The administration, coordinated through FEMA, is committed to bringing all of the resources of the federal family to bear to support the states and territories that have been affected by Hurricane Irene. FEMA, through our regional offices in Boston, MA, Philadelphia, PA, New York City, NY, Atlanta, GA, and our Caribbean Area Office in Puerto Rico, have been in close contact and coordination with the states and territories that have been affected.
Over the past several days, President Obama has declared major disaster declarations for the states of North Carolina, New York, New Jersey, Vermont and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and emergency declarations for North Carolina, Maryland, District of Columbia, Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Vermont, making available federal resources to support response efforts. Prior to Irene's making landfall on the East Coast Saturday, FEMA deployed teams and resources along the East Coast from South Carolina to Maine.
In advance of Irene moving through the territories earlier last week, FEMA deployed teams to both Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to coordinate directly with local officials on the ground. At the direction of President Obama and DHS Secretary Napolitano, FEMA continues to work with our federal, state, territorial, tribal and local partners, as well as voluntary organizations, the private sector, and others to respond to the aftermath of Irene. The following timeline provides an overview of these and other federal activities, to date, to support these territories, states, families and communities.
Thursday, September 1
- President Obama declares a major disaster declaration for Vermont, making additional federal assistance available to individuals and businesses. Residents and businesses in declared areas, who have disaster-related losses not covered by insurance, are encouraged to register for assistance. Residents and businesses may apply online at Disasterassistance.gov/ or by web enabled mobile device at m.fema.gov, orby calling 1-800-621-FEMA(3362). Disaster assistance applicants, who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY, should call 1-800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362.
- FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate is in New York City to meet with local and state partners to be briefed on response and recovery efforts and to join city leaders to help kick off National Preparedness Month, which starts today.
- More than 4,000 National Guard personnel, activated by Governors of the affected states, continue to assist states with response efforts. In those states already being affected by the hurricane, National Guard forces are assisting state and local authorities as they begin performing cleanup, communication, and search and rescue missions. The National Guard Bureau's Crisis Management Element has been activated.
- The Department of Health and Human Services' Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT) remains deployed to Vermont. This HHS teams is specially trained to provide emergency health and medical support to medical facilities such as hospitals and health centers. In coordination with affected states, other federal medical teams have been demobilized. · The U.S. Forest Service continues to support Vermont with a chainsaw team to cut and remove debris from blocked roadways and other areas.
- The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) offers information on special tax law provisions that may help taxpayers and businesses recover financially from the impact of a disaster, especially when the federal government declares their location to be a major disaster area. · In coordination with FEMA, the U.S. Postal Service is placing disaster assistance information in postal facilities in affected areas.
- FEMA and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau urge disaster survivors who are returning to their homes and are considering repairs to be aware of the potential of scams and fraudulent contractors.
- In Puerto Rico, seven Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) are open. These are centers where disaster survivors can meet one-on-one with representatives from state, local, federal and voluntary agencies to learn about disaster assistance programs. To date in Puerto Rico, more than 2,500 disaster survivors have visited DRCs. As of 3 p.m., more than 11,300 survivors of Hurricane Irene in Puerto Rico have registered for FEMA assistance.· As of 3 p.m., more than 10,000 disaster survivors across North Carolina, New Jersey and New York have registered for assistance. Residents and businesses may apply online at Disasterassistance.gov, by web enabled mobile device at m.fema.gov, or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA(3362). Disaster assistance applicants, who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY, should call 1-800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362.
- FEMA conducts conference calls with congressional delegations from the mid-Atlantic and Northeast, Asian, Black and Hispanic Caucuses and FEMA Authorizers and Appropriators to provide updates on ongoing federal response and recovery to Irene.
See yesterday's blog post for a recap of earlier federal activities.