Trump Approves Major Disaster Declaration for Massachusetts
President Donald J. Trump has approved a major disaster declaration for Massachusetts to supplement recovery efforts in areas affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Emergency Management Administration announced today.
Gov. Charlie Baker requested the declaration, seeking federal disaster assistance beyond that included in an emergency declaration issued on March 13. Now Massachusetts will be eligible for help, including certain 75-percent cost reimbursements, through FEMA programs.
Under FEMA’s Public Assistance Program, local governments, state agencies and certain non-profits will be reimbursed for a portion of costs associated with response and emergency protective measures. Those measures may include a number of measures, including isolation and quarantine costs for the homeless and the deployment of first responders.
Under the Individual Assistance Program, the state's Department of Mental Health will receive funds to provide crisis counseling to individuals and families affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. The counseling will be available through electronic phone and chat technology due to the need for social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, or MEMA, will provide webinars and information about applying for the programs to state officials and eligible non-profits.