HARRISBURG, PA, – Governor Tom Wolf today requested a major disaster declaration from the President through the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide additional support for state, county and municipal governments and certain nonprofits, as well as individuals who are struggling during the COVID-19 outbreak.
“The COVID-19 outbreak has taxed our commonwealth and our communities in ways that are almost incomprehensible,” said Governor Wolf. “I am calling on the President and the federal government to make available to us the assistance that will make a tangible difference in the lives of our friends and neighbors, and the dedicated public servants who are working in overdrive to support them.”
Pennsylvania already received an emergency declaration under the President’s nationwide emergency proclamation, which provides reimbursement for eligible expenses for emergency protective measures to state, county and local governments and certain nonprofits for the duration of the emergency incident. The declared nationwide emergency incident started Jan. 20, 2020, and continues.
The request for a major disaster declaration, if approved, will provide the same emergency protective measures available under the nationwide emergency proclamation; the following Individual Assistance programs: Disaster Unemployment Assistance, Crisis Counseling, Community Disaster Loans and the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Program; and Statewide Hazard Mitigation.
It is not known how quickly the President will decide to grant or deny Governor Wolf’s major disaster request for additional federal assistance. Governor Wolf signed a Proclamation of Disaster Emergency for the COVID-19 outbreak, which is a required step to request a federal major disaster declaration, on March 6, 2020.