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Schumer Announces FEMA Makes Major Disaster Declaration For Counties Damaged By Recent Floods

Westchester, Rockland, and Orange Now Eligible for Individual Assistance and Hazard Mitigation Aid From FEMA

Schumer Aggressively Lobbied For Designation In Calls and Letters

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today announces that a Major Disaster Declaration has been declared by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), for Westchester, Rockland and Orange. These counties will now be eligible for individual aid from FEMA. Schumer personally lobbied FEMA Director R. David Paulison, urging him to advise President Bush to immediately issue a Major Disaster Declaration in order to provide federal aid for this area.

"This decision means that these communities and individuals can get the assistance they desperately need," said Schumer. "After being hammered with recordbreaking rains and flooding, cleaningup the damage done in these counties is beyond the capacity of the families in the area. With this additional aid, the region will finally be able to get back on its feet."

Individual Assistance provides aid for those whose homes were damaged by a disaster with aid such as temporary housing, repair, construction etc. The maximum is $28,200 per household.

Through the Small Business Administration, businesses and individual be eligible for loans to help repair or replace personal property, or restore one's primary home to its predisaster condition. The SBA makes physical disaster loans of up to $1.5 million to qualified businesses.

The SBA can provide up to $1.5 million in disaster assistance to a business. This loan cap includes both economic injury and physical damage assistance.

Counties will also be eligible for assistance through the Hazard Mitigation, which provides aid to States and local governments to implement longterm hazard mitigation measures to reduce the loss of life and property due to natural disasters.

Last Friday, Schumer toured flood damaged areas of Westchester Counties.