Senator Carlucci: Fighting To Get Residents of Rockland and Orange Counties The Federal Funding they Deserve
(West Nyack, NY) Senator David Carlucci (D-Rockland/Orange) publicly called on the Federal Government to include Rockland and Orange counties on the list of counties eligible to receive all federal assistance programs.
Today, President Obama issued the list of counties in New York State that are eligible for three separate federal disaster assistance programs. All counties in the state are eligible to apply for the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) which provides grants to local governments to implement long-term hazard mitigation measures. However, Rockland county has not been deemed eligible for the Individual Assistance Program and Orange county was not deemed eligible for either the Individual Assistance Program or the Public Assistance Grant Program. To qualify for all 3 of these programs, there is a threshold of $25 million dollars in damages that must be assessed.
“Having toured the entire district, it is painfully obvious that our families and businesses need access to all of these assistance programs,” Senator Carlucci said. “While I am glad that Rockland is eligible for the Public Assistance Grant Program, both Rockland and Orange residents deserve to have the full support of the Federal Government, and I am calling on FEMA to extend this critical assistance to both counties.”
Senator Carlucci has sent letters to President Barack Obama, Craig Fugate the administrator of FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), Governor Andrew Cuomo as well as Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand calling on them to declare Rockland and Orange eligible for all assistance grants.
There are 3 types of federal assistance grants counties are eligible for. The first is the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP), the second which Rockland county is eligible for is the Public Assistance Grant Program.
The Public Assistance Grant Program provides assistance to local governments and certain types of private non-profit organizations so that communities can quickly recover from major disasters such as the one we are now facing.
FEMA provides supplemental grant assistance for:
- Debris removal
- Emergency protective measures including, warning devices, (barricades, signs, announcements,) search and rescue, security forces, (the police and national guard), construction of temporary levies, provision of shelters and emergency care, sand bagging, bracing damaged structures, food water, ice and other essential needs, emergency repairs, emergency demolition and the removal of health and safety hazards.
- The repair, replacement or restoration of disaster damaged publicly owned facilities and certain non-profit facilities.
The third program which Rockland and Orange counties have both not been declared eligible for is the Individual Assistance Program. The Individual Assistance Program is money or direct assistance to individuals, families and businesses in an area whose property has been damaged or destroyed and whose losses are not covered by insurance.
Also included in the program that we are not yet eligible for is:
- Money to rent an alternative place to live or government provided housing if rental properties are not available.
- Money to repair damage to their primary residence that is not covered by insurance, making the home safe, sanitary and functional.
- Money to help homeowners replace their home if it has been completely destroyed.
Families under this program would also be eligible for:
- Disaster related medical and dental costs.
- Disaster related funeral and burial costs.
- Clothing, household items like furnishings and appliances and necessary educational materials like computers, school books and supplies.
- Fuels as a primary heat source.
- Items such as wet/dry vacuum or dehumidifiers to clean up homes and businesses.
- Disaster damaged vehicles.
- Moving and storage expenses.
“These are all programs that are critically necessary for our families and business to help rebuild their lives,” Senator Carlucci said. “I will continue my efforts to make sure the residents of Rockland and Orange counties have access to these vital funds.”