Status update from DEMHS
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Dear Friends/Neighbors:

Many residents of our community suffered significant damage from the remnants of Hurricane Ida. I have heard from so many families about substantial damage and the costs they face to repair their homes. Here is an update on FEMA assistance programs which could become available to individuals, households, and non-profits and their current status.

Types of FEMA’s disaster assistance programsFEMA offers various types of disaster assistance programs – public assistance, individual assistance etc. for those impacted by disaster. Public Assistance programs provide grants to state, local governments, and certain types of non-profits for emergency work and repair or replace disaster-damaged facilities, including roads and bridges, buildings, utilities, and parks. Individual and Household assistance programs provide financial and direct services to eligible individuals and households affected by a disaster who have uninsured or under-insured necessary expenses and serious needs.

Approval process which allows FEMA programs to be offered in an impacted areaFEMA programs are available to individuals, households, or entities only when the President makes a major disaster declaration for the state (and the county). The state's Governor requests a declaration of a major disaster to the President. Before the Governor makes the request, the state works with the FEMA team to determine the extent of the disaster, its impacts on individuals and public facilities, and the types of federal assistance needed. The Governor makes the disaster request if this assessment, done by the state and FEMA team, concludes that the damage is above a threshold. Here is a link to the FEMA site, which explains how the disaster is declared.

Status of CT’s request for a disaster declaration from Hurricane Ida remnantThe CT Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (DEMHS) is working with FEMA to assess the damage from Hurricane Ida. Information about the damage provided by our residents and towns two weeks ago is being reviewed in detail. The DEMHS has shared detailed information about the status and timeline with the public. Per their input, Public Assistance is likely to be approved shortly for various counties in CT, including Fairfield county. However, the Individual assistance assessment is still ongoing, and it is not clear if that will be approved. Here is the detailed note shared by DEMHS.
The delay in the approval of Individual assistance programs is frustrating because these programs had already been approved for Westchester county several weeks ago (and for many other counties in NY, NJ, and PA). I will continue to follow up with the state administration and our Federal officials to advocate for Fairfield county. I have heard from so many residents about significant uninsured damage to their homes.

How does the application process work once the disaster declaration is approved: The information provided recently by residents in our community was for preliminary damage assessment.  Individuals and households will have to make an actual application to FEMA for assistance once the disaster declaration is approved. The maximum grant per household (IHP Maximum) is $36,000. Here is an outline of the FEMA application process, including the FEMA inspection done before approving the grant. Here is the
FEMA fact sheet for the IHP assistance programs. At this time, residents should take/keep photos of the damage to their home and belongings, make a list of damaged items AND file a claim with their insurance company. FEMA assists only with uninsured damage.
Harry Arora

Ranking member - Labor and Public Employees committee

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Greenwich Office Park
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