President Joe Biden declared that an emergency exists in the state of New Jersey and ordered federal assistance to supplement local response efforts due to conditions resulting from the remnants of Hurricane Ida.
“The President’s action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to coordinate all disaster relief efforts”, the White House said in a statement late on Thursday.
Flash flooding killed at least 44 people in four Northeastern states, including New Jersey, as remnants of Hurricane Ida unleashed torrential rains.
The President’s action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to coordinate all disaster relief efforts which have the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population.
FEMA will host a public meeting to collect comments from the public, including private sector, government and non-government entities on the National Flood Insurance Program’s Community Rating System (CRS) program.
The President’s action also allows federal agencies to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures, authorized under Title V of the Stafford Act, to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, and to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in the counties of Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren..
Specifically, FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize and provide at its discretion, the equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency. Emergency protective measures, limited to direct federal assistance and reimbursement for mass care, including evacuation and shelter support, will be provided at 75 percent federal funding.
Deanne Criswell, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of Homeland Security, named Patrick Cornhill as the federal Coordinating Officer for Federal recovery operations in the affected areas.
The storm’s flooding and tornadoes on Wednesday came days after causing widespread wind, storm surge and flooding. FEMA staff are working throughout the nation to support other ongoing hurricane and flood response efforts and wildfires in the West.
One of 11 FEMA Incident Management Assistance Teams deployed to support states affected by Hurricane Ida is in New Jersey. Five others are in Louisiana, two in Mississippi, New York, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
AmeriCorps has activated and deployed 14 FEMA Corps teams from the Southern Region Campus in Vicksburg, Miss., to support the FEMA IMAT and disaster survivor assistance in Louisiana and Mississippi.