For Immediate Release - December 19, 2012

GOVERNOR PATRICK ANNOUNCES FEDERAL DISASTER ASSISTANCE

Local Communities in 6 Counties Most Impacted by Hurricane Sandy to Receive Aid

FRAMINGHAM, MA - In response to Governor Deval Patrick’s request to President Barak Obama, federal disaster aid will be made available to Massachusetts communities to assist in their recovery from the impacts of Hurricane Sandy.

"Once again, the Obama administration has delivered for the people of Massachusetts," said Governor Patrick, "These additional resources will help those most severely impacted by Hurricane Sandy recover and rebuild stronger than before.”

Assistance was authorized under a Major Disaster Declaration for Public Assistance (PA) and Direct Federal Assistance issued by President Obama following a review of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) analysis of Governor Patrick’s request letter.  The PA assistance will be made available to Barnstable, Bristol, Dukes, Nantucket, Plymouth and Suffolk Counties. These are the six Massachusetts counties, which had eligible costs that exceeded federal financial thresholds for storm-related damage. Hazard Mitigation Assistance will also become available for the entire Commonwealth.

Under this Public Assistance Program, affected local governments, state agencies and various eligible private non-profit organizations are eligible to apply for federal funds to be reimbursed for 75% of the approved cost of protective measures, storm-related overtime costs for first responders,  clearing debris from public roads and public property, and repairing, replacing, restoring or reconstructing damaged public facilities and infrastructure.

Procedures for requesting the assistance will be explained at a series of applicant briefings for local officials at locations to be announced shortly by the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). These briefings will explain the reimbursement process for receiving federal funds for eligible expenses incurred by state and local governments, as well as eligible non-profit organizations.

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 Preparedness, go to www.mass.gov/mema. Also, continue to follow MEMA updates on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MassEMAFacebook at www.facebook.com/MassachusettsEMA. Download the free ping4alert! app to your Smartphone to receive important weather alerts and emergency messages from MEMA.  Easy instructions are available at www.mass.gov/mema/mobileappp.