Nearly two months after Delaware was hit by Hurricane Ida, President Joe Biden on Sunday declared that there is indeed an emergency need in the state and ordered federal assistance to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the affected areas.
“This is good news,” said Jeff Sands, community relations coordinator for the Delaware Emergency Management Agency. “It’s maybe not the whole news that we wanted, but it is good news to help the local government recoup some costs, as well as nonprofits that have been affected.”
Gov. John Carney requested the help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Individual Assistance, Public Assistance and Hazard Mitigation Grant programs Sept. 17. He also asked for assistance from the Small Business Administration.
Requests for Public Assistance and assistance from SBA have been approved for New Castle County, which Mr. Sands said took most of the damage throughout the state, while Hazard Mitigation Grant Program funding was authorized statewide, providing money for state and local governments and some private nonprofit organizations for emergency protective measures and the repair or replacement of facilities, on a cost-sharing basis.
According to DEMA, aid from the Individual Assistance Program is still under review, despite being a request that would provide direct assistance to homeowners and renters affected by the storm’s flooding.
Though a lot of Ida-ravaged areas have been cleaned up, there are still many homeowners and renters working through insurance processes or who don’t have insurance at all, according to Mr. Sands.
“This is the most important program out of all of them to help people,” he said. “Part of what we are going to do is definitely outreach about flood insurance, but in an area like (Wilmington) with a pretty high poverty level, it may not necessarily be achievable for a lot of people to have flood insurance.”
This is where Mr. Sands hopes that Hazard Mitigation monies will help prevent future flooding, so those without insurance won’t be as affected. He said government agencies and nonprofits have 30 days to apply for public assistance funds for projects that need to be reimbursed or repairs that they need.
Those groups can also apply for Hazard Mitigation funding for projects that will increase resilience in affected communities. Project applications must be submitted through their county emergency management agency.
To submit eligible projects, state and local government agencies and eligible nonprofits should register through the DEMA website or by contacting Joshua Kelly at email@example.com.
To apply for SBA assistance, businesses, nonprofits, homeowners and renters should visit here, call 800-659-2955 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.