KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- In the first week that the City of St. Louis and St. Louis County have been eligible for state and federal disaster aid, more than $225,000 in disaster housing assistance has been paid out to applicants who qualify for help with damages from July storms.
Officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) said that as of Monday, $226,951 had been paid to city and county residents combined. Disaster housing assistance can come in the form of grants to pay for alternate short-term housing until repairs to the damaged dwelling can be made, and/or grants to make minimal home repairs.
On October 19, President Clinton declared the State of Missouri a major disaster area. The declaration enabled residents and business owners in St. Louis city and county, as well as Jackson County in Kansas City, to apply for various disaster assistance programs. Those applying had to have suffered damages from storms that occurred July 10-31.
In addition to disaster housing assistance, other available recovery programs include: low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for homeowners, renters or business owners; grants to meet serious disaster-related needs not covered by other programs, and disaster unemployment assistance.
Those who sustained damage to their residence or business because of the July severe storms and flooding should apply for disaster assistance by calling toll-free 1-800-462-9029. Hearing or speech-impaired applicants may call TTY: 1-800-462-7585. Hours to call are daily, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. CST.
So far, 724 people in St. Louis city and county have registered for disaster assistance. State and federal disaster recovery officials point out that renters, as well as homeowners, can apply for assistance.
Those who have already applied but have questions about the status of their applications can call the FEMA Helpline, 1-800-525-0321 (TTY: 1-800-660-8005) daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. or visit a Disaster Recovery Center, located at 64 Northland Center in Jennings. The center is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday -Saturday and from 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday.