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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 8:57 pm    Post subject: SCHUMER CALLS ON FEMA TO SEND DISASTER ASSESSMENT TEAMS
From Mon Mar 15, 2010 3:00 am to Thu Mar 18, 2010 2:59 am (included)
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March 15, 2010


Teams Will Conduct Preliminary Damage Assessments Alongside State Emergency Officials – Fast Track Process for Possible Federal Aid

Local Clean-Up Budgets Already Stretched to the Max After Record Snow Storms – Schumer to Fight to Secure Disaster Aid

Federal Aid Comes in the Form of Reimbursements for Local Emergency Officials with Possible Grants and Loans to Individuals and Small Businesses

In the wake of the weekend’s massive storm, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today called on the Federal Emergency Management Agency to immediately dispatch damage assessment teams to the five boroughs of New York City and Long Island. Schumer will say the FEMA teams will work alongside state, city, and local emergency officials to conduct critical preliminary damage assessments to kick start the process for the state to apply for emergency federal disaster aid. Schumer will say that after the record snow storms, city and local clean-up budgets are already stretched to the max and that we need federal aid to help communities get back on their feet.

“This weekend’s storm did some very serious damage and will require a major recovery and clean-up effort that is expected to cost tens of millions of dollars. We need FEMA on the ground as soon as possible to assess the damage and work with state and local emergency officials so we can fast track federal disaster aid to help the municipalities whose clean up budgets were already stretched to the limit after this winter’s record snow storms.”

Schumer said that bringing in FEMA personnel to immediately assess the damage will help speed up the federal aid process to ensure funding can get to municipalities, and possibly even homeowners and small businesses as soon as possible. Schumer said that after the preliminary disaster assessment is completed, Governor David Paterson is expected to declare a state of emergency and request federal disaster assistance for the affected counties.

In order to qualify for FEMA public assistance funding, the affected counties will have had to have sustained a minimum of $25 million combined. Initial reports have Suffolk County alone sustaining more than $30 million.

Should FEMA and the President approve the disaster aid request, Schumer would push for both public assistance and individual assistance to be made available to New York. Public Assistance disaster relief enables municipalities to be reimbursed by the federal government for costs associated with debris removal, emergency response efforts, and restoration of public infrastructure such as roads and parks.

Individual Assistance provides aid for those whose homes or businesses were damaged including grants and loans to cover the costs of temporary housing, repair, and construction.

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