President Trump Approves Major Disaster Declaration for Massachusetts

WASHINGTON — FEMA announced today, March 28, that federal emergency aid has been made available for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to supplement the commonwealth, tribal and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic beginning on Jan. 20, 2020, and continuing.

In response to Governor Charlie Baker’s request for federal disaster assistance, the White House and FEMA announced the President has issued a Major Disaster Declaration that will make federal disaster assistance available beyond what was included in the Emergency Declaration declared by President Trump on March 13, 2020.

W. Russell Webster has been named as the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected area.

Under FEMA’s Public Assistance Program within the Major Disaster Declaration, affected local governments, state agencies and certain private non-profit organizations statewide will be reimbursed for 75% of their costs associated with response and emergency protective measures, said the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in a press release.

The eligible emergency protective measures include non-congregate isolation and quarantine costs for homeless individuals and families as well as first responders as well as other types of properly documented costs, said the Baker-Polito administration in a statement.

Under FEMA’s Individual Assistance Program within the Major Disaster Declaration, Crisis Counseling Assistance will provide funding for the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health to assist individuals and families in recovering from the psychological effects of the COVID -19 outbreak through electronic phone and chat technology, said the Commonwealth.

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency will provide webinars and other information about the process for applying for the Public Assistance Program to municipal and state officials and eligible non-profits. See here for more information, said the Commonwealth.

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