What does a Major Disaster Declaration from the Federal Government mean for Michigan?


LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer sent a letter to the president requesting a major disaster declaration during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The request includes helping the state provide meals to families who need them and provide rental assistance as well as temporary housing to families.

It would also allow the state to provide counseling and therapy for Michigan residents whose mental health is affected by COVID-19, whether they or a loved one gets sick or hospitalized.

Additionally, the declaration would provide much-needed additional capacity and funding to the state in the event Michigan needs to quickly set up field hospitals or other facilities.

“We’ve seen an incredible amount of strength and courage of Michiganders during this time of uncertainty, whether it’s from communities donating food, money, and resources to those that need it or from teachers finding new and creative ways to reach out to their students,” said Governor Whitmer. “While the people and businesses of the great State of Michigan have shown incredible resilience and cooperation throughout this difficult time, we cannot weather this storm alone. I am hopeful that the president will grant my request for a major disaster declaration in full and within a matter of days so we can provide more services to Michiganders who need them.”

The Governor requested many programs including Disaster Unemployment Assistance, Disaster Crisis Counseling, Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Disaster Survivor Assistance, Disaster Legal Services.

The governor also requested critical public assistance programs because of the strain on Michigan’s infrastructure during the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic has been great, and assistance is required to continue providing a safe and healthy Michigan for all, according to a press release from the governor.

The governor also requested Hazard Mitigation assistance to help provide relief during planning for recovery in the long-term, as the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated this state’s vulnerability to future pandemics.

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