Massachusetts Requests Federal Assistance for Historic Storms
On March 27th, 2015, Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito submitted a request to President Barack Obama for a Major Disaster Declaration based on the impacts of an unprecedented 28-day weather event, starting January 26th, that brought record snowfall and bitter temperatures to the Commonwealth. This Declaration would make federal aid available in the form of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Public Assistance (PA) Program to ten Massachusetts counties whose PA costs exceed the federal thresholds. They are Barnstable, Bristol, Dukes, Essex, Middlesex, Nantucket, Norfolk, Plymouth, Suffolk and Worcester counties.
Additionally, Snow Assistance is also being requested for nine counties that have either met record or near-record snowfall totals, as defined by the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) or have met FEMA’s ‘contiguous county’ criteria. These counties are Barnstable, Bristol, Dukes, Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth, Suffolk and Worcester counties.
The Governor’s request cites almost $350 million in costs to state agencies and cities and towns for plowing and removing almost 9 feet of snow in just four weeks, and almost $50 million in other storm costs.
The Declaration, if issued, would provide federal disaster assistance to approximately 250 cities and towns, state agencies and private non-profit organizations. The federal government would provide 75% reimbursement for eligible snow removal costs, and costs to repair damage to public infrastructure such as roads, bridges, piers, seawalls and storm-related overtime costs for first responders during this time.
Full Press Release: Governor Baker Requests Federal Assistance for Historic Storms
Disaster Declaration Request Letter: Emergency Declaration Request Letter
Disaster Declaration Request Letter Supplemental Info: Severe Winter Weather Disaster Declaration Letter - Attachment A - Supplemental Info file size 1MB
The Massachusetts State Homeland Security Strategy (SHSS) articulates a vision for homeland security and emergency preparedness in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It serves as a guide for state, regional, and local preparedness activities. The SHSS was created with input from state, regional, and local stakeholders across a wide range of relevant disciplines including: emergency management, law enforcement, fire services, emergency medical services, public health, health and medical, transportation, communication, and NGOs. The SHSS is also informed by our most recent Threat, Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (THIRA) and State Preparedness Report (SPR). Together, EOPSS and our homeland security partners have developed this strategy to ensure that Massachusetts is resilient and prepared, as well as to enhance our ability to respond to, and recover from emergencies and disasters.
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