March 03, 2022

Merkley, Wyden Announce Nearly $28 Million in FEMA Funds Headed to Oregon

Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced major federal funding totaling $27.8 million is headed to the State of Oregon. These funds, dispersed through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), will be used to cover emergency protective measure expenses incurred throughout the state as a direct result of protecting against and preventing the spread of COVID-19, and from the devastating impacts of wildfires and intense winds that have hit Oregon.

“Destructive wildfires, intense winds, and a global pandemic—Oregon has been through it all,” said Merkley. “The stability of small businesses, the homes of many Oregon families, and the health of our communities have all been greatly threatened over these last several years. OHSU and state first responders were on the front lines of keeping our communities safe through these disasters, and I am grateful for the federal funds that are coming to help cover their sizeable and mission-critical expenses.”

“The events of the past two years have put intense strain on Oregon’s safety net of resources as our state dealt with the one-two punch of a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic and devastating wildfires,” said Wyden. “Firefighters, emergency managers, and health professionals have been the ones to run toward the fire or the virus, which has been both costly and labor-intensive. I am gratified to see federal dollars going to help them bear the costs of that crucial service to Oregonians.”

FEMA will disperse $7,412,062.75 of the grant money to the Oregon Health and Science University: During the incident period, the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic created an immediate threat to the health and safety of the general public, requiring emergency response and protective measures throughout the state of Oregon. In response to the event, the Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) utilized material to perform emergency protective measures by providing personal protective equipment (PPE), to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus among staff and patients at multiple facilities.

FEMA will disperse $6,001,936.02 of the grant money to the Oregon State Police for responding to fires in North Cascades Complex Conflagration, as well as the Slater Fire Conflagration: During the incident period, high eastern winds whipped up wildfires, which created an immediate threat to the health and safety of the general public requiring emergency response and protective measures. The Oregon Department of State Police and its subsidiary, the Oregon State Office of the Fire Marshall (OSFM) enacted emergency protective measures during the Conflagration due to the extreme fire conditions and drawdown of resources around the state.

FEMA will disperse $14,396,622.45 of the grant money to the Oregon Office of Emergency Management to reimburse state management costs as a result of wildfires and straight-line winds in 2020. Management costs have been expanded to include both direct and indirect administrative expenses by the state, local, tribal, or territorial government.