OLYMPIA— Gov. Jay Inslee today asked President Obama for a major disaster declaration in Snohomish County to make a number of programs available to assist individuals, households, and businesses impacted by the Oso landslide on March 22.
This request follows the approval of a federal emergency declaration last week, which provided direct federal assistance in the form of a federal disaster team and specialized personnel including FEMA. The emergency declaration also allowed federal reimbursement for a portion of the costs accrued to provide emergency protective measures and response following the Oso landslide.
“I am hopeful that the President can act favorably and quickly on this request to provide assistance to help the survivors begin to recover from this terrible disaster,” he said. “Words cannot describe the devastation done to the community of Oso and the impact the landslide continues to have in Darrington, Arlington and neighboring communities.”
Specifically, Governor Inslee asked the president to make the following programs available in Snohomish County, and to the Stillaguamish, Sauk-Suiattle and Tulalip Indian Tribes:
- Disaster Housing, which provides funds for up 18 months to displaced persons whose residences were heavily damaged or destroyed to find temporary housing in the local area. Funding also can be provided for housing repairs and replacement of damaged items to make homes habitable.
- Disaster Grants, which help individuals meet other serious disaster-related needs and necessary expenses not covered by insurance and other aid programs. These may include replacement of personal property, and transportation, medical, dental and funeral expenses.
- Disaster-related unemployment insurance to provide unemployment insurance benefit payments to individuals who became unemployed as a result of the disaster and do not qualify for regular benefits.
- Crisis counseling program, which provides grants to provide services to disaster survivors, responders, and others impacted by the disaster.
In addition, the governor requested the U.S. Small Business Administration to make its disaster loan program available. The program makes low-interest loans available after a disaster for homeowners and renters to cover uninsured property losses. Loans may be available for repair or replacement of homes, automobiles, clothing or other damaged personal property. Loans are also available to businesses for property loss and economic injury.
Editor's note: Link to photo of Governor Inslee signing the request is available on his Flickr account.