Washington, DC - The head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today that federal disaster aid has been made available for New Hampshire to help people and community's recovery efforts in the area struck by severe storms and flooding on October 7-18, 2005.
Acting Director of FEMA R. David Paulison, said the assistance was authorized under a major disaster declaration issued for the state by President Bush, and designated the following counties eligible for aid to stricken residents and business owners: Cheshire, Grafton, Hillsborough, Merrimack, and Sullivan counties.
The assistance, to be coordinated by FEMA, can include grants to help pay for temporary housing, home repairs and other serious disaster-related expenses. Low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration also will be available to cover residential and business losses not fully compensated by insurance.
Additionally, Paulison said federal funds will be provided for the state and affected local governments and certain private non-profit communities to pay 75 percent of the eligible costs for restoring damaged facilities in the counties of Belknap, Cheshire, Hillsborough, Merrimack, and Sullivan.
Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.
Paulison indicated that more counties and additional forms of assistance may be designated after assessments are fully completed in the affected areas. He named Peter J. Martinasco as the Federal Coordinating Officer for Federal recovery operations in the affected areas.
Martinasco said those who sustained losses in the counties designated for aid to affected residents and business owners can begin the disaster application process tomorrow by registering online at http://www.fema.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.
FEMA prepares the nation for all hazards and manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates mitigation activities, trains first responders, works with state and local emergency managers, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.