WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) today announced that federal disaster aid has been made available for the State of New Mexico to help people and communities recover from the effects of severe storms and flooding beginning on July 26, 2006, and continuing.
FEMA Director R. David Paulison said the assistance was authorized under a major disaster declaration issued for the State of New Mexico by President Bush. The President's action makes Federal funding available to affected individuals in Dona Ana County.
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.
Federal funding also is 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 the severe storms and flooding in the counties of Cibola, Dona Ana, Lincoln, Luna, Otero, Socorro, and Valencia.
Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.
Paulison named Tony Russell as the Federal Coordinating Officer for Federal recovery operations in the affected area. Russell said that damage surveys are continuing in other areas, and more counties and additional forms of assistance may be designated after the assessments are complete.
Residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties can begin applying for assistance tomorrow by registering online at 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 6 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.
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.