Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey convened a meeting with Deputy Associate Administrator for the Office of Response & Recovery Elizabeth Zimmerman and Director Glenn Cannon of the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) to press FEMA to reimburse Pennsylvania communities for emergency measures taken to prepare for Hurricane Sandy. FEMA has so far denied requests for this assistance despite repeatedly urging Pennsylvania to prepare ahead of the storm and offering federal support for those efforts. Senator Casey pledged to continue to push FEMA to reimburse the state.
“The State of Pennsylvania took extraordinary measures to prepare for Hurricane Sandy and it’s time for FEMA to reimburse the state for those efforts,” Casey said. “Communities did the right thing by making all the necessary preparations for Hurricane Sandy. We need FEMA to work with the Commonwealth to ensure that state, county and local governments are reimbursed, or risk discouraging communities from preparing as thoroughly for predicted disasters in the future.”
Hurricane Sandy was predicted to have a devastating impact on Pennsylvania, and communities were urged to take every available measure to prepare for the impending disaster. In October, FEMA approved Pennsylvania’s request for a pre-landfall emergency declaration but limited it to direct federal assistance, which does not include reimbursement for the cost of preparedness measures. Failure to reimburse these expenses will detrimentally impact the state and local municipalities, which are already facing budgetary shortfalls while still struggling to recover from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. Furthermore, denying these funds may discourage communities from taking crucial preparedness steps in the future, risking lives and property in the event of a major storm.
Senator Casey was joined by Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick