U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has awarded Columbia and Washington Counties public assistance and individual assistance to help rebuild and repair infrastructure damaged by Irene and to provide assistance to local families and businesses. After this type of assistance was not made available in the President’s initial emergency declaration, Senator Schumer and Senator Gillibrand immediately called for Columbia and Washington Counties to be added to the list of eligible counties. These counties are now eligible for assistance for debris removal, emergency protective actions, and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities. County residents are also now eligible for individual and household program assistance.
“We knew all along that Columbia and Washington Counties needed help to cope with the devastation left by Irene. Now that FEMA has heeded our call and stepped up to the plate to make the necessary funding available, we can begin the process of helping repair and rebuild local infrastructure damaged in the storm, and helping local residents rebuild their homes and their lives in the wake of this storm.” said Schumer.
“This is great news for families and businesses in Columbia and Washington Counties in dire need of help to dig out from this devastating storm, and begin to recover,” Senator Gillibrand said. “Now it’s time to put all necessary resources on the ground where we need them to bring relief. I will fight to secure all the federal funding our communities need.”
Through the public assistance program, FEMA provides supplemental Federal disaster grant assistance for debris removal, emergency protective measures, and the repair, replacement, or restoration of disaster-damaged, publicly owned facilities and the facilities of certain Private Non-Profit (PNP) organizations. The PA Program also encourages protection of these damaged facilities from future events by providing assistance for hazard mitigation measures during the recovery process.
FEMA’s individual assistance program includes range of programs, including home repair, temporary housing, grants for serious disaster-related needs and expenses not covered by insurance or other assistance programs. With individual assistance, Schumer and Gillibrand said that finally Columbia and Washington residents would be getting the help they need.