DENTON, Texas -- Federal and state disaster assistance is available to help five New Mexico counties recover from flooding that occurred earlier this summer, according to officials with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the New Mexico Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM).
Under FEMA's Public Assistance (PA) program, the agency is able to provide supplemental financial assistance to the state and state agencies, local and tribal governments, and certain private nonprofit organizations for their eligible response and recovery expenses, including infrastructure repairs.
The PA program is different from FEMA's Individual Assistance (IA) program, which assists homeowners, renters and business owners. Although PA funds go to government entities and nonprofits, the assistance is intended to benefit everyone — neighborhoods, cities and states. PA dollars help clean up communities overwhelmed by disaster-related debris, repair the roads and bridges people use every day getting to work and school, put utilities and water systems back in order, repair hospitals and emergency services, and rebuild schools and universities.
Following are some key dates, facts and deadlines for applicants seeking federal assistance as a result of the New Mexico floods:
- President Obama issued a major disaster declaration on Sept. 13 for the July 25 – Aug. 9 flooding. Help is available to applicants in five New Mexico counties affected by the flooding. The counties are Cibola, McKinley, Mora, San Juan and Socorro.
- FEMA Public Assistance dollars come to New Mexico communities through a cost-sharing partnership among the state, the applicants and the federal government. FEMA is reimbursing applicants 75 percent of their eligible costs, with the state and applicants dividing the remaining 25 percent. FEMA obligates federal PA funds directly to the state, which disburses the money to the local jurisdictions and organizations that incurred costs.
- Applicants must file Requests for Public Assistance (RPAs) within 30 days of the Sept. 13 presidential disaster declaration, which puts the deadline at Oct. 13.
The New Mexico Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM) is the state's homeland security and emergency management agency. The agency works to identify and lessen the effects of emergencies, disasters and threats to New Mexico by developing effective prevention, preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery actions for all disasters and emergencies.
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.