From Rep. Niki Tsongas, US Congress
Last night, President Barack Obama authorized federal assistance under a Major Federal Disaster Declaration for communities most impacted by the flooding. I had joined the Massachusetts delegation in calling for this emergency aid since our district was especially hard hit by severe flooding.
The President's action makes assistance available to affected homeowners, renters and businesses in the Fifth Congressional District in Essex, Middlesex and Worcester counties. It also makes assistance available to Suffolk, Norfolk, Bristol and Plymouth counties.
For flood related emergencies, residents should call 9-1-1. Individuals and business owners, who sustained losses in the designated counties, can initiate the application for assistance process by calling the FEMA Teleregistration numbers: 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired or registering on-line at www.fema.gov
. The toll-free Teleregistration numbers will operate Monday through Friday from 7:00am to 1:00am, on weekends - Saturday and Sunday from 7:00am to 10:00pm, until further notice.
I remain impressed by our emergency responders, state and local elected officials, and law enforcement officials who have been on the scene assisting residents affected by the storm. These citizens have served their neighbors and friends time and time again with support and dedication, and continue to provide critical assistance to those residents who have been displaced by this storm.
With certain limitations and conditions, the Individuals and Households Program (IHP) includes the following: Housing AssistanceTemporary Housing:
Money to rent a different place to live or a temporary housing unit (when rental properties are not available). Repair:
Money for homeowners to repair damage from the disaster that is not covered by insurance. The goal is to repair the home to a safe and sanitary living or functioning condition. FEMA may provide up to $29,900 for home repair; then the homeowner may apply for a Small Business Administration disaster loan for additional repair assistance. FEMA will not pay to return a home to its condition before the disaster. Flood insurance may be required if the home is in a Special Flood Hazard Area. Repair and replacement items include:
- Structural parts of a home (foundation, outside walls, roof)
- Windows, doors, floors, walls, ceilings, cabinetry
- Septic or sewage system
- Well or other water system
- Heating, ventilating, and air conditioning system
- Utilities (electrical, plumbing, and gas systems)
- Entrance and exit ways from the home, including privately owned access roads
- Blocking, leveling and anchoring of a mobile home and reconnecting or resetting its sewer, water, electrical and fuel lines and tanks
Money to replace a disaster-damaged home, under rare conditions, if this can be done with limited funds. FEMA may provide up to $29,900 for home replacement. If the home is located in a Special Flood Hazard Area, the homeowner must comply with flood insurance purchase requirements and local flood codes and requirements. Semi-Permanent or Permanent Housing Construction:
Direct assistance or money for the construction of a home. This type of assistance occurs only in very unusual situations, in locations specified by FEMA, where no other type of housing assistance is possible. Construction shall follow current minimal local building codes and standards where they exist, or minimal acceptable construction industry standards in the area. Construction will aim toward average quality, size, and capacity, taking into consideration the needs of the occupant. If the home is located in a Special Flood Hazard Area, the homeowner must comply with flood insurance purchase requirements and local flood codes and requirements. Other Needs Assistance
Other Needs Assistance provision of the Individuals and Households Program provides grants for uninsured, disaster-related necessary expenses and serious needs. Flood insurance may be required on insurable items (personal property) if they are to be located in a Special Flood Hazard Area. Assistance includes:
- Medical and dental expenses
- Funeral and burial costs
- Repair, cleaning, or replacement of: clothing, household items (room furnishings, appliances), specialized tools or protective clothing and equipment required for your job
- Necessary educational materials (computers, school books, supplies)
- Clean-up items (wet/dry vacuum, air purifier, dehumidifier)
- Fuel (fuel, chain saw, firewood)
- Repairing or replacing vehicles damaged by the disaster, or providing for public transportation or other transportation costs
- Moving and storage expenses related to the disaster (including evacuation, storage, or the return of property to a home)
- Other necessary expenses or serious needs (for example, towing, or setup or connecting essential utilities for a housing unit not provided by FEMA)
- The cost of a National Flood Insurance Program group flood insurance policy to meet the flood insurance requirements
I strongly support the Governor expanding his request to cover any damage resulting from the ongoing weather event the state is experiencing this week, and I continue to remain in contact with local elected officials, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency to assist with the recovery from this storm. My office is here as a resource to help the area recover as quickly as possible and to ensure that residents, communities, and business owners have all of the support that they need. Please do not hesitate to contact my office if we can be of service (http://tsongas.house.gov/