Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano today traveled to Mississippi and Louisiana where she met with state and local officials, first responders, and volunteers, and surveyed ongoing response and recovery efforts to Hurricane Isaac. Secretary Napolitano reiterated the ongoing support from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the rest of the federal family, and the President's direction to continue to bring all necessary resources to bear to support state and local officials as local communities continue to respond to and recover from the storm.
"At the direction of President Obama, DHS and FEMA remain in constant contact with state emergency management partners to provide resources and support as communities continue to respond to and recover from this storm," said Secretary Napolitano. "Response and recovery efforts will be an ongoing operation, and we're going to continue to support the needs of these communities and help them recover and rebuild, in the immediate days ahead and over the long term."
In Bay St. Louis, Miss., Secretary Napolitano met with Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant, Mississippi Emergency Management Agency Executive Director Robert Latham, Senator Roger Wicker, Rep. Steven Palazzo, Bay St. Louis Mayor Les Fillingame and other officials, and toured areas damaged by Hurricane Isaac.
Secretary Napolitano then traveled to Slidell, La. to join Senator Mary Landrieu, Rep. Steve Scalise, Slidell Mayor Freddy Drennan, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and other officials to meet with first responders and emergency management teams, and survey coordination among federal, state and local partners on response and recovery efforts throughout the region.
On Wednesday, President Obama signed major disaster declarations for the states of Louisiana and Mississippi, making federal aid available to supplement state and local response efforts for emergency protective measures and debris removal in the areas affected by Hurricane Isaac beginning on August 26, 2012. These declarations build upon emergency declarations issued for both states earlier this week. Statewide hazard mitigation is available to all counties and tribal governments in Mississippi, and to all parishes and tribal governments in Louisiana.
Yesterday, FEMA announced an amendment to the major disaster declaration for the State of Mississippi to include the Individual Assistance Program. Federal funding is now available to affected individuals in Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, and Pearl River counties. For the State of Louisiana, disaster assistance has been approved for Ascension, Jefferson, Lafourche, Livingston, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. John the Baptist, and St. Tammany parishes. Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, and uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and households recover from the effects of the disaster.
Under the direction of President Obama and Secretary Napolitano, FEMA is continuing close, regular coordination with leading federal agencies, state, tribal and local partners, as well as private sector, faith-based and voluntary organizations, as the Gulf Coast states continue response and recovery efforts in the wake of Isaac. FEMA encourages everyone to take steps to ensure their families, homes and businesses are prepared for a possible emergency.
For more information, visit www.fema.gov or www.disasterassistance.gov.