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Governor Branstad requests Presidential Disaster Declaration for flooding in September


OCT. 21, 2016 - Gov. Terry E. Branstad today signed a letter to be delivered to President Obama requesting a Presidential Disaster Declaration for Public Assistance as a result of damage sustained in 19 Iowa counties from severe storms and flooding from Sept. 21-23, 2016. The request does not include activation of the federal Individual Assistance program as the damage incurred did not meet the FEMA criteria.


The counties included in this request are: Allamakee, Benton, Black Hawk, Bremer, Buchanan, Butler, Cerro Gordo, Chickasaw, Clayton, Delaware, Des Moines, Fayette, Floyd, Franklin, Howard, Linn, Mitchell, Winneshiek and Wright.


The governor requested funding under the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Public Assistance Program, which is used to rebuild damaged infrastructure that may include roads, bridges, culverts and other public facilities, or to cover costs of emergency work during, and debris removal after, the storms. A joint federal, state, and local preliminary damage assessment of the 19 counties found the severe weather caused an estimated $22 million worth of damage that could be eligible under the Public Assistance Program.


The governor also requested funding to conduct hazard mitigation activities for the entire state. The letter can be read in its entirety here.


This request for a Presidential Disaster Declaration does not include a request for the federal Individual Assistance Program, which provides assistance to homeowners, renters and businesses to pay for temporary housing, home repairs and other disaster-related expenses. On Oct. 5, 2016, the State of Iowa and FEMA completed a joint preliminary damage assessment for federal Individual Assistance. That assessment indicated that the number of uninsured homes that suffered major damage or were destroyed during this event fell far below the FEMA threshold to request funding under the Individual Assistance Program. Gov. Branstad then focused his efforts on obtaining a Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster declaration, to make low-interest loans available to impacted residents and businesses. The SBA subsequently granted a declaration for Black Hawk, Bremer, Butler, Cerro Gordo, Chickasaw, Floyd, Franklin, Grundy, and Hardin counties. The SBA has opened a Disaster Loan Outreach Center in Butler County to assist residents in applying for loans. The Governor and Lt. Governor appreciate the active engagement of Iowa’s congressional delegation during the flood response and initial recovery efforts.

Governor creates flood recovery task force

As part of his continuing effort to assist Iowans in their recovery from this summer’s flooding and severe weather, Gov. Branstad announced today the creation of a flood recovery task force to address the unmet needs of impacted residents.


“This task force has been established to help meet the unmet needs of those who have sustained damage from the recent flooding,” said Branstad. “Members of the task force will bring with them a number of resources and creative solutions to help communities and people rebuild their homes, businesses, and most importantly, their lives.”


The task force, which is comprised of state and local agencies, will focus on working with communities to develop long-term housing recovery options.

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.

Map of counties in Presidential Disaster Declaration 4281

Click here to read more about the Presidential Disaster Declaration


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.


HSEMD has received HMGP funding as a result of Presidential Disaster Declaration 4281. Due to limited funding, applications will be considered from projects currently under development. However, HSEMD will continue to accept NOI (notice of interest) forms on a continuous basis until further notice. If you have any questions about a potential project or the application process, please contact one of our hazard mitigation staff contacts listed at the bottom of this page.



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.




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.

click here to read more about See Something, Say SomethingTM


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.


Link to Reporting Suspicious Behavior page


State of Iowa receives $96.9 million HUD grant


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


Bird flu links


Bird flu links

Find out more about bird flu in Iowa, including how to protect flocks, frequently asked questions, fact sheets, brochures, and more.


Link to Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship website Link to USDA website