Syracuse, NY -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) today announced that $5.3 million has been approved for New York State residents in response to the severe summer storms, widespread flooding and multiple tornadoes that struck the state between July 21 and August 13, 2003.
"The summer storm was a traumatic event for thousands of New Yorkers, but the financial assistance needed for individuals and communities to recover is flowing," said Justo Hernández, federal coordinating officer for FEMA's disaster recovery operation.
"We are doing everything we can to make sure the disaster aid gets to storm victims as quickly as possible," Hernandez said.
Disaster programs available to eligible homeowners, renters and businesses in Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chemung, Columbia, Delaware, Fulton, Greene, Livingston, Montgomery, Ontario, Rensselaer, Schuyler, Steuben and Yates counties include home repair; temporary housing; disaster-related needs for personal property losses; reimbursement for medical, dental and transportation expenses; and low-interest disaster loans from the U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
Non-profit organizations and government entities in 15 counties- Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chemung, Columbia, Delaware, Fulton, Livingston, Madison, Montgomery, Ontario, Schuyler, Steuben, Sullivan, Yates and Wyoming - may be eligible to recover costs for measures taken to save lives, ensure public health and safety, protect property, remove debris and repair infrastructure under FEMA's Public Assistance (PA) program.
Edward F. Jacoby, Jr., State Coordinating Officer and Director of the State Emergency Management Office (SEMO), said the disaster assistance programs are a tremendous help to communities struggling to deal with damages from the storms. "The disaster programs are vital to help communities get on the road to recovery."
To date, FEMA has approved over $3.5 million for storm victims for Individual and Public Assistance in 15 counties part of the disaster President Bush declared at the request of Governor George E. Pataki on August 29, 2003.
Following is a breakdown of the approved disaster aid as of October 29, 2003:
|Individual Assistance program||$1,477,083|
|SBA Disaster Loans||$1,774,400|
|Other Needs Assistance (ONA)||$180,213.97|
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.