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FEMA: Trump approves major disaster declaration for New York

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Sat, Mar 21st 2020 10:40 am

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced late Friday that President Donald J. Trump approved a major disaster declaration for New York.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency explained federal emergency aid has been made available for the state of New York to supplement states, tribes and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic beginning on Jan. 20 and continuing.

The president's action makes federal funding available for crisis counseling for affected individuals in all areas of the state of New York.

Federal funding is also available to state, tribal and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency protective measures (category B), including direct federal assistance under public assistance, for all areas affected by COVID-19 in the state of New York. The federal cost share is 75%.

Seamus K. Leary has been named as the federal coordinating officer for federal recovery operations in the affected area. Leary said additional designations may be made at a later date, if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further assessments.

Congressman Brian Higgins said the action will allow for the flow of additional federal funding to address the urgent needs of the state and local governments in response to the coronavirus.

His press release stated:

Under the order, New York state will be provided further federal resources under the following categories:

•Public Assistance: The program provides funding for emergency assistance to save lives and assists communities responding to and recovering from major disasters or emergencies. State, county and municipal governments will now be eligible for 75% federal cost sharing for various costs of responding to this crisis, including overtime and equipment, reducing the costs to the local property base.

•Individual Assistance: Crisis counseling assistance and training program (CCP) provides eligible governments and non-governmental organizations with supplemental funding to assist disaster-impacted individuals and communities in recovering from the major disasters through the provision of community-based outreach and psycho-educational services. The goal is to aid survivors in recovering from the adverse reactions to disasters and to begin to rebuild their lives.

Higgins said, “This designation is necessary to support a community in crisis and the frontline emergency response workers doing everything they can to protect residents. More is needed, but this is another critical step in addressing some of our urgent needs.”

The disaster program is administered by FEMA and allows for additional designations for assistance in the future.

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