DENTON, Texas -- State agencies, local and tribal governments as well as certain private nonprofits in five New Mexico counties hit hard by summer flooding have less than two weeks remaining to file their official requests for federal assistance, according to officials with FEMA and the New Mexico Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM).
The deadline to file a Request for Public Assistance (RPA) is Wednesday, Oct. 13.
Filing such a request with the state is the first step in the process of applying for federal reimbursements under FEMA's Public Assistance (PA) Grant Program.
Applicants must file RPAs within 30 days of a Public Assistance amendment to a presidential disaster declaration. President Obama signed New Mexico's major disaster declaration on Sept. 13 for Cibola, McKinley, Mora, San Juan and Socorro counties.
"We would like all eligible applicants to get in their requests for assistance quickly," said FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer Sandy Coachman. "The sooner those forms get to state specialists, the sooner we can start the process of getting their eligible costs reimbursed."
The grants are obligated to the state to reimburse applicants for eligible expenses they incurred while taking emergency measures to protect lives and property; cleaning up downed trees, power poles and other debris; and making repairs to public infrastructure, including roads, bridges and public utilities.
Although the program is oriented to public entities, private nonprofit organizations may apply directly to FEMA via the RPA for uninsured costs of debris removal and emergency protective measures. Additionally, nonprofits may qualify for FEMA assistance to make infrastructure repairs if they provide critical services, such as fire and emergency rescue; medical treatment; power, water and sewer resources; and communications systems.
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.