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News Release

August 31, 2011      

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

Dutchess County Declared Disaster Area
Residents can begin applying for storm recovery aid tomorrow

Poughkeepsie… Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus announced today he has received notification that  Dutchess County has now been declared a disaster area as a result of Hurricane Irene and has been approved for disaster assistance from the federal government.     “Dutchess County is now eligible to receive Public Assistance which is financial aid to local governments, as well as Individual Assistance, financial aid for homeowners, renters and businesses,” stated the County Executive

“The damaging impact of Hurricane Irene on Dutchess County has been enormous,” said County Executive Steinhaus.    “We are looking at millions of dollars in storm damage for local governments, businesses and homeowners.    This disaster declaration ensures we will receive assistance in covering some of the clean-up costs.”

Public Assistance is federal aid available to local governments on – the county, towns, villages and cities  as well certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis.  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.

Steinhaus said, “We are especially pleased we have been successful in ensuring homeowners, renters and businesses will be able to apply for Individual Assistance.  Starting tomorrow (Thursday, September 1st) residents can begin the process of registering for assistance within FEMA’s eligibility guidelines.”  The program includes grants for repairs and for rent of alternative housing, low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and grants for other serious unmet needs.

People can apply for assistance in the following ways:

  • Registering online at
  • Call (800) 621-FEMA (3362) from 7am to 10pm.
  • TTY  (800) 462-7585 from 7am to 10pm.
  • 711 or Video Relay Service, (800) 621-3362 from 7am to 10pm.

The Dutchess County Emergency Management Office is working with state and federal officials to establish a Disaster Recovery Center centrally located in Dutchess County in the coming days.  Residents impacted by Hurricane Irene will be able to get in-person assistance with the disaster aid application process, meeting directly with a Recovery Specialist from FEMA.    More information will be provided once the Disaster Recovery Center location is determined.

FEMA Badge imageThis is an image of the official badge for FEMA Individual Assistance inspectors.   FEMA inspectors will be making home visits to those residents who have applied through FEMA, once the local Disaster Recovery Center opens.   Residents are advised to look for the official FEMA identification.    Residents who have applied for the assistance can speed the application process by having key items available.   Inspectors will need to see:

1.  Picture Identification (Driver’s License, Voter Registration Card, etc)
2.  Proof of Ownership/Occupancy of damaged residence (Structural Insurance,
     Tax Bill, Mortgage Payment Book/Utility Bill)
3.  Insurance documents: Home and/or Auto (Structural Insurance/Auto Declaration Sheet)
4.  List of household occupants living in residence at time of disaster
5.  All disaster related damages to both real and personal property

“I have been across the county over the last few days and have seen the devastating impact Hurricane Irene has had on our communities.   This disaster declaration is an important step in our recovery efforts. I encourage residents, businesses and local government to apply quickly for assistance and begin the process of recovery,” concluded County Executive Steinhaus.

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County Executive

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