Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano today traveled to West Virginia and New York where she met with state and local officials, first responders and volunteers to discuss ongoing response and recovery efforts to Hurricane Sandy. Secretary Napolitano reiterated the ongoing support of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the rest of the federal family as local communities continue to respond to and recover from the storm.
"The President has made clear that our top priority continues to be making sure we are surging resources where they are needed, as fast as possible. And that's what we are committed to doing," said Secretary Napolitano. "The federal government, including FEMA and all of DHS, is here to support the needs of local communities in their recovery -- and we will be here for the duration."
In Charleston, W. Va., Secretary Napolitano visited the West Virginia Army National Guard Coonskin Armory, where she met with Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, Senator Joe Manchin, U.S. Representatives Nick Rahall and Shelley Moore Capito, and other state and local officials and received a briefing on response and recovery efforts.
Yesterday, the Emergency Declaration for the State of West Virginia was amended to include the counties of Barbour, Boone, Braxton, Clay, Fayette, Grant, Greenbrier, Kanawha, Lewis, Nicholas, Pendleton, Pocahontas, Preston, Raleigh, Randolph, Summers, Taylor, Tucker, Upshur, Webster, and Wyoming for emergency protective measures, including direct federal assistance, under the Public Assistance program.
Secretary Napolitano then traveled to Long Island, N.Y., where she toured storm damaged areas with Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee Rep. Peter King, and met with state and local officials, and first responders and emergency management teams to discuss coordination among federal, state and local partners on response and recovery efforts throughout the region.
President Obama declared a major disaster for New York on Oct. 30. This makes federal funding available to affected individuals in all four counties in Long Island--Kings, Queens, Nassau and Suffolk--as well as Bronx, New York, Westchester, Richmond and Rockland counties.
This federal assistance includes grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business-owners recover. Those in the designated counties can begin applying for assistance by registering online at www.disasterassistance.gov, by mobile device at m.fema.gov, or by calling 1-800-621-3362 (FEMA). The number is toll free and will operate from 7 am to 10 pm seven days a week.
For more information, visit www.fema.gov.