Governor Mark Gordon has submitted a request to President Trump asking for a major disaster declaration for Wyoming. The declaration would allow all 23 of Wyoming’s counties and the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho Tribes to access funding and services for crucial assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Though Wyoming has not reached the dire situations of some states, this declaration will help us to prepare and mobilize resources when we need them,” Governor Gordon said. “I look forward to a swift response to our request from the federal government.”
The Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act allows states to request a Public Assistance and Individual Assistance Disaster Declaration to respond to incidents that exceed capabilities of a state to respond effectively.
The declaration provides Wyoming the opportunity to access assistance from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for construction of temporary medical facilities, if needed. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is reviewing sites in Wyoming to identify extra space for overflow patients and healthcare workers should it be needed.
“This requested declaration will help ensure Wyoming gains access to critical assistance as we continue our mission to respond to this pandemic,” Wyoming Office of Homeland Security Director Lynn Budd said. “Providing individual assistance programs will be vital to help our residents recover from this crisis.”
The declaration also allows the state to receive additional federal resources and services for Wyoming residents, including crisis counseling, disaster unemployment assistance, legal services, disaster case management and Small Business Administration disaster assistance. As of April 9, Wyoming has 230 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in 18 counties.