FEMA Touring Midwest Flood Areas

The Federal Emergency Management Agency announced yesterday that Administrator David Paulison and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Michael Chertoff had begun a tour of the flood-ravaged communities in Ohio and Minnesota. Paulison is continuing his assessment of the Midwest today by visiting additional areas in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Yesterday, Paulison and Chertoff met with each state's governors to view the impacted areas and assess the needs of residents in the flooded communities. Paulison toured flood-damaged areas in Minnesota with Gov. Pawlenty, which was subsequently declared a major disaster and made federal funding available to affected individuals in Fillmore, Houston, and Winona counties. A resource page for federal disaster aid programs available to people and communities in the state of Minnesota to help with recovery efforts is available at www.fema.gov/news/event.fema?id=8665.

Earlier in the week, FEMA supported the state response and assisted with damage assessments and it continues to evaluate needs and data in anticipation of gubernatorial requests for assistance from the federal government.

"The federal government works as one to respond to disasters," Paulison said. "FEMA coordinates the efforts and provides an operational framework for states to get what they need when they need it."

Apart from FEMA and DHS, other federal agencies including the Coast Guard have assisted with search, rescue, and life saving missions. Some of the federal actions undertaken over the past week in the hardest hit states include assisting emergency officials in Iowa, Missouri, Texas, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois.

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