FEMA Decision Prompts Need for Local Flood Relief Donations

Utica-based Rising Phoenix Holdings Corporation Matches Gifts to Aid Residents

With no help for individuals affected by last fall’s flooding coming from the federal government, The Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida Counties issued a statement today reminding area residents that local dollars are making a difference.

“This community steps up in times of need, and donations continue to come in for those recovering from the aftermath of the Halloween deluge,” said Alicia Dicks, Community Foundation President/CEO. “Since any federal help for individuals is unlikely, local support is now even more important—and the partnership we announced last November with Rising Phoenix Holdings Corporation continues to double each dollar that we receive for flood recovery efforts.” Donation information is available online, foundationhoc.org/floodmatch2019.

Days after the October 31, 2019, storms hit the region, Rising Phoenix Holdings Corporation (RPHC) announced it would match up to $50,000 in donations to The Community Foundation to aid flood victims in Herkimer and Oneida Counties. Based in Utica, Rising Phoenix (rphc.com) is parent company of the nation’s leading disaster preparedness and recovery firms, Adjusters International and Tidal Basin Government Consulting.

The potential $100,000 in flood relief for residents of both counties resulting from RPHC’s effort is in addition to Oneida County’s $1 million commitment to aid residents, businesses and local governments. As it did in the aftermath of the July 2017 flooding, The Community Foundation has partnered with the county to process aid applications and distribute $500,000 in funding to Oneida County victims of the 2019 event.

On January 3, local officials criticized the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) decision to decline New York’s request for FEMA assistance to individuals affected by the flooding, and Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that the state will appeal that decision. FEMA previously announced that 18 New York counties would be eligible for aid to help state and local governments restore infrastructure damaged by the flooding. But officials say Herkimer, Oneida and other county residents across the region need individual assistance.

“Thanks to the generosity of local donors and commitments from Rising Phoenix and Oneida County, we’re able to get some help to those who need it most,” Dicks said. “We who live here know what a remarkable community this is, and how our friends, neighbors, businesses and government officials react in a time of need like this reminds us how truly remarkable it is.”