Press Releases

Press Releases

Press Releases

FEMA PROVIDES AN ADDITIONAL $181 MILLION TO COLORADO FOR COVID-19 RESPONSE

Sat, 16 Jan 2021 20:41:43 +0000

FEMA PROVIDES AN ADDITIONAL $181 MILLION TO COLORADO FOR COVID-19 RESPONSE

DENVER – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has provided $181 million in additional funding for COVID-19 response efforts in Colorado. To date, FEMA has provided more than $330 million in Public Assistance funding for COVID-19 response in Colorado. The assistance was made available under a major disaster declaration issued April 4, 2020, by President Trump.

The $181 million was provided to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to fund COVID-19 community testing sites and laboratory contracts in Colorado. Funding for this project is authorized under Section 403 of the Robert T. Stafford Act.

“This FEMA assistance is making a difference across Colorado,” said FEMA Region 8 Administrator Lee dePalo. “Testing sites ensure that both individuals and health officials have critical information on the level of infections within the state. This helps state and local leaders make critical decisions in the battle against COVID.”

FEMA’s Public Assistance Program provides funding for emergency actions undertaken by communities to protect public safety, providing at least a 75-percent funding share for eligible costs. Remaining costs are the responsibility of the state and local applicants for assistance.

For the COVID-19 response, FEMA has simplified the Public Assistance application and funding process to address the magnitude of this event and to allow local officials to receive eligible funding more quickly. These reimbursements play a critical role as state, local and tribal officials work tirelessly to assist their communities during this response.

Additional information about FEMA’s Public Assistance program can be found at www.fema.gov/assistance/public.

 

anthony.mayneSat, 01/16/2021 - 15:41

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Hope for Fishing Villages on the Island

Fri, 15 Jan 2021 12:15:53 +0000

Hope for Fishing Villages on the Island

FEMA approves $1.8 million for repairs to the villages in Guayama, Maunabo, Mayagüez and San Juan

GUAYNABO, Puerto Rico — At about 4 a.m. Christopher McGrath, a commercial fisherman from San Juan, begins to prepare his boat to go out to sea to find fresh fish. That hard work goes on for long hours until the sun goes down, where he then distributes the day’s catch to restaurants and to the public.

Like him, nearly a thousand fishermen live this daily scenario on the coasts of Puerto Rico. For many, the work is more difficult and demanding after Hurricane María destroyed many of their boats, work equipment and even the wharfs where they docked. This is why a $1.8 million allocation from FEMA to the Puerto Rico Department of Agriculture represents a boost for the island's fishermen, since it will improve the safety and environment of their places of work.

“Our goal with these obligations is to help the sector recover, allowing it to continue to support the communities and their families. Fishing is a vital link in the food supply chain on the island and the improvements that will be made will provide an opportunity to take advantage of the resources of our coasts”, said Federal Disaster Recovery Coordinator for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, José Baquero Tirado.

Four fishing villages where 96 fishermen work will be repaired and rebuilt thanks to these federal funds: La Coal Fishing Village in Old San Juan, with an obligation of about $696,000; Maunabo Fishing Village, located near the historic Punta Tuna lighthouse, with about $347,000; El Maní Fishing Village in Mayagüez, with about $393,000; and Guayama Fishing Village with about $383,000. Of those funds, about $174,000 will go towards the strengthening of the facilities in order to reduce damage to the structures in the event of future disasters.

According to data from the Puerto Rico Planning Board, in 2018 local fisheries contributed about $300,000 to the island’s economy. In terms of local fish production, in 2017 a little over 15,700 quintals of fish and about 8,600 quintals of seafood were reported. National statistics show that commercial activities that depend on the ocean, such as fishing, finance 7 percent of total employment in Puerto Rico, three times as much as the 2 percent average for the continental United States.

“With this obligation from FEMA, aimed for the recovery and reactivation of the fishing villages, we will mitigate one of the sectors that was most affected by past atmospheric events,” said the designated Secretary of the Puerto Rico Department of Agriculture, Ramón González Beiró. “Through these grants the fishing villages facilities will improve, which is an essential tool for the operation and marketing of the products from our fishermen.”

For George Thomas, tugboat captain and vice president of La Coal Fishing Village in Old San Juan established 45 years ago, everything seemed like a war zone after the hurricane. The experience was similar in the Guayama Fishing Village. As shared by Miguel Ortiz, president of this village established in 2001 and also president of the Commercial Fishermen Federation of Puerto Rico, they lost all kinds of equipment and gave away 1,200 pounds of fish to the community so it would not go to waste due to lack of power. “It has been quite an uphill battle to get back to normal. Right now, we are operating at 35 or 40 percent capacity,” added Ortiz.

Ortiz also indicated that before Maria there were some 44 fishing villages, of which today there are approximately 20 operating at a full or part time capacity. He explained that prior to the hurricane the kiosk in the Guayama Fishing Village could generate about $70,000 a year, while it is currently generating a little over half that amount. The expectation is that these funds will help increase the fishing activity in order to generate capital once again.

“This federal obligation represents an important support for the fishing sector of the island, which has great development potential, not only in financial growth but also on the sustainable food industry,” said executive director of COR3, engineer Manuel Laboy Rivera. “This sector has a great impact on local businesses and restaurants, as well as in the tourism industry and our communities. We thank FEMA for their constant assistance in the process of the reconstruction of Puerto Rico.”  

For more information on Puerto Rico’s recovery from Hurricane María, visit fema.gov/disaster/4339 and recuperacion.pr. Follow us on our social networks at Facebook.com/FEMAPuertoRico, Facebook.com/COR3pr and Twitter @COR3pr.

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (January 5, 2021) -- FEMA approves $1.8 million for repairs to the fishing villages in Guayama, Maunabo, Mayagüez and San Juan. Of those funds, about $174,000 will go towards the strengthening of the facilities in order to reduce damage to the structures in the event of future disasters.

GUAYAMA, Puerto Rico (January 6, 2021) -- Four fishing villages will be repaired and rebuilt thanks to these federal funds, including Guayama Fishing Village with about $383,000. This allocation from FEMA to the Puerto Rico Department of Agriculture represents a boost for the island's fishermen, since it will improve the safety and environment of their places of work.  

frances.acevedo-picoFri, 01/15/2021 - 07:15

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All Alabamians Have Equal Access to FEMA Recovery Programs

Fri, 15 Jan 2021 13:31:29 +0000

All Alabamians Have Equal Access to FEMA Recovery Programs

MONTGOMERY, Ala. To help communities recover from Hurricane Zeta, FEMA is working with state agencies and volunteer organizations to make sure survivors with disabilities and those with access and functional needs have equal access to disaster assistance programs.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 33.2 percent of Alabama adults age 18 and over have some type of disability. Across the state and throughout the United States, FEMA provides accommodations at each step in the disaster recovery process.

FEMA is committed to providing assistance to everyone in the communities affected by the storm. Assistance may take the form of a grant that does not have to be repaid or it may be through connections or referrals with FEMA’s state and local partners.

Be assured: all affected residents in Clarke, Dallas, Marengo, Mobile, Perry, Washington and Wilcox counties can get answers to their questions and help from FEMA with applications for disaster assistance.

FEMA can provide interpreters, real-time captioning and information in alternate formats such as Braille, large-print, audio and electronic versions. The agency also provides free services to help people communicate with its staff and understand FEMA programs.  Among the aids are:

  • Information available in accessible electronic formats on FEMA’s website and social media
  • Qualified American Sign Language interpreters
  • Qualified multilingual interpreters
  • Information written in multiple languages

Newspapers, radio, television, social media, local officials and private sector partners help to spread important recovery information.

The deadline to apply for FEMA disaster assistance is Monday, Feb. 8. There are several ways to apply:

  • Those who use a relay service such as a videophone, InnoCaption or CapTel should update FEMA with their specific number assigned to that service. If you need accommodations for language or disability, let the Helpline specialists know.

Before the next storm, the deaf or hard of hearing community can also review “Preparing Makes Sense for People with Disabilities and Other Access and Functional Needs,” a FEMA video presented in English and sign language. Visit https://www.youtube.com/watch....

For more information about Hurricane Zeta recovery in Alabama, visit https://www.fema.gov/disaster/4573 and www.facebook.com/fema.

felicia.jordanFri, 01/15/2021 - 08:31

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FEMA Supporting Government Partners Across DC Region in Preparation for 59th Presidential Inauguration

Thu, 14 Jan 2021 15:46:37 +0000

FEMA Supporting Government Partners Across DC Region in Preparation for 59th Presidential Inauguration

WASHINGTON --  FEMA is actively coordinating with our state, local and federal partners in support of the 59th Presidential Inauguration.

During this historic event, public safety remains FEMA’s highest priority. In light of recent events and the COVID-19 pandemic, we encourage anyone planning to be in the Washington D.C., metro area to follow the guidance of local officials, adhere to public health precautions and report suspicious activity to law enforcement. Experiencing the inauguration from your home by watching on television or online remains your best option to view this event.

FEMA works closely with our federal, state and local partners and synchronizes federal interagency coordination to prepare for and respond to all hazards in the National Capital Region, enhancing homeland security and emergency management operations. FEMA has provided planning, training and exercise support to our federal, state and local partners to promote an enhanced preparedness posture over the past several months leading up to the 59th Presidential Inauguration.

The Department of Homeland Security designated the Presidential Inauguration as a recurring National Special Security Event (NSSE). Events may be designated NSSEs when they warrant the full protection, incident management and counterterrorism capabilities of the federal government. On Jan. 12, Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Pete Gaynor extended the period of the NSSE to begin a week in advance of the Inauguration and run from Jan. 13 – Jan. 21. The Acting Secretary determined the extended NSSE period was necessary to provide for a unified command and control and ensure the safety and security of this special event.

Due to the complex and sensitive nature of this event, different federal agencies are designated to lead certain efforts.

  • When an event is designated a NSSE, the U.S. Secret Service assumes its mandated role as the lead federal agency for security planning and response.
  • The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the lead federal agency for incident investigation.
  • The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is responsible for incident management.
  • FEMA is the lead federal agency for consequence management in situations where a disaster or hazardous event exceeds local response capabilities. The mission of consequence management is to manage emergency response activities in order to ensure a quick and coordinated response to protect public health and safety, restore essential services, and provide emergency relief to all those affected by the consequences of a natural, man-made, or act-of-terrorism incident.

The preparation for any NSSE is a cooperative effort. FEMA has been fully engaged with our federal, state and local authorities before this event, and will remain so during and after the 59th Presidential Inauguration.

President Donald Trump approved the District of Columbia’s request for an Emergency Declaration on Jan. 11. This action allows FEMA to surge public safety resources and response teams to the District of Columbia in preparation for the inauguration. FEMA response teams are already in position at key locations throughout the National Capital Region and are prepared to support our public safety partners in any potential situations that may arise. Additionally, FEMA is deploying a national Incident Management Assistance Team to the area to support the agency's full-time staff who regularly coordinate, exercise and train with first responders and emergency managers in the Washington, D.C., metro area.

While FEMA does not operate in any law enforcement capacity, we are actively coordinating with our federal, state and local partners to ensure public safety throughout the 59th Presidential Inauguration. Our mission remains the same – helping people before, during and after disasters.

mayshaunt.garyThu, 01/14/2021 - 10:46

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Renters May be Eligible for FEMA Disaster Assistance

Thu, 14 Jan 2021 23:12:31 +0000

Renters May be Eligible for FEMA Disaster Assistance

BATON ROUGE, La. – If you are a renter in Jefferson, Lafourche, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard or Terrebonne parish and sustained damage or losses from Hurricane Zeta, you may be eligible for federal disaster assistance. 

These six parishes were named in a disaster declaration signed by President Trump Jan. 12. If the house or apartment you are renting is your primary residence and is in one of these parishes, you should register with FEMA to apply for grants to help with disaster-related expenses, such as:

  • Renting a different dwelling when the formerly occupied one is unsafe to live in due to the hurricane;
  • Hurricane-related medical and dental expenses;
  • Increased cost of child-care expenses;
  • Moving and storage fees;
  • Replacement or repair of necessary personal property lost or damaged in the hurricane, such as appliances and furniture, textbooks and computers used by students, and work equipment or tools used by independent contractors;
  • Repair or replacement of hurricane-damaged vehicles;
  • Hurricane-related funeral and burial expenses, and
  • Other serious disaster-related needs not covered by insurance or other sources.

Rental grants may be used for security deposits, rent and the cost of essential utilities—such as gas or water. The grants may not be used to pay for separate cable or Internet bills. The grants are not loans and don’t have to be repaid. They are not taxable income and won’t affect eligibility for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits or other public assistance programs.

If you have renter’s insurance, you should call your insurance agent to start the claims process before you contact FEMA.

There are three ways to apply for federal disaster assistance:

  • Visit DisasterAssistance.gov;
  • Use the FEMA mobile app, or
  • Call the disaster assistance helpline at 800-621-3362 (TTY) 800-462-7585 from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week until further notice. Multilingual operators are available.

Registration deadline is March 15, 2021.       

Renters who face eviction or have been evicted from their storm-damaged apartment complex—whether their unit had damage or not—may be eligible for disaster assistance. Renters who have already registered for federal assistance and were evicted after they registered due to damage to other parts of their complex should call the FEMA Helpline.

Renters may also qualify for long-term, low-interest loans of up to $40,000 from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). These loans may be used to cover the cost of repairing or replacing essential hurricane-damaged personal property.

For information, visit SBA.gov/disaster, call 800-659-2955 (TTY 800-877-8339) or email DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov. To apply for an SBA loan, visit disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

Renters who are deaf or hard of hearing may view an informational video with American Sign Language at youtube.com/watch?v=yAHSPK_K7tg. Those who use a relay service such as a videophone, InnoCaption or CapTel should alert FEMA as to the specific number assigned to that service.

For the latest information on Hurricane Zeta, visit fema.gov/disaster/4577. Follow the FEMA Region 6 Twitter account at twitter.com/FEMARegion6.

scott.reuterThu, 01/14/2021 - 18:12

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Louisiana Residents Affected by Hurricane Zeta Can Apply for Federal Disaster Assistance

Wed, 13 Jan 2021 22:48:12 +0000

Louisiana Residents Affected by Hurricane Zeta Can Apply for Federal Disaster Assistance

BATON ROUGE, La. – Homeowners and renters who suffered damage from Hurricane Zeta in Jefferson, Lafourche, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard and Terrebonne parishes should register with FEMA and apply for federal disaster assistance as soon as possible. Survivors may be eligible to receive assistance for uninsured and underinsured damage and losses resulting from the hurricane.

These parishes were designated eligible for FEMA’s Individual Assistance program under the Major Disaster Declaration signed by President Trump for damage and losses suffered from Hurricane Zeta between Oct. 26 and 29, 2020.

If you have not yet done so, contact your homeowners insurance company immediately to file your storm-damage claims and document the damage with photos. You do not have to wait until your insurance company makes a decision to take the next steps. The faster you file, the faster your recovery can begin. The deadline to register for assistance for Hurricane Zeta is March 15, 2021.

Register with FEMA by:

  • Going online at disasterassistance.gov;
  • Downloading the FEMA app; or
  • Calling the helpline: 800-621-3362 or TTY 800-462-7585. The toll-free telephone lines operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.

If you have previously applied for FEMA assistance for hurricanes Laura and Delta, you will have to register again for Hurricane Zeta assistance. If you registered in anticipation of the declaration of Hurricane Zeta, your registration will be processed.

You will need to have the following available when you register:

  • A current phone number where you can be contacted;
  • Your address at the time of the disaster and the address where you are now staying;
  • Your Social Security number, if available; and
  • If insured, the insurance policy number or your insurance agent and company.

Disaster assistance may provide temporary help and a place to stay while you build your own recovery plan. Although the federal government cannot make you whole, it may be able to help your recovery move forward by providing grants for basic repairs to make your home safe, accessible and secure. FEMA is unable to duplicate insurance payments. However, those without insurance, or those who may be underinsured, may still receive help after their insurance claims have been settled.

Disaster assistance may include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost disaster loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and businesses recover from the effects of the disaster.

U.S. Small Business Administration Disaster Loans are available for:

  • Businesses of any size and nonprofits for up to $2 million for property damage.
  • For small businesses, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most nonprofits: up to $2 million for working capital needs even if they had no property damage, with a $2 million maximum loan for any combination of property damage and working-capital needs.
  • For homeowners: up to $200,000 to repair or replace their primary residence.
  • For homeowners and renters: up to $40,000 to replace personal property, including vehicles.

Businesses and residents can apply online at www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance. For questions and assistance completing an application, call 800-659-2955 or email FOCWAssistance@sba.gov.   

Follow the FEMA Region 6 Twitter account at twitter.com/FEMARegion6.

The following parishes are approved by FEMA for Public Assistance:

  • Jefferson, Lafourche, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, and St. Charles Parishes for Public Assistance for debris removal.
  • Acadia, Allen, Ascension, Assumption, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Evangeline, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, Lafourche, Livingston, Orleans, Plaquemines, Pointe Coupee, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. Helena, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Mary, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne, Vermilion, Washington, West Baton Rouge, and West Feliciana Parishes for emergency protective measures, including direct federal assistance.
scott.reuterWed, 01/13/2021 - 17:48

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President Donald J. Trump Approves Major Disaster Declaration for Utah

Wed, 13 Jan 2021 14:22:04 +0000

President Donald J. Trump Approves Major Disaster Declaration for Utah

WASHINGTON -- FEMA announced that federal disaster assistance has been made available to the state of Utah to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by straight-line winds Sept. 7 – 8, 2020.

The President's action makes federal funding available to the state and local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by straight line winds in Davis, Morgan, Salt Lake and Weber counties.

Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.

Kenneth G. Clark has been named the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected area. Additional designations may be made at a later date if warranted by the results of damage assessments

mayshaunt.garyWed, 01/13/2021 - 09:22

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President Donald J. Trump Approves Major Disaster Declaration for Georgia

Wed, 13 Jan 2021 14:44:47 +0000

President Donald J. Trump Approves Major Disaster Declaration for Georgia

WASHINGTON – Yesterday, FEMA announced federal disaster assistance is available to the state of Georgia to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by Tropical Storm Zeta on Oct. 29, 2020.

Federal funding is available to state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by Tropical Storm Zeta in Banks, Carroll, Cherokee, Dawson, Douglas, Fannin, Forsyth, Franklin, Gilmer, Habersham, Hall, Haralson, Heard, Lumpkin, Paulding, Pickens, Rabun, Stephens, Towns, Union and White counties.

Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.

Leda Khoury has been named as the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected areas. Additional designations may be made later if warranted by the results of damage assessments

mayshaunt.garyWed, 01/13/2021 - 09:44

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FEMA Provides $1.9 to Allina Health Systems

Wed, 13 Jan 2021 14:59:09 +0000

FEMA Provides $1.9 to Allina Health Systems

CHICAGO – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Minnesota Department of Safety Homeland Security and Emergency Management division (DPS-HSEM) announced today that $1,906,728 in federal funding has been made available to Allina Health System for costs related to the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic under the federal disaster declaration of April 7, 2020.

This funding will reimburse Allina Health System for costs to purchase and distribute personal protective equipment, ventilators and medical supplies to eliminate the immediate threat to life, public health and safety during the COVID-19 response.

“FEMA’s Public Assistance Program is an important resource for communities affected by COVID-19,” said Kevin M. Sligh, acting regional administrator, FEMA Region 5. “This grant funding has helped ensure the availability of critical medical supplies and services in Minnesota to combat this virus.”

“Supporting Minnesota’s medical facilities and staff as they care for our family, friends, and neighbors is a priority for us,” said Joe Kelly, DPS-HSEM director. “FEMA’s Public Assistance grant funding allows us to acquire the tools and resources they need to save countless lives and protect many others.”

FEMA provides a 75 percent federal share of eligible reimbursable expenses for this project. The eligible cost for this project is $2,542,304. The remaining 25 percent, or $635,576, will be paid by Allina Health System.

FEMA’s Public Assistance Program provides funding to local government jurisdictions and eligible private non-profits for the repair, replacement, or restoration of disaster-damaged infrastructure as well as costs incurred for debris removal, disaster cleanup and emergency actions taken to protect lives or property.  To learn more, visit FEMA’s website at www.fema.gov/public-assistance-local-state-tribal-and-non-profit.

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FEMA's mission is helping people before, during, and after disasters.

troy.christensenWed, 01/13/2021 - 09:59

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Hurricane Zeta Survivors: Be Alert to Fraud

Wed, 13 Jan 2021 17:15:25 +0000

Hurricane Zeta Survivors: Be Alert to Fraud

BILOXI, Miss. After a disaster, fraud can be a problem.

Sometimes, survivors who try to register with FEMA discover that someone has already registered using their name. Scammers may contact survivors who have not registered with FEMA and try to extract money or information. In these cases, it is likely the survivor’s personal data has been compromised.

FEMA reminds survivors:

  • FEMA and U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) never charge for registration, home inspections, grants, disaster-loan applications or anything else.
  • If you have registered and want to verify any correspondence you received from FEMA, call 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585).
  • If you suspect fraud, call the National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721, the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office at 601-359-3680 or report it your local police department.

FEMA also recommends you monitor your credit report for any accounts or changes you do not recognize. If you discover someone is using your information, you will need to take additional steps, including filing a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission through its website: IdentityTheft.gov.

For an accessible video on fraud, go online to: https://www.youtube.com/watch...

For more information about Hurricane Zeta recovery in Mississippi, visit the FEMA disaster webpage at https://www.fema.gov/disaster/4576 or the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency webpage at https://www.msema.org/zeta/.

felicia.jordanWed, 01/13/2021 - 12:15

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