Agency ready for emergencies

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) does more than respond to train wrecks, floods and other disasters.

Jerry Hill, director of FEMA in Mohave County also oversees the Emergency Food and Shelter Program, which is under FEMA's umbrella.

The program was established in 1983 and by federal legislation and the act created a National Board chaired by FEMA with representatives of the American Red Cross, Catholic Charities, The Salvation Army, Council of Jewish Federations, United Way of America and the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA

Hill said funding awarded to Mohave County this year is $51,435 with $1,029 allocated for administrative costs.

"We provide funding for food, the homeless, those in need, families out of work who need a little assistance in the way of food, even rent, mortgage payments.

Transients who come through get gas and food if need be." Hill said as he explained the program.

In the Kingman area the organizations authorized to help those in need are: The Kingman Area Food Bank; Kingman Aid to Abused People; Good Samaritan Association; Salvation Army and Help the Needy.

Hill said the funds awarded to Mohave County are based on the total number of unemployed compared to the total unemployed in all qualifying jusridictions.

At the direction of the National Food and Shelter Board, Mohave County has named local board members who act on the application from anyone in need.

As to his duties with FEMA "We haven't had any disasters since the train wreck." Hill said.

(In August of 1997 an Amtrak train derailed east of Kingman.) FEMA steps in only when "the counties are overwhelmed with anything, they go to the state and request assistance and if the state can't do any thing, the state goes to the Feds who will open their pocketbooks to help"