Quincy, MA -- The Disaster Field Office (DFO) for the administration of recovery operations in the Presidentially declared flooding disaster officially opened to the media, Tuesday, April 17, in Quincy, MA. Co-hosting a press conference were Federal Coordinating Officer Louis Botta of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and State Coordinating Officer Stephen J. McGrail, for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and director of the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA).
The DFO is a joint effort of both the state and federal government. "Let me emphasize that this is very much a partnership between MEMA and FEMA," said Botta. "We are here to augment the Commonwealth's efforts to help the people of Massachusetts who were affected by the storms and flooding to recover from the disaster."
"Currently, we are working directly with the citizens of Essex, Middlesex and Norfolk counties. We are looking at the possibility of expanding to additional counties if new numbers warrant it," stated Director McGrail. "We are aware that many individuals have already taken advantage of the toll-free telephone number, and we will continue to ensure that everyone who is entitled to assistance receives it."
Members of the media met program specialists, toured the facility, and received answers to questions specific to the state and federal response efforts for the Massachusetts flooding disaster.
To date, more than 1,300 persons have applied for assistance by telephone. The number to call is 1-800-462-9029. Hearing- or speech-impaired applicants may call TTY: 1-800-462-7585. Both numbers are operational from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week. To date, disaster housing checks have already gone out to 695 families. These checks totaled over $1,306,000.
Flood victims also may be considered for a low-interest loan from another federal partner, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), but they must first call the same teleregistration number: 1-800-462-9029.