Today, U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has awarded individual assistance to Herkimer County residents, and public assistance to local governments in Franklin, Hamilton, and Herkimer Counties. Schumer and Gillibrand said that this was an important first step in making sure that these counties get the help they needs to recover from Irene.
“I called Administrator Fugate to tell him that FEMA needs to work hand in glove with state and local leaders to make sure New York residents, business owners and local governments have every resource necessary to rebuild homes, businesses, roads, bridges, utilities, and other key infrastructure,” said Schumer. “Franklin, Hamilton, and Herkimer Counties were hit hard, but now that FEMA has heeded that 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 tragedy.”
“This is great news for families and businesses in Franklin, Hamilton and Herkimer 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.”
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, Herkimer County residents would be getting the help they need to begin the difficult rebuilding process.
Public assistance is federal aid made available to public and certain nonprofit entities for emergency services and the repair or replacement of public facilities damaged in a natural disaster. Qualifying municipalities and entities can use public assistance funding for debris removal and cleanup, emergency protective measures to save lives and prevent further property damage following a storm and to repair washed out and heavily damaged roads and bridges. Local governments can also utilize this source of funding to repair water control facilities including dams and levees, to repair public buildings and equipment damaged from the storm, repair utilities, and repair or restore public parks and other recreational facilities.