COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Colorado Office of Emergency Management and the Small Business Administration (SBA) have provided nearly $3-million in disaster assistance to the people affected by the severe storms and flooding that began in late April.
Flood damage to a home or business is not the only disaster related loss that may be eligible for federal and state disaster assistance programs. Renters, homeowners and businesses in the Colorado counties of Bent, El Paso, Larimer, Otero, Pueblo, and Weld can register for disaster assistance for losses caused by the storm. Assistance may be available for uninsured or underinsured damages from hail or high winds, as well as flooding that occurred between April 29 - May 19. Following is a summary of the week's activities:
- A temporary Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) operated in Greeley on June 3 and 4. Representatives from state, federal and voluntary agencies staffed the DRC and provided information to residents and business owners in the Weld and Larimer county area affected by the severe storms and flooding.
- The Disaster Recovery Center (DRC), in La Junta staffed by state, federal and voluntary agency officials, will be open on Saturday, June 5 from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. and closed Sunday, June 6. Starting Monday, June 7 the DRC will operate 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. through Friday, June 11.
- There have been concerns of health problems due to mold growing in flood damaged homes causing allergic symptoms similar to those cause by plant pollen. FEMA and the Colorado Department of Health and Environment provided information regarding safe cleanup. Measures recommended include: locating and eliminating the moisture source, cleaning and disinfecting the moldy area using protective gloves and proper cleaning products; and prompt disposal of any material that has moldy residue, such as rags, paper, leaves or debris. To minimize exposure, people should consider using a breathing mask or respirators, wearing rubber gloves and take breaks in a well-ventilated area.
- Pueblo County hosted a community meeting on disaster recovery issues. The meeting offered an opportunity for those who suffered losses from the severe storms and flooding to meet with representatives from various local, state, federal and voluntary agencies working on the disaster response and recovery.
- As part of the disaster recovery effort, through an agreement with the Young Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association, FEMA is now providing free legal help for those affected by the severe storms and flooding. Residents of Bent, El Paso, Larimer, Otero, Pueblo and Weld counties may be eligible for the services which may include legal advice and counseling or certain types of representations on issues such as landlord/tenant disputes; help with contractors and home repair contracts; insurance claims; guardianships; and powers of attorney. Anyone who needs legal assistance related to the disaster should call the toll-free hotline at 1-800-310-7029 ext. 728.
- The Federal Emergency Management Agency and the State of Colorado have established the Helpline to answer questions concerning application status and general disaster assistance information. Representatives will be available at 1-800-525-0321 (TTY 1-800-462-7585) from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
- Individuals with disaster-related losses should begin by registering for assistance at 1-800-462-9029 (TTY 1-800-462-7585) from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
- As of Friday, June 4 more than 1,700 people have registered with the toll-free registration number.
- As of Friday, June 4 ...