ST LOUIS, Mo. -- Federal, state, local and voluntary agencies are coordinating disaster assistance to five Missouri counties following the severe storms and flooding in storm systems that hit throughout the state from April 3-14, 1999.
- On April 20, President Clinton declared a major disaster for Missouri, prompting the release of federal funds to help people recover from the severe storms and flooding April 3-14, 1999. Madison County residents, business owners, farmers and ranchers thus became eligible for a variety of state and federal disaster assistance programs. On May 5, four more storm-damaged Missouri counties - Andrew, Iron, Macon and Osage, became eligible for similar assistance. This brings to five the number of counties designated for disaster assistance to individuals, businesses, farmers and ranchers.
- Recovery specialists from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) are working with local governments and voluntary agencies to bring assistance to those affected by the storms in identified areas in the state.
Response and recovery efforts as of May 14 are:
- More than $1.5 million in grants and loans has been approved for disaster victims in the five affected Missouri counties. This includes:
- $418,263 in Disaster Housing checks to assist eligible victims with the costs of short-term rental needs, making minimal repairs to their homes or finding another place to live for those whose homes are heavily damaged.
- $627,600 in U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest disaster loans. These loans are for: homeowners and renters to repair or replace uninsured real and/or personal property; for businesses to repair or replace uninsured real property and/or business inventory and for businesses who need working capital.
- $519,048 in Individual and Family Grants (IFG) to meet serious disaster-related needs and necessary expenses not covered by insurance or other assistance programs. The state of Missouri administers this program.
- A total of 409 residents and business owners throughout the five designated counties have applied for disaster assistance on the FEMA toll-free registration line.
- The first step in applying for disaster assistance is by calling the FEMA registration number, 1-800-462-9029. Persons with hearing-or speech-impairments may call (TTY) 1-800-462-7585. The call is free and recovery specialists can take calls from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.
- The deadline to file for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) in Madison County is May 24, 1999. DUA is intended for self-employed workers, farm workers, farm and ranch owners, and others who are not eligible for Missouri's regular unemployment benefits but whose employment was impacted by the disaster. The deadline for persons who live or work in Andrew, Iron, Macon and Osage counties to apply for this program is June 7. To learn how to file a claim for disaster unemployment assistance, call toll-free, 1-800-788-4002.
- Persons who have been approved for an SBA low-interest rate disaster loan may be eligible to borrow additional funds to pay for measures that will mitigate against future losses. Examples of these measures are: anchoring fuel tanks, elevating electrical outlets and panel boxes, raising or relocating water heaters, furnaces and other appliances, and installing sewer backflow valves. For more information on this program, contact the SBA at 1-800-366-6303.
- A total of 324 people visited a Disaster Recovery Center in Frederi...