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On September 1st, Tropical Storm Ida Caused Severe Flooding In NYC, Long Island, and Hudson Valley Regions, Damaging Homes With Record-Breaking Rainfall

Dutchess County Home Owners and Renters Who Had Damage or Losses From Ida Now Eligible for Housing Assistance, Crisis Counseling, Unemployment Assistance, Home Repairs, and Legal Services

Families and Businesses, Including Those Without Flood Insurance, Now Able To Apply For FEMA Aide 

After securing a disaster declaration for communities across NYC, Long Island and the Hudson Valley devastated by Tropical Storm Ida last month, unlocking millions of dollars in federal aid to boost recovery efforts, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, today announced that FEMA has granted Individual Assistance to Dutchess County.

On September 2, 2021, FEMA approved a disaster declaration for NYC, Long Island, Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster, and Westchester counties. Individual Assistance, however, was approved initially for just Bronx, Kings, Nassau, Queens, Richmond, Rockland, Suffolk, and Westchester counties. Now, Dutchess County residents will be able to access critical additional resources for home repairs and other services like crisis counseling and unemployment assistance. Families without insurance coverage may also be eligible for aide covering some disaster expenses to help restore their homes or personal property.

“Tropical Storm Ida devastated communities across New York, and Dutchess County suffered millions in damage to roads, businesses, and hundreds of homes,” said Senator Schumer and Senator Gillibrand. “While we will continue to fight to get Dutchess County homes, businesses and communities on the road to recovery, we are proud FEMA has heeded our call for this vital federal assistance to provide families the support they need to recover and rebuild stronger. We will continue to fight tooth and nail to ensure families throughout the Hudson Valley have all the resources they need to build back stronger than before. ” 

The Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act authorizes the president to issue “major disaster” or “emergency” declarations before or after catastrophes occur. The decision to issue a disaster declaration is at the discretion of the president, and must be requested by the governor of the state. These declarations unlock federal aid through FEMA that is broken into two broad areas: Individual Assistance (IA) that aids families and individuals, and Public Assistance (PA) that is mainly for emergency work such as debris removal and permanent repairs to infrastructure. When assessing the degree of PA damage, FEMA considers six factors: estimated cost of the assistance, localized impact, insurance coverage, hazard mitigation, recent disaster, and programs of other federal assistance. Regarding the cost, FEMA has certain thresholds that have to be met to qualify for PA specific to the state and the counties in question.