SANTA FE – Severe storms and flooding that took place Sept. 9th through 22nd damaged public facilities and roads in15 New Mexico counties. President Barack Obama signed a disaster declaration for 15 New Mexico counties on Oct. 29.
On Nov. 27, De Baca, Dona Ana, Harding, Lincoln, Otero, Rio Arriba, San Juan counties, and the Isleta, Sandia, and Taos Pueblos and the Navajo Nation were added to the declaration.
Now, state agencies, local governments, tribal entities, community ditch associations and certain private nonprofit agencies must file Requests for Public Assistance (RPA) with the State of New Mexico for reimbursement under the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Public Assistance (PA) Grant Program. Officials in these counties and pueblos who have not already done so must file their RPAs with the State of New Mexico no later than Close of Business on Dec. 27.
Filing such a request with the state is the first step in the process of applying for federal reimbursements under FEMA’s PA Grant Program.
These grants are obligated to the state in order to reimburse eligible applicants for expenses incurred while taking emergency measures to protect lives and property. These measures include cleaning up downed trees, power poles and other debris and repairing public infrastructure, including roads, bridges and public utilities. Under a cost-sharing formula, FEMA reimburses the state for 75 percent of the total costs, while the state and/or applicant pay the remaining 25 percent.
This deadline does not apply to counties not included in this declaration. Officials in these counties who have questions about Requests for Public Assistance should contact Brian Williams at 505-476-9601.
“Recovering from such widespread flooding takes a lot of effort and can be expensive,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Nancy Casper. “The process of getting reimbursed for these expenses starts with filing an RPA.”
Although the program is oriented to public entities, certain 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 Dec. 27 deadline does not affect the original 15 counties: Catron, Chaves, Cibola, Colfax, Eddy, Guadalupe, Los Alamos, McKinley, Mora, Sandoval, San Miguel, Santa Fe, Sierra, Socorro, and Torrance counties, since their RPA deadline was Nov. 28.
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.
Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). For TTY call 800-462-7585.
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.