City's Congressional Delegation Asks for Broader Federal Disaster Aid
Thursday, September 01, 2011
The city's Congressional delegation is joining Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz in calling on the federal government to include Brooklyn as part of its major disaster declaration.
In a letter to President Barack Obama on Thursday, 20 members of Congress from the New York metropolitan region asked that he expand the scope of the federal major disaster declaration to include both individual and public assistance for Brooklyn and Manhattan counties.
The declaration signed by the president on Tuesday included individual assistance for eight upstate counties and public assistance to several other counties that included Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, the Bronx — but not Brooklyn.
There is still time for counties to be added to the declaration, according to Donald Caetano, deputy director of external affairs at the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s New York office. He said the request should come from the local government to the governor’s office, which in turn should notify FEMA.
“This is not a final declaration," Caetano said. "There is a potential that there will be more add-ons. In this case, the New York City OEM would tell New York state, 'Listen we think that we’ve got areas that are not included in the original declaration that we’d like for you to come and look at, and we think there’s enough here to get individual assistance as well.'”
The city's Office of Emergency Management has not responded to a request for comment.
The eight upstate counties qualified for individual assistance are: Albany, Delaware, Dutchess, Essex, Greene, Schenectady, Schoharie, and Ulster. Caetano says residents and businesses in those counties should call 800-621-FEMA or log on to DisasterAssistance.gov to apply.