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Fanslau explains FEMA disaster declaration process


August 31, 2011

Sullivan County Manager David Fanslau issued the following statement: "There have been some news media this morning that left the impression that a determination was made that Sullivan County was rejected for inclusion in federal disaster aid through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). That conclusion would be an incorrect conclusion.

Sullivan County Public Safety Commissioner Dick Martinkovic has been in touch with the New York State Emergency Management Office (SEMO) and FEMA. The media coverage about some Hudson Valley counties being included or approved for federal disaster aid through FEMA was a result of an aerial visual inspection by FEMA officials of those areas, and due to the extensive visual damage, FEMA had those counties included in the President's declaration.

Sullivan County was included in Governor Andrew Cuomo's disaster declaration requesting federal disaster aid. I have been in contact with representatives of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Congressman Maurice Hinchey. FEMA will perform a Preliminary Damage Assessment of public infrastructure for public (local government) assistance early next week, through a site visit and inspection of damage throughout Sullivan County. FEMA will also perform a site inspection regarding individual Assistance (IA) that would make a determination for non-local government assistance.

Sullivan County officials anticipate that Sullivan County, and the Towns and Villages within Sullivan County, will qualify for Public Assistance for FEMA federal disaster aid for the County and Local Governments, and that President Obama will include Sullivan County in the disaster areas for New York State.

Commissioner Martinkovic will coordinate the PDA process for Sullivan County with the Towns and Villages. In the interim, Sullivan County officials and Town and Village officials will continue to compile damage assessments in preparation for the FEMA site visit.