WASHINGTON - Under the leadership of President Obama, the administration is continuing to bring all of its resources to bear to support affected states and territories that were impacted by Hurricane Irene. On Sunday, President Obama will travel to Paterson, N.J., to view damage from Hurricane Irene and be briefed on response and recovery efforts. The President's trip follows earlier visits by Department of Homeland Secretary Janet Napolitano, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Craig Fugate, and FEMA Deputy Administrator Rich Serino, to areas in North Carolina, Virginia, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Vermont.
"On behalf of the entire federal family, our thoughts and prayers continue to be with families and communities affected by Hurricane Irene," said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, who will be in Paterson, N.J. on Sunday at the President's request. "We will continue to work with our federal, state, local and private sector partners -- as well as the American public -- to support the affected families, neighborhoods and communities as they work to rebuild and recover, for as long as it takes."
Over the past several days, President Obama has declared major disaster declarations for the states of North Carolina, New York, New Jersey, Vermont and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, as well as more than a dozen emergency declarations signed by the President to provide state and local officials federal resources as they respond to this storm. Today, President Obama has amended the existing emergency declaration for Connecticut due to Irene to include individual assistance for residents, including temporary housing, repairs, replacement, medical, dental and funeral expenses and personal property and transportation.
Residents and businesses in declared disaster areas, who have disaster-related losses not covered by insurance, are encouraged to register for assistance. Residents and businesses may apply online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov, by web enabled mobile device at m.fema.gov, or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA(3362). Disaster assistance applicants, who have a speech disability or hearing loss can use TTY, should call 1-800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362.
Federal and state personnel are continuing to conduct joint preliminary damage assessments in impacted communities in these states and other states, and as these efforts continue additional counties may be added for assistance. FEMA and the administration are committed to working as quickly as possible with our state and local partners to reviewing any additional requests governors make for major disaster declarations. For more information on how the disaster declarations process works, visit: http://blog.fema.gov/2011/08/federal-assistance-before-during-after.html.
Through its regional offices up and down the East Coast, FEMA remains in constant contact with the governors and their emergency management teams in all of the impacted states and remains in constant coordination. Additionally, FEMA, through its regional offices in Atlanta, New York and Denton, Texas, is also closely monitoring several developing storm systems in the Atlantic and Caribbean, including Tropical Storm Katia in the eastern Atlantic and Tropical...