President Declares Disaster for Washington; Federal Aid Programs For The State

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that federal disaster aid has been made available to the State of Washington to supplement state, tribal, and local recovery efforts in the area affected by flooding and mudslides beginning on March 22, 2014, and continuing.

This assistance is in addition to the support provided under the Presidential Emergency Declaration granted on March 24, 2014.

The President’s action makes federal funding available to affected individuals in Snohomish County, including the Sauk-Suiattle, Stillaguamish, and Tulalip Tribes.

Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.

A U.S. flag flies at half staff in the midst of the mudslide rubble March 31, 2014, Oso, Wash. Despite the devastation from the local natural disaster; volunteers, service members and community members maintain morale and keep their hopes high during recovery operations. (Photo by Army National Guard Spc. Sarah M. Booker)
A U.S. flag flies at half staff in the midst of the mudslide rubble March 31, 2014, Oso, Wash. Despite the devastation from the local natural disaster; volunteers, service members and community members maintain morale and keep their hopes high during recovery operations. (Photo by Army National Guard Spc. Sarah M. Booker)

Federal funding is available to state and eligible tribal and local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work due to flooding and mudslides in Snohomish County, including the lands associated with the Sauk-Suiattle, Stillaguamish, and Tulalip Tribes.

Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.

Due to the localized impacts of the disaster, FEMA will work closely with residents, tribal members, and business owners who sustained losses in the designated area on a one on one basis.

Michael J. Hall has been named as the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected area.  Hall said additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.

Following is a summary of key federal disaster aid programs that can be made available as needed and warranted under President Obama’s major disaster declaration issued for Washington.

A view from a Washington Army National Guard helicopter shows the bypass (left) that has been created to facilitate emergency workers' efforts after a mile-long stretch of Highway 530 was affected by the landslide. The National Guard has been helping the community with search and recovery efforts since they were activated Tuesday. (Photo by Spc. Matthew Sissel, 122D PAOC)
A view from a Washington Army National Guard helicopter shows the bypass (left) that has been created to facilitate emergency workers’ efforts after a mile-long stretch of Highway 530 was affected by the landslide. The National Guard has been helping the community with search and recovery efforts since they were activated Tuesday. (Photo by Spc. Matthew Sissel, 122D PAOC)

Assistance for Affected Individuals and Families Can Include as Required:

  • Rental payments for temporary housing for those whose homes were destroyed or are unlivable.  Initial assistance may be provided for up to three months for homeowners and at least one month for renters.  Assistance may be extended if requested after the initial period based on a review of individual applicant requirements.  (Source: FEMA funded and administered.)
  • Grants for home repairs and replacement of essential household items not covered by insurance to make damaged dwellings safe, sanitary and functional.  (Source: FEMA funded and administered.)
  • Grants to replace personal property and help meet medical, dental, funeral, transportation, child care assistance and other serious disaster-related needs not covered by insurance or other federal, state and charitable aid programs.   (Source: FEMA funded at 75 percent of total eligible costs; 25 percent funded by the state.)
  • Unemployment payments up to 26 weeks for workers who temporarily lost jobs because of the disaster and who do not qualify for state benefits, such as self-employed individuals.  (Source: FEMA funded; state administered.)
  • Low-interest loans to cover residential losses not fully compensated by insurance.  Loans available up to $200,000 for primary residence; $40,000 for personal property, including renter losses.  Loans available up to $2 million for business property losses not fully compensated by insurance.  (Source: U.S. Small Business Administration.)
  • Loans up to $2 million for small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and most private, non-profit organizations of all sizes that have suffered disaster-related cash flow problems and need funds for working capital to recover from the disaster’s adverse economic impact.  This loan in combination with a property loss loan cannot exceed a total of $2 million. (Source: U.S. Small Business Administration.)
  • Loans up to $500,000 for farmers, ranchers and aquaculture operators to cover production and property losses, excluding primary residence.  (Source: Farm Service Agency, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture.)
  • Other relief programs: Crisis counseling for those traumatized by the disaster; income tax assistance for filing casualty losses; advisory assistance for legal, veterans’ benefits and social security matters.
Washington Air National Guard Staff Sgt. Jonathon Hernas from Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, and a member of the 141 Civil Engineer Squadron carefully maneuvers across debris and mud while searching for missing persons. More than 70 service members from the Washington National Guard have been helping with search and rescue efforts in the wake of the Oso mudslide Saturday.
Washington Air National Guard Staff Sgt. Jonathon Hernas from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and a member of the 141 Civil Engineer Squadron carefully maneuvers across debris and mud while searching for missing persons. More than 70 service members from the Washington National Guard have been helping with search and rescue efforts in the wake of the Oso mudslide Saturday.

 

How to Apply for Individual Assistance:

  • Due to the localized impacts of the disaster, FEMA will work closely with residents, tribal members and business owners who sustained losses in the designated area on a one-on-one basis.
  • Affected individuals and business owners in designated areas can begin the disaster application process by registering online, atwww.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or by web enabled mobile device at m.fema.gov.  Disaster assistance applicants, who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY, should call 1-800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362. Online registration is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  The toll-free telephone numbers are operating from 4 a.m. to 8 p.m. local time seven days a week until further notice. Applicants registering for aid should be prepared to provide basic information about themselves (name, permanent address, phone number), insurance coverage and any other information to help substantiate losses.

Assistance for the State, Tribes and Affected Local Governments Can Include as Required:

  • Payment of not less than 75 percent of the eligible costs for emergency protective measures taken to save lives and protect property and public health.  Emergency protective measures assistance is available to state, tribal and eligible local governments on a cost-sharing basis.(Source: FEMA funded, state administered.)Payment of not less than 75 percent of the eligible costs for recovery and cleanup from public areas and for emergency measures taken to save lives and protect property and public health, including direct federal assistance, under the Public Assistance program.(Source: FEMA funded, state administered.)
  • Payment of not more than 75 percent of the approved costs for hazard mitigation projects undertaken by state, tribal and local governments to prevent or reduce long-term risk to life and property from natural or technological disasters.  (Source: FEMA funded, state administered.)

How to Apply for Public Assistance:

  • Application procedures for tribal and local governments will be explained at a series of federal/state and federal/tribal applicant briefings with locations to be announced in the affected area by recovery officials. Approved public repair projects are paid through the state from funding provided by FEMA and other participating federal agencies.
A view from a Washington Army National Guard helicopter shows trees that were at the very top of the hill when the mudslide occurred now lie across the slide's width like a woven belt. The National Guard has been helping the community with search and recovery efforts since they were activated Tuesday. (Photo by Spc. Matthew Sissel, 122D PAOC)
A view from a Washington Army National Guard helicopter shows trees that were at the very top of the hill when the mudslide occurred now lie across the slide’s width like a woven belt. The National Guard has been helping the community with search and recovery efforts since they were activated Tuesday. (Photo by Spc. Matthew Sissel, 122D PAOC)

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