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Irene: Overview of Federal Family's Preparations and Response

Release date: 
September 4, 2011
Release Number: 

The administration, coordinated through FEMA, is committed to bringing all of the resources of the federal family to bear to support the states and territories that have been affected by Hurricane Irene. FEMA, through our regional offices in Boston, MA, Philadelphia, PA, New York City, NY, Atlanta, GA, and our Caribbean Area Office in Puerto Rico, have been in close contact and coordination with the states and territories that have been affected. President Obama has declared major disaster declarations for the commonwealths and states of North Carolina, New York, New Jersey, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and Virginia and the territory of Puerto Rico as well as emergency declarations for North Carolina, Maryland, District of Columbia, Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Vermont, making available federal resources to support recovery efforts.  The following timeline provides an overview of these and other federal activities, to date, to support these territories, states, families and communities. 

Sunday, September 4

  • President Obama visits Paterson, New Jersey, where he is joined by FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, to view damage from Hurricane Irene and to be briefed on the response and recovery efforts.  FEMA Deputy Administrator Rich Serino travels to Brattleboro, Vermont to meet with state and local officials and visit a Disaster Recovery Center.  
  • To date, President Obama has signed major disaster declarations for nine commonwealths and states, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Virginia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Vermont, and the territory of Puerto Rico, making additional federal assistance available for recovery efforts. 
  • Residents and businesses in disaster-impacted areas of Connecticut, Massachusetts, North Carolina, New York, New Jersey, Vermont and Puerto Rico, who have disaster-related losses not covered by insurance, can apply now for federal disaster assistance online at, by web enabled mobile device at, or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA(3362). Disaster assistance applicants, who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY, should call 1-800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362. 
  • As of noon today, more than 44,000 disaster survivors across North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Vermont and Puerto Rico have registered for assistance.   
  • In New York, New Jersey, Vermont, North Carolina and Puerto Rico, Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) are open, and more centers are scheduled to open soon in other hard-hit areas.  DRCs are locations where disaster survivors can meet one-on-one with representatives from state, local, federal and voluntary agencies to learn about disaster assistance programs.  As residents continue to return to their homes, more centers will be opening.  Contact your local emergency management office for more information on locations and hours.  As power is restored, DRC locations and hours will also be available online at  Check back regularly, as locations are frequently updated. 
  • More than 600 housing damage inspectors are in the field in North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Vermont and Puerto Rico to inspect damage to homes of disaster survivors who have applied for disaster assistance.  As more survivors continue to apply for assistance, the number of inspectors in the field will continue to ...
Last Updated: 
January 3, 2018 - 12:18