NORWALK, Conn. – President Biden has approved a Major Disaster Declaration for Connecticut in the wake of Hurricane Ida, a news release said Saturday. Gov. Ned Lamont requested the declaration and Biden approved:
- The FEMA Individual Assistance Program for Fairfield County and New London County, including the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and the Mohegan Tribal Nation; and
- The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program for the entire state.
Lamont’s request for the FEMA Public Assistance Grant Program is still pending completion of the FEMA Preliminary Damage Assessment, and Lamont is hopeful, the Governor’s release said.
Ida struck the state in early September.
“The disaster declaration will not only provide aid to state and local governments but will also make resources available to individuals and families,” a news release from U.S. Rep. Jim Himes (D-Greenwich) said. “Federal aid may include housing assistance, crisis counseling, case management services, legal services, personal property damage, and transportation assistance.”
The Governor’s release said:
“The FEMA Individual Assistance Program makes homeowners, renters, and business owners who sustained uninsured or underinsured damage to their property in Fairfield County and New London County eligible for federal disaster assistance. This may include grants for temporary housing and emergency home repairs to make housing safe, accessible, and secure. FEMA is unable to duplicate insurance payments and encourages survivors to file insurance claims for damage to their homes, personal property, businesses, and vehicles as soon as feasible.
“The fastest and easiest way to apply for this assistance is by visiting disasterassistance.gov or by downloading the FEMA app. If it is not possible to apply online, call 800-621-3362 (TTY: 800-462-7585). The toll-free telephone lines are currently operating from 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. daily. If using a relay service, such as video relay service (VRS), captioned telephone service or others, please provide FEMA the number for the service. Survivors who may need to request an accommodation or have additional questions can call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585) from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., seven days a week. Help is available in most languages.
“The FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program will help state agencies, local governments, and the tribal nations take actions that can reduce or eliminate long-term risk to people and property from natural disasters.”
The business aid comes primarily in the form of Business Physical Disaster Loans and Economic Injury Disaster Loans to assist businesses that suffered either physical damage or loss of revenue due to the storm, the Himes release said.
On Oct. 1, Biden signed into law H.R. 5305 – Extending Government Funding and Delivering Emergency Assistance Act (Continuing Resolution), which included $28.6 billion in emergency supplemental appropriations for natural disasters occurring as far back as 2019.
Himes “successfully worked to include $3 billion in the Congressional disaster relief bill to accelerate the construction of flood- and storm-damage reduction projects, with $1.5 billion of that money going specifically to states that declared a major disaster due to Ida,” the news release said.
“This was an all-hands-on-deck emergency,” said Himes in his release. “Immediately after the storm, I started meeting with local leaders to survey damage and working with Governor Lamont and the other members of the Congressional delegation to ensure Connecticut would get the help we needed as quickly as possible. The process of working with FEMA and other federal agencies to secure disaster funding is rigorous, but, by working in unison, local, state, and federal officials were able to bring this assistance to the people who desperately need it.”