RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Governor McAuliffe announced Saturday that President Barack Obama has added Suffolk, Portsmouth and Hampton to the Individual Assistance (IA) disaster declaration to assist with damage sustained from Hurricane Matthew.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) had already approved IA to residents in Norfolk, Chesapeake, Virginia Beach and Newport News in its initial response. The additional localities were made eligible for IA programs at the Governor’s request after further information was provided.
“I am pleased that we were able to work with President Obama to bring this funding back for the people of Virginia who need it,” said Governor McAuliffe. “I thank the residents of Portsmouth, Hampton and Suffolk who provided a thorough accounting of the impacts to their community to help inform this decision and deliver the needed federal aid. This additional funding will help to ensure the residents and businesses of these communities have access to the aid needed to support recovery efforts in the wake of Hurricane Matthew I encourage all Virginians in surrounding regions to continue submitting information as this process unfolds.”
Friday, the Governor announced FEMA’s Public Assistance (PA) aid for the cities of Franklin, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Chesapeake, Norfolk and Virginia Beach, and the counties of Isle of Wight and Southampton. The PA program is different from IA, which provides direct financial aid to citizens and businesses. State and federal officials will continue to work with local governments over the coming months until all repairs and eligible projects have been completed.
The IA programs made available to communities through the disaster declaration provide several forms of recovery assistance for individuals and households. Assistance can include 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 from the effects of the disaster.
“These funds are much needed as Virginians in the impacted localities work to rebuild their lives and communities,” said Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security, Brian Moran. “Yesterday I had the opportunity to visit and thank our Virginia Department of Emergency Management team and FEMA partners for their round-the-clock work at the Joint Field Office in Virginia Beach.”
Residents must apply for aid directly with FEMA and report damages. There are three ways to apply now:
- Call toll-free at (800) 621-3362 or TTY (800) 462-7585
- Register on your computer at http://www.disasterassistance.gov/
- Register your smartphone at m.fema.gov
Local FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers will also be established in Suffolk, Portsmouth, and Hampton to help residents register in person. Information on the locations of these centers will be made available soon.
For more information on the types of assistance available and to be connected with your local government emergency management, please call the 2-1-1 hotline. To learn more about the aid available in your locality and to apply for assistance visit FEMA’s website at: www.disasterassistance.gov.