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News Release

August 30, 2011      

For Further Information Contact:
William R. Steinhaus, County Executive
(845) 486-2000

County Working For Disaster Declaration
Residents and Municipalities Urged to Track Storm Damage

Poughkeepsie…Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus and Dutchess County Emergency Response officials are working with federal officials to ensure Dutchess County qualifies for federal reimbursement for much of the expenses incurred responding to the damage wreaked by Hurricane Irene.   The County Executive also encourages residents to track storm damage carefully to help with personal reimbursement eligibility.

“We have been working closely with our partners at both the state and federal level throughout this storm, with state and federal officials actually working out of the Dutchess County Emergency Operations Center during the height of the storm on Sunday,” said County Executive Steinhaus.   “All of these officials have seen the damaging impacts Hurricane Irene has had on Dutchess County and we have been assured our county will be eligible for federal aid.”

The Dutchess County Emergency Management Office has placed a formal request to the State of New York for damage assessment teams to be deployed to Dutchess County from both the New York State Office of Emergency Management and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

FEMA officials are touring the area this afternoon by helicopter to survey damage.   The Dutchess County Emergency Management Office has provided information on the areas hardest hit by storm damage.   As a disaster area, Dutchess County would then be eligible for Public Assistance which is federal aid available to local governments including county, towns, villages and cities.   Dutchess County Emergency Management Office officials are also working to ensure residents become eligible for Individual Assistance, federal aid to private individuals to help cover repair or replacement costs for storm-related damage to their homes within FEMA’s eligibility guidelines.

County Executive Steinhaus is strongly encouraging residents to take the following steps to help ensure Dutchess County becomes eligible for Individual Assistance:

  • Do not delay your clean up effort.

  • Call your insurance company to find out if any damage is covered and file claims quickly.

  • Document and photograph any losses. 

  • All costs related to protective actions and contractual services such as cleaning companies should be tracked and kept close by. 

  • All documented damage not covered by insurance should be reported to your town, village, or city clerk.

All municipalities within Dutchess County are also strongly encouraged to document all costs and expenses related to this major event to access federal Public Assistance.   Police, Fire, Building, and other departments should report their expenses to the head of their local government. Emergency work, such as overtime and debris removal, as well as the repair of damaged public facilities are all considered to be eligible expenses for aid from the state and federal government.   More detailed information is being provided to local governmental offices by the Dutchess County Emergency Management Office.

“We are being very thorough and careful to make sure Dutchess County is not overlooked for disaster aid eligibility,” said County Executive Steinhaus.   “The storm damage incurred throughout the county is going to take millions of dollars to repair, so our priority is to be out getting the repair work underway and making sure we provide the state and feds with everything they need for Dutchess County’s eligibility for reimbursement,” he concluded.

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County Executive

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