MEMA and FEMA Assistance News Releases After March 2010 Floods

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE    Peter Judge, MEMA PIO April 5, 2010   (508) 820-2002

Federal Flood Recovery Assistance Available For Both Storms
BOSTON, MA – The State of Emergency that Governor Deval Patrick declared last week in response to the March 29 storm that produced heavy rains, widespread road closures and major flooding has been terminated. In addition, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) affirmed that assistance will be available to residents and businesses impacted by both storms.

Lieutenant Governor Timothy P. Murray signed the State of Emergency termination document on Monday morning, which demobilized the Massachusetts National Guard called to duty by the Governor to fill and transport sandbags to affected areas, direct traffic, conduct wellness checks and patrol areas with forced evacuations.

FEMA’s announcement affirmed that the current Disaster Declaration for Individual Assistance will now apply to individuals and businesses impacted by both flooding events last month – March 12-15 and March 29-30.

“I am thankful to President Obama for acknowledging the impact the two storms and resulting flooding has created for most of the Commonwealth,” said Governor Patrick. “We urge people to register with FEMA and apply for help, especially if you need assistance with housing, clothing, food, and other basic needs.”

The assistance was initially authorized under a Major Federal Disaster Declaration requested by Governor Patrick on March 25 and issued by President Barack Obama on March 29 for the March 12-15 storm and flooding event. In the three days since the approval, 5,170 people have applied and FEMA inspectors have already started visiting homes of these applicants to make determinations quickly and get assistance to impacted homeowners and businesses.

“Communities across the Commonwealth were dramatically impacted by the two major storms that struck Massachusetts at the end of last month,” said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray. “Governor Patrick and our administration appreciate the support and recognition by President Obama, who declared a state of emergency for Massachusetts last week as a result of these devastating storms. At this time, it is imperative that our residents learn of the resources and funding available through FEMA so that they can receive the proper assistance during this critical time.”

The President’s action makes Individual Assistance (IA) Programs available to affected homeowners, renters and businesses in a seven-county area – Essex, Middlesex, Worcester, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bristol and Plymouth Counties. State officials are reviewing data to see if any additional counties qualify to be added to the eligibility list.

IA Programs administered by FEMA and the Small Business Administration (SBA) include Individuals and Households Programs (IHP), Disaster Unemployment Assistance, Crisis Counseling, Legal Assistance, Tax Relief and Small Business Administration Disaster Loans.

Individuals and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties can initiate the application process for assistance by calling the FEMA Teleregistration numbers: 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired, or by registering online at The toll-free Teleregistration numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week until further notice

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is the state agency responsible for coordinating federal, state, local, voluntary and private resources during emergencies and disasters in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  MEMA provides leadership to: develop plans for effective response to all hazards, disasters or threats; train emergency personnel to protect the public; provide information to the citizenry; and assist individuals, families, businesses and communities to mitigate against, prepare for, and respond to and recover from emergencies, both natural and man made.

For additional information about MEMA and Winter & Flooding Preparedness, go to Follow MEMA updates on Facebook and Twitter.

Peter W. Judge
Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency
400 Worcester Road
Framingham, MA 01702-5399
Phone:   508-820-2002
24-hour:  508-820-2000
Fax:       508-820-2030

Release Date: April 4, 2010


FEMA news desk: 617-956-7547
MEMA Peter Judge: 508-820-2002
Disaster Officials Offer tips To Speed Assistance
BOSTON – Disaster recovery officials urge residents and businesses dealing with severe storm damage and loss to adopt a take-charge action plan to help speed the possibility of obtaining state and federal disaster aid:
Register Now:
•Don’t wait. Homeowners, renters and business owners who suffered disaster-related damage or loss should call the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) registration line at 800-621-FEMA (3362) or 800-462-7585 for the hearing- or speech impaired. Online registration is available at  Multilingual operators are available.

•Register, even if you are insured. Your insurance coverage may not be adequate and some foundation damage may not appear until later. Anyone who suffered any damage or loss should register for assistance.•Disaster assistance covers a wide range of losses. Structural damage or repair is covered, as is damage or loss of essential personal property, such as a major appliance or medical equipment (wheelchairs, etc).

After Registering:
•Keep critical appointments. A FEMA-contracted inspector will make an appointment to visit your home, usually within a week. Make every effort to be at home or you can authorize an agent to be present. Use the Helpline option at the FEMA registration toll-free numbers for contact updates, including your agent’s name, a new phone number, or to change appointment times.

•Return all forms promptly. After registering, you may receive a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster loan application package in the mail. Fill out and return these forms promptly since they are an essential part of the disaster-assistance process.

•Stay in touch. Use the Helpline for answers to your questions about federal assistance, the same number you called to register for aid.

•Have realistic expectations. You should not expect disaster assistance to restore you to       pre-disaster conditions. It is intended to help you get safe and sanitary housing and meet other critical needs so you can begin your long-term recovery.

•Read all FEMA letters and documents. Applicants deemed eligible for disaster assistance will receive a letter from FEMA providing guidance on their disaster relief grant. It will tell you about ways the money can be spent in your recovery. Be advised that federal assistance may have to be repaid if it is duplicated by insurance or other assistance received.

•Talk to FEMA if you have questions, especially about insurance. If you receive a FEMA letter saying your application has been denied, it often means that one or more aspects of your application require further information or correction. An “INS-Insured” denial does not necessarily mean “case closed,” it means you must first settle with your insurer to prevent any duplication of payments.

•Keep FEMA in mind after your insurance settlement. You may have been underinsured and some uncompensated losses may be eligible for some form of disaster aid. Call the Helpline if your insurance settlement is delayed, if it does not cover all of your loss, if you can’t find rental housing in your area, or if your additional living expense benefits are exhausted. Remember, failure to file a claim with your insurer within 12 months can affect your eligibility for FEMA assistance.·        

Rebuild with disaster prevention in mind. Before starting any repairs or reconstruction, check with local building officials on required permits and inspections. If you were displaced from your home and incurred hotel or motel expenses, save your receipts and check with FEMA on possible reimbursement.

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders and to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.
Peter W. Judge
Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency
400 Worcester Road
Framingham, MA 01702-5399
Phone:   508-820-2002
24-hour:  508-820-2000
Fax:       508-820-2030

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