ANDOVER, Mass. -- As registration for disaster assistance closed last week, state and federal assistance to Massachusetts residents and communities has surpassed $52.9 million in response to the mid-May floods. In total, nearly 11,000 households applied for assistance after President Bush approved a federal disaster declaration on May 25, 2006.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved more than $16.3 million to cover rental assistance, temporary lodging and grants for home repairs not covered by insurance (Essex - $10.55 million; Middlesex - $4.85 million; and Suffolk - $919,154) In addition, $1.7 million was approved for personal property loss, medical or dental costs and other significant disaster-related expenses.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved low-interest disaster loans totaling more than $31.2 million for homeowners, business owners and renters. The registration period for an SBA loan has likewise ended and its’ four Loan Assistance Centers that had been operating in the region closed on August 10.
FEMA’s Public Assistance (PA) program provides funding reimbursement for eligible costs incurred for emergency response or damage to public infrastructure. On June 9, President Bush approved PA funding for local governments, state agencies and certain private nonprofits performing government functions in Essex and Middlesex counties. To date, FEMA has received 260 requests for public assistance and more than $3.7 million has been obligated.
Individuals who have applied for assistance and have additional questions may visit www.fema.gov/assistance or call toll-free 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the speech- or hearing-impaired.
FEMA manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates mitigation activities, works with state and local emergency managers, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.