RICHMOND – The Commonwealth of Virginia this week asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for additional assistance for affected communities to recover from Hurricane Matthew.
Dr. Jeff Stern, Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) state coordinator and Governor Terry McAuliffe’s authorized representative for coordinating Matthew-related federal assistance, requested aid through FEMA’s Public Assistance (PA) program for the cities of Chesapeake, Franklin, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, and Virginia Beach, as well as Isle of Wight and Southampton counties.
“The Commonwealth is still actively recovering from significant damage to our communities and our infrastructure, which is affecting our way of life,” Dr. Stern said. “Hurricane Matthew was a unique event that caused damage beyond the capabilities of our state and local governments and clearly merits and requires Public Assistance disaster aid. We hope the federal government will approve this request in a timely fashion to activate resources for our communities to begin repairs and return quickly to normal operations.”
Public Assistance aid reimburses local and state governments on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of buildings and facilities damaged in a disaster. Dr. Stern’s request builds off Governor McAuliffe’s original request for Individual Assistance, which FEMA approved for four Hampton Roads cities last week.
Virginia has documented more than $12.5 million in total validated damage costs as a result of Hurricane Matthew, surpassing FEMA’s $11.4 million statewide damage threshold for PA relief eligibility for a disaster. The total amount of damage is expected to increase as state and local governments are validating additional damage costs. Preliminary Damage Assessments conducted jointly by VDEM, FEMA, the Small Business Administration and local governments in the Hampton Roads area last month identified nearly $13 million in estimated damages sustained by public facilities and structures.
FEMA has already activated federal Individual Assistance programs for Virginians affected personally by the storm in the cities of Chesapeake, Newport News, Norfolk, and Virginia Beach and is in the process of opening and operating Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) in those areas. The Commonwealth may make additional Individual or Public Assistance requests on behalf of communities impacted by Hurricane Matthew.
To view Dr. Stern’s letter requesting federal aid, click here.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: VIRGINIA EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTER
(804) 371-7215 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Be ready. Be willing to help.
Virginia Disaster Relief Fund
How is the money distributed?
Fund proceeds will be distributed to local long-term recovery groups, members of the Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster and other non-profit and faith-based organizations as a grant.
Many of these groups work directly with individuals and families following a disaster.
How else can I donate?
The Virginia Disaster Relief Fund benefits projects that include: repair or rebuilding of underinsured dwellings, transportation assistance, replacing essential household items, helping renters establish new rental residence, temporary living expenses while recovering from loss, and more.
How can I donate?
If you want to help, send checks made payable to the Treasurer of Virginia with “Virginia Disaster Relief Fund” noted in the memo line to:
P.O. Box 1971
Richmond, VA 23218-1971