WASHINGTON — The cleanup in New Orleans, La. has only begun and the recovery from the storm will take months, if not years. To help, President Biden signed a ‘major disaster declaration’ for Louisiana.
There are several different declarations a president can sign before, during, and after a natural event. But, we broke down exactly what that assistance is in the case of a major disaster, like Hurricane Ida.
What happens when the Federal Government makes a Major Disaster Declaration?
- The Federal Emergency Management Agency
- Elizabeth Zimmerman, a senior advisor for the research group: Innovative Emergency Management. As well as a former official for FEMA’s Office of Response and Recovery
A Major Disaster Declaration opens financial resources for both the public and individuals to deal with clean-up and recovery.
What We Found:
According to FEMA, after a natural disaster, the president can sign a major disaster declaration if the event's damages go beyond the capabilities of state and local governments to respond.
Which Hurricane Ida has.
“The disaster declarations will help to cover those costs that the states are in are incurring during these events,” Zimmerman explained.
She explained those federal government financial resources come in several ways. One is individual assistance, like for damaged homes and businesses.
“People will be able to get some assistance from FEMA,” she added. “Right now, it's up to $36,000 per household.”
That assistance can also be for crisis counseling, legal and unemployment assistance, just to name a few.
It also offers public assistance which, “opens up the cost for such as debris removal, all the emergency protective measures that they have taken,” she said.
Public assistance helps pay for first responder overtime, repair, and replacement of infrastructure, and buildings and equipment and quite a bit more.
But, it all comes from a presidential declaration.
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