FEMA News Releases

  1. FEMA Grants Are Not Considered Income and are Not Taxable

    FEMA Grants Are Not Considered Income and are Not Taxable

    NEW YORK –People receiving Social Security payments or other government assistance should not be concerned that FEMA disaster assistance might affect their benefits.

    If you live in the Bronx, Kings, Nassau, Queens, Richmond, Rockland, Suffolk or Westchester County and have applied to FEMA for federal disaster assistance after Hurricane Ida, you are in no danger of losing other federal benefits to which you are entitled.

    FEMA disaster grants are not considered taxable income. Accepting a FEMA grant will not affect your Social Security benefits, Medicare, Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or other federal assistance programs.

    Disaster grants help pay for temporary housing, essential home repairs caused by Ida, personal property replacement and other serious disaster-related needs not covered by your insurance or other sources.

    There are several ways to apply for federal disaster assistance:

    The Rockland County Disaster Recovery Center is open daily from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. at:

    • Orangetown Soccer Club Complex, 175 Old Orangeburg Road, Orangeburg, NY 10962

    The following centers are open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Saturday, closed Sundays:

    • Hostos College, 450 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY 10451
    • Queens College, 152-45 Melbourne Ave., Queens, NY 11367
    • Medgar Evers College, 231 Crown St., Brooklyn, NY 11225
    • College of Staten Island, 2800 Victory Blvd., Staten Island, NY 10314
    • Michael J. Tully Park Physical Activity Center, 1801 Evergreen Ave., New Hyde Park, NY 11040
    • Rose Caracappa Senior Center, 739 NY-25A, Mount Sinai, NY 11766
    • Public Library, 136 Prospect Ave., Mamaroneck, NY 10543

    The deadline to apply for FEMA disaster assistance is Monday, Dec. 6.

    For additional online resources as well as FEMA downloadable pamphlets and other aids, visit DisasterAssistance.gov and click “Information.”

    For referrals to agencies that support community-specific needs, call 211 or visit https://www.211nys.org/contact-us. For New York City residents, call 311.

    For the latest information on New York’s recovery efforts, visit www.fema.gov/disaster/4615. Follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/FEMARegion2 and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/fema.

    thomas.wise Wed, 10/20/2021 - 14:27
  2. FEMA Approves Escambia County for $13.7 Million Grant for Hurricane Sally Debris Removal

    FEMA Approves Escambia County for $13.7 Million Grant for Hurricane Sally Debris Removal

    PENSACOLA, Fla. -- FEMA has approved a grant of $13,715,504 for the State of Florida to reimburse Escambia County for costs associated with county-wide debris removal after Hurricane Sally.

    Escambia County utilized contracted workers between Oct. 1, 2020 and April 30, 2021 to remove and dispose of 689,477 cubic yards of vegetative debris, 201,863 cubic yards of construction and demolition debris, 854 hazardous leaning trees, 8,283 hazardous hanging limbs and 1.85 tons of hazardous household waste debris from public rights of way. The debris posed a serious threat to public health and safety. Additional expenses included the monitoring and field supervisory oversight of collecting, removing and disposal of all debris.

    FEMA’s Public Assistance program is an essential source of funding for communities recovering from a federally declared disaster or emergency. The Florida Division of Emergency Management works with FEMA during all phases of the program and reviews projects prior to FEMA final approval.

    Applicants work directly with FEMA to develop projects and scopes of work. FEMA obligates funding for projects to FDEM after final approval.

    Once a project is obligated, FDEM works closely with applicants to finalize grants and begin making payments. FDEM has procedures in place designed to ensure grant funding is provided to local communities as quickly as possible.

    FEMA’s Public Assistance program provides grants to state, tribal and local governments, and certain private nonprofit organizations, including houses of worship, so communities can quickly respond to and recover from major disasters or emergencies.

    Kimberly.Kipp Thu, 10/21/2021 - 14:35
  3. Flood Insurance a Valuable Resource in Western North Carolina

    Flood Insurance a Valuable Resource in Western North Carolina

    Flood Insurance a Valuable Resource in Western North Carolina

    WAYNESVILLE, N.C. - Your house has never flooded. You have a homeowner's insurance policy. You're thinking: "I'm covered."

    Maybe not.

    Many Western North Carolina residents may believe they don't need to buy flood insurance. They don't live in a high-risk flood zone. But flooding can happen anywhere, often to the surprise of residents who thought they were covered for disaster. When flooding happens, the damage is not covered by most homeowners' insurance policies. One inch of floodwater can cause up to $25,000 of damage in a home.

    Flooding in Western North Carolina is not uncommon. Yet only 1 percent of structures in Buncombe, Haywood and Transylvania counties are covered by flood insurance policies issued by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). After Tropical Storm Fred, more than 200 policyholders filed flood claims with a total payout of more than $9.5 million to date. Of the 1,930 flood insurance policyholders in Buncombe, Haywood and Transylvania counties, 963 live in designated high-risk flood zones, while 967 others do not. In all, the flood insurance program has nearly 139,000 policyholders across North Carolina with total coverage exceeding $37.2 billion.

    Property owners can protect themselves from financial losses by having a flood insurance policy through the NFIP.  Flood insurance coverage is available regardless of federal disaster declarations. Insurance for contents is also available to renters. There is a 30-day waiting period before new policies go into effect, so don't wait to obtain a policy.

    In North Carolina, 634 communities participate in the NFIP; 27 communities do not. Residents can purchase a flood insurance policy if their community participates in the NFIP, no matter their flood risk.

    Coverage is available for residential and commercial buildings and the contents therein:

    • Up to $250,000 in building coverage and up to $100,000 in contents coverage for single-to-four family residential structures.
    • Up to $500,000 in building coverage and up to $100,000 in contents coverage for five-or-more family residential structures.
    • Up to $500,000 in building coverage and up to $500,000 in contents coverage for businesses.

    How to buy:

    Contact your insurance company or agent. In addition to the NFIP, flood insurance is also available from some private insurance providers.

    For an agent referral, call 800-427-4661 or visit https://www.fema.gov/flood-insurance.

    Group Flood Insurance Policies

    As part of its disaster assistance, FEMA has provided Group Flood Insurance Policies (GFIP) to 49 homeowners and renters in Buncombe, Haywood and Transylvania counties after Tropical Storm Fred. The group policies are 36-month NFIP insurance certificates for disaster survivors who live in a high-risk flood zone, sustain flood damage, do not have flood insurance, and receive FEMA disaster assistance. When a GFIP certificate expires, the survivor is responsible for obtaining and maintaining flood insurance. Failure to maintain flood insurance will affect their eligibility for future disaster assistance.

    For more information about Tropical Storm Fred recovery in North Carolina, visit fema.gov/disaster/4617 and ncdps.gov/TSFred. Follow us on Twitter: @NCEmergency and @FEMARegion4.

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    FEMA's mission: Helping people before, during, and after disasters.

    brianasummer.fenton Thu, 10/21/2021 - 14:36
  4. Drop, Cover and Hold On: Join the Annual Great ShakeOut Drill

    Drop, Cover and Hold On: Join the Annual Great ShakeOut Drill

    ATLANTA– The annual Great ShakeOut earthquake drill will take place Thursday, Oct. 21 at 10:21 a.m. local time. FEMA Region 4 encourages individuals and communities to participate and practice the simple safety steps to stay safe during an earthquake.

    Earthquakes can happen anywhere, anytime. In September a 3.3-magnitude earthquake struck near North Charleston, South Carolina, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Recently, minor earthquakes were recorded in northeast Georgia and near the Georgia-South Carolina line as well.

    During the self-led earthquake drill, millions of people will practice how to drop, cover and hold on. For most people, in most situations, the recommended earthquake safety action is to:

    • DROPwhere you are, onto your hands and knees, if possible (or make necessary accommodations.) Make sure to wear a mask and practice social distancing if you are participating with others outside your household.
    • COVER your head and neck with one arm and hand, as you crawl for shelter under a nearby table or desk.
    • HOLD ON to your shelter with one hand until shaking stops (remain on your knees and covering your head and neck with your other arm and hand).

    The ShakeOut is free and open to the public, and participants include individuals, schools, businesses, local and state government agencies, and many other groups. To take part in the ShakeOut, individuals and organizations are asked to join the drill by registering to participate at www.shakeout.org. Once registered, participants receive regular information on how to plan their drill and become better prepared for earthquakes and other disasters.

    In 2020, more than 29 million people participated in ShakeOut drills nationwide.

    neily.chapman Wed, 10/20/2021 - 15:11
  5. Storm Survivors Receive Additional FEMA Funding After Counties Join the National Flood Insurance Program

    Storm Survivors Receive Additional FEMA Funding After Counties Join the National Flood Insurance Program

    NASHVILLE, Tenn.  – After Houston and Humphreys counties decided to participate in the National Flood Insurance Program in mid-September, residents affected by severe storms and flooding in August have received nearly $1 millionin additional federal disaster assistance so far.

    When a federal disaster declaration was made on Aug. 23 for Dickson, Hickman, Houston and Humphreys counties, the unincorporated areas of Houston and Humphreys were “sanctioned” by NFIP. This made them ineligible for the full range of FEMA grants. Houston County was sanctioned in October 2010 when local officials did not join after being mapped with a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). Humphreys County was mapped a year earlier with a SFHA and became sanctioned in September 2009 after failing to join.

    By law, sanctioned communities cannot receive federal disaster money for anything normally covered by insurance. This includes funding for permanent home repairs for individuals and families and to local governments for permanent infrastructure repair.

    After enrolling in NFIP in September, survivors in the previously sanctioned communities in Houston and Humphreys counties have received a total of $908,539.In Humphreys county, which joined on Sept. 16, 48 individuals and families in these communities received a total of $869,966 for home repair and replacement of personal property. In Houston County, which enrolled on Sept. 24, 14 applicants received a total of $38,393 for home repair and replacement of personal property.

    “We are pleased these communities will now have more funding and protection in case of future flooding,” said Tim Russo, Supervisory Floodplain Management Specialist. “The program includes certain codes and regulations, but these measures are worth the effort because ultimately any potential future damage will be lessened.”

    While residents who experienced damage may now be eligible to receive full FEMA assistance, homes located in SFHAs are required to have NFIP in case of future damage. Residents who do not maintain their flood insurance will not be eligible for FEMA repair and replacement grants for flood damaged property and other federal disaster assistance normally covered by insurance. Survivors should keep in mind flood insurance claims are paid even when a major disaster is not declared. Also, survivors may not have to choose to take out a low-interest loan, which is the most common form of federal disaster assistance. It is important to remember an inch of floodwater per 1,000 square feet can cost about $10,000 to repair. Yet, most private insurance companies do not cover flood damage.

    FEMA funds and administers the NFIP, but policies can be obtained through local insurance agents. To learn more about flood insurance policies or find an agent, go to FloodSmart | The National Flood Insurance Program or call 800-427-4661. For information on flood risks in your area, visit FEMA Flood Map Service Center | Welcome!.

    Residents with damage in the previously sanctioned communities of Houston and Humphreys counties who have still not applied for FEMA assistance can do so by the Oct 25 application deadlinein the following ways:

    • Call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585). If you use a relay service, such as video relay service (VRS), captioned telephone service or others, give FEMA the number for that service.  
    • Online through DisasterAssistance.gov
    • Download the FEMA app to a smartphone or tablet.

    For more information on Tennessee’s disaster recovery, visitwww.tn.gov/tema.html and www.fema.gov/disaster/4609. You may also follow FEMA on www.facebook.com/fema and Twitter @FEMARegion4.

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    bree-constance… Wed, 10/20/2021 - 14:51

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