Washington, DC - The head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security?s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today that President Bush has ordered federal aid to supplement the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and local recovery efforts in the area struck by severe storms and flooding on October 7 ? 16, 2005.
Acting FEMA Director R. David Paulison said the President?s action makes federal funding available to affected individuals in the counties of Berkshire, Bristol, Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth and Worcester.
Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.
Federal funding is also available to state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by severe storms and flooding in the counties of Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden, and Hampshire.
Paulison said aid federal funding also will be available on a cost-shared basis for hazard mitigation projects in the counties of Berkshire, Bristol, Essex, Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth, Suffolk, and Worcester. Additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.
Peter J. Martinasco of FEMA was named the Federal Coordinating Officer by Paulison. Martinasco will coordinate recovery operations in the affected area. Residents and business owners in the designated counties can begin the disaster application process 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.
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 the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.