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Rep. Courtney Statement on FEMA Approval of Connecticut’s Request for Major Disaster Declaration

March 29, 2020
Press Release

NORWICH, CT – Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-02) released the following statement today after the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved Connecticut’s request for a Major Disaster Declaration in the State of Connecticut, and a concurrent order by the Department of Defense (DOD) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which unlocks additional federal assistance programs for the state:

“Today’s announcement that FEMA has approved Connecticut’s request for a Stafford Act disaster declaration is a critical order that provides a strong financial backstop to state and local COVID-19 emergency efforts, which have been underway for weeks now. Just like in past emergencies, the Stafford Act will reimburse 75% of COVID-related costs that first responders at the state and local level incur, like overtime, equipment, and fuel, to name a few. It is, of course, important that good records be kept for reimbursement, a practice that town finance officials have experience with during events like Hurricanes Sandy and Irene.

“This order dovetails with this past Friday’s passage and enactment of House Resolution 748, the CARES Act, which appropriated $45 billion for FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund. That funding will pay for Connecticut’s FEMA related expenses.

“Finally, this order coincides with a new order from the Department of Defense, released on Friday, March 27, which authorized the use of National Guard forces under Title 32 of the U.S. Code for COVID-19 emergency response efforts. As with the FEMA order, DOD was responding to a request from Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont, which was supported by the entire Connecticut delegation.

“These decisions will help remove any possible financial barriers from Connecticut’s heroic emergency response effort, which is already saving the lives of our fellow neighbors.”

Last Thursday, Congressman Courtney and the entire Connecticut Congressional delegation wrote to President Trump to urge immediate approval of Connecticut’s request for a Major Disaster Declaration. Click here to read the letter.