BISMARCK, N.D. -- The first emergency housing assistance checks have been issued to North Dakota residents by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), state and federal officials announced today.
More than 400 checks totaling nearly $500,000, have been sent to residents with homes affected by the severe storms, flooding, snow and ice, ground saturation, landslides, mudslides, and tornadoes that have affected North Dakota since March.
"This assistance is an important step in the recovery process, and reflects our commitment to providing disaster aid as quickly as possible," said Federal Coordinating Officer Lesli A. Rucker of FEMA. "In the weeks ahead, we will continue to work with our state, local and volunteer partners to help address the needs of North Dakotans affected by the disaster."
Meeting housing needs is "one of our top priorities," added Adjutant General Keith D. Bjerke, state coordinating officer in charge of relief and recovery operations. "Getting people into safe and sanitary living quarters is important so that they can begin focusing on cleaning up and repairing their homes."
The disaster housing program provides grants to homeowners to make minor but necessary repairs for disaster related damages. Grants for temporary rental assistance are also available for both homeowners and renters.
So far 1,735 residents have registered for disaster assistance in the state. Individuals who have suffered losses and have not yet applied for disaster assistance are urged to call FEMA's toll-free number at 1-800-462-9029 to register. The 800 number is staffed from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week. Hearing or speech impaired individuals may call TTY at 1-800-462-7585.