant submission support letter
- Final (Phase 2) Application Documents
Bird flu links
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