Syracuse, NY - Local government entities and certain private non-profit organizations in Madison, Sullivan and Wyoming counties are now eligible to recover costs they incurred while dealing with the severe storms, tornadoes, and flooding that ravaged New York State between July 21 and August 13, federal and state officials announced today.
"After a further review of data from these counties it has been determined that disaster aid is warranted," said Justo Hern?ndez, federal coordinating officer for FEMA's disaster recovery operation. "We will immediately schedule briefings in the counties to help local officials understand the reimbursement process and expedite the disaster aid to their communities."
The designation allows eligible applicants to recover costs for measures taken to save lives, ensure public health and safety, protect property, remove debris, and repair infrastructure. The federal government funds 75 percent of approved costs, the State of New York funds 12.5 percent, and the applicant is responsible for the remaining 12.5 percent.
Edward F. Jacoby, Jr., State Coordinating Officer and director of the State Emergency Management Office (SEMO), said, "The disaster aid now available to these counties is critical because without it local taxpayers would be left to pay for disaster-related expenses incurred by their communities on their own. Potential applicants should begin gathering their paperwork, contact their county emergency managers and make plans to attend the briefings in their counties."
The addition of the three counties brings the total designated for disaster aid to 17. President Bush authorized aid for Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chemung, Columbia, Delaware, Fulton, Greene, Livingston, Montgomery, Ontario, Rensselaer, Schuyler, Steuben and Yates counties on August 29, 2003 at the request of Governor George E. Pataki.
On March 1, 2003, FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. FEMA's continuing mission within the new department is to lead the effort to prepare the nation for all hazards and effectively manage federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates proactive mitigation activities, trains first responders, and manages Citizens Corps, the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.