As Rhode Islanders wait for a response from the White House regarding Governor Chafee's request for a federal major disaster declaration for Washington, Bristol, and Newport Counties, federal and state officials report the damage assessment and recovery process continues.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) staff is supporting state and local efforts to identify and assist Rhode Islanders who still have serious unmet needs. Collection and tabulation of all damage assessments will help to determine if the State needs to modify its initial disaster declaration request. This process documenting damage and confirming need is one way FEMA and local officials maintain accountability to the taxpayers at all levels.
Finally, both federal and state teams encourage all Rhode Islanders to prepare now for the next disaster or weather-related event. Make a list of preparedness tasks that were not completed and emergency supplies that were not purchased in advance of the storm. It is never too early to get ready for the next emergency.
For a regularly updated information on Hurricane Sandy response efforts, visit www.riema.ri.gov or call 211.