Sarbanes, Maryland Congressional Delegation Press FEMA to Approve Additional Federal Disaster Assistance for State COVID-19 Recovery

Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md.) and the Maryland Congressional Delegation today urged Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Peter Gaynor to approve Maryland’s request for federal disaster assistance through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP).

These federal resources would support the state’s ongoing recovery from the COVID-19 public health emergency and help boost efforts to mitigate the effects of future emergencies, including public health crises. Assistance could be used for hospital surge capacity, educational campaigns, supply-chain strengthening measures, technology development and the installation of safety notification systems, among other purposes.

“As the federal Congressional delegation, we strongly support the State of Maryland’s efforts to begin the long road to recovery during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” the lawmakers wrote. “We ask you to take immediate action to strengthen resiliency and mitigate future damages due this pandemic or future public health emergencies.”

The lawmakers continued: “Recovery from this unprecedented event will test the limits of state and local resources, thus federal assistance fills critical gaps in recovery activities. In addition, grant funds to reduce the impact of future pandemics, and disasters more broadly, will reduce suffering and impacts on Marylanders.”