New York State Senator Thomas P. Morahan announced that the federal government has approved New York State’s request to expand its disaster declaration to Rockland and Orange Counties. Morahan, who represents Rockland and a portion of Orange County, also announced that Governor Spitzer has agreed to provide additional state support and assistance for localities. Morahan, who contacted Spitzer two weeks ago, was pleased that the Governor had opted to have the state assume the full share of the local costs.
Traditionally, when a disaster declaration is made, the federal government provides 75 percent of the eligible costs with the remaining 25 percent split between the state and the local government.
"I am pleased that the Governor has agreed to have the state ease recovery costs for lower Hudson Valley communities severely impacted by the storm," said Morahan, who serves as the Senate Majority's Liaison to the Executive Branch.
FEMA’s Public Assistance Program will provide federal reimbursement to Rockland and Orange Counties for 75 percent of the costs of repairs to public infrastructure such as roads, bridges and public buildings damaged in the storm and ensuing flooding, as well as for the cost of protective measures taken by local governments, and for debris removal.
Those eligible for individual assistance are urged to register with FEMA if they suffered damages from the storm.
Individuals can register for federal disaster aid by calling FEMA’s toll-free registration number at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Those who are hearing or speech impaired may call TTY at 1-800-462-7585. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Sunday. Storm victims may also register for disaster assistance on-line at www.fema.gov.
Federal assistance for individuals in Orange and Rockland is provided through FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program and Other Needs Assistance Programs and includes grants for temporary housing and rental assistance, home repairs, and other disaster-related needs. Also being provided is disaster unemployment assistance, crisis counseling and the maximum allowable assistance to individuals and businesses from the U.S. Small Business Administration. Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for the statewide implementation of the hazard mitigation program. Federal and state disaster assistance covers basic needs that are not insured.