The Federal funding is always there for the state and the local governments that are entitled to it and some specific nonprofit organizations. They manage it on a cost-sharing ground so that it can be used during emergency and to repair and replace objects and properties destroyed by disasters such as tornadoes, floods and many others (Allen, 2016). Presidential declaration simply means approval or instructions direct from the White House to go ahead with doing something. Therefore my paper looks into detail a disaster that obtained Presidential declaration and the Federal government was in charge of recovery funding during that specific tragedy.
Last year President Barrack Obama issued a declaration that some parts of Hampton Roads were disaster sites. This was because of the serious damage caused by Hurricane Matthew the previous month before this declaration. Therefore there was need for Federal funding to replace and repair damaged facilities caused by this hurricane. The funding was supposed to cover inhabitants and commercial institutions in Chesapeake, Norfolk, Virginia Beach and Newport News (Musser, Watson & Gotvald, 2017).
The Federal recovery funding covered a lot of things. The citizens that were affected were supposed to fill applications for obtaining grants for temporary housing and home repairs. This was important since most of people living in the affected were homeless. There houses were carried out by the hurricanes especially the rooftops. They therefore were so in need of temporary houses before anything else and the Federal recovery funding did not let them down in that but instead considered it as a priority for the people.
Information obtained from the White House also stated that the affected citizens were supposed to apply for financial assistance to cover the property that were lost yet not insured. This also reminds us of the importance of insuring our properties. This is due to the known fact that if the property were insured against such disasters then there would be no need for any loan application because the insurance company would have played its role by repairing or recovering the property lost. The affected people and citizens should have therefore learnt the importance of insuring their property from this disaster.
Before the Presidential declaration from President Barrack Obama there were a lot of complains from leaders such as Mayor Will Sessoms concerning the time taken for the White House to make an emergency disaster declaration. The Mayor claimed that he was frustrated with the way the government was taking a very long period of time to declare an emergency disaster declaration for Virginia. He wanted it to be done so fast since he had seen how the affected citizens were affected many being homeless and having no place to go. His complains worked since the following day is when there was declaration from the White House declaring an emergency disaster declaration for Virginia and the other mentioned places. This is a challenge to the White House to always make sure that they know of such disaster early enough and issue a presidential declaration on time. This will ensure that the affected individuals will not suffer a lot after the disaster and they will always have faith in their government and related authority.
This Hurricane Mathew caused a damage of approximately 51 million dollars to not less than 2,100 homes in Virginia Beach (Musser, Watson & Gotvald, 2017). This information was obtained from the city council which was headed by Mayor Will Sessoms. Sessoms had a rough time during this period but he told the media that he was pleased with the results after Obama’s Presidential declaration. The Mayor was pleased because he knew how important this was to the people of Virginia. He also knew how the affected people were struggling and therefore wanted to make their lives better. Mayor Will Sessoms is one of the best leaders known since he was in power not for personal gain but to serve his people. This was clearly evident during this disaster since he was always there for his people and pushed each and every action meant to make his people live a better life.
On 18th of October, the city council of Virginia Beach assigned 8.8 million dollars to cover for everything lost after the Hurricane Mathew (Musser, Watson & Gotvald, 2017). Since the approximated loss was 5.1 million dollars, the council thought that the 8.8 million dollars would be enough to deal with the problem. This was not the case since other leaders started complaining that this was not going to be enough. The City Manager Dave Hansen said on the following day that approximately 3.3 million dollars would be needed to deal with the whole problem. The city had to wait for some days for a declaration for reimbursement. The Virginia Beach Emergency Manager Erin Sutton said that the reimbursement will be a very big help to the Virginia community since they need it. He went ahead and explained that there are several people living in hotels and therefore that money may help the start a new and better life.
The families living at the Waypoint at Lynnhaven apartments were the ones highly exposed to the risk of being homeless. The building was flooded and people living in that complex were not allowed to go back to the building after it was cleaned. They were restricted since the cleanup crews found asbestos at many places in the complex. The people owning the apartments were paying for residents’ hotel stays but had to stop since the day they were told not to return into the building. Therefore people living in these hotels were likely going to be homeless. Hansen said that the reimbursement is therefore required by the city to know how to help approximately 36 families. Most of these families had children and older adults who obviously could not help themselves and did not have any place to go. The city therefore had the task of helping them in any way.
The next day, Wednesday, people who were staying in Waypoint started looking for hotels to live in. Some of them got extensions while others were not lucky enough to receive. Majority of the residents were looking for new apartments or townhouses but this was very difficult since it is obviously not easy to find units that are available immediately. The residents of Waypoint at Lynnhaven were refunded security deposits. Each and every resident that was displaced was given 750 dollars grant (Musser, Watson & Gotvald, 2017).
The leaders of the city also had in mind that housing was the big issue during these times and always assured their people they are concerned with it. They assured the people that they will find a way out with or without the federal declaration. Other cities such as Chesapeake came with the idea of people donating 200,000 to a local charity to help those people that were affected with the disaster. The city also initiated a disaster recovery center where inhabitants could go and fill application forms for FEMA aid.
Additionally, Presidential declaration is very important especially when the disaster has caused a lot of damage. As citizens, we at one point or another need our government for survival. A good example is the Hurricane Matthew case, if it was not for President Barrack Obama’s declaration the people of Virginia Beach and other affected cities would have had a very difficult life forever. Federal recovery funding is very important and has helped a lot in our country.
- Allen, M. (2016). Climate Change Is the Reason We Need for Resiliency.
- Musser, J. W., Watson, K. M., & Gotvald, A. J. (2017). Characterization of peak streamflows and flood inundation at selected areas in North Carolina following Hurricane Matthew, October 2016 (No. 2017-1047). US Geological Survey.