Governor Sarah Palin and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region X Administrator Dennis Hunsinger signed a disaster response agreement that sets the stage for full federal participation in the spring flooding disaster recovery on the Yukon and Kuskokwim Rivers.
"When the state and federal government work together in a cooperative fashion, we can achieve far greater help for our residents," Governor Palin said. "This agreement allows the full depth of FEMA to work right next to our state responders and help those affected by this record flooding season."
Signing the state/federal agreement is the traditional next step after the president officially declares an area a disaster. The agreement outlines the state/federal match requirements to maximize federal funding. It also identifies allowable expenditures of the federal money and selects state employees who will be given authority to authorize use of federal funds.
"Our cooperation with FEMA has already been a great achievement, especially compared to other states," said Commissioner Craig E. Campbell, Alaska Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. "This agreement brings the resources of the federal government to the table and allows our residents to meet most of their needs before winter hits."
FEMA has set up a joint field office in Anchorage to manage the federal response to this disaster. The Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management has been working side by side with all of the FEMA personnel to make sure there is continuity in service and recovery assistance to all people affected by the spring flooding.