Federal Assistance Dollars Now Over $650,000
In the 10 days that the FEMA toll-free application line has been in operation, 5,293 disaster victims from declared counties have applied for disaster assistance. To date, a total of $652,985 has been approved for disaster housing assistance grants and low-interest loans.
A primary concern of state and federal officials in the early phase of the recovery process is for people's housing needs. Housing assistance checks are some of the first forms of grant monies to be disbursed. They are issued in the form of grants for alternate rental housing, emergency repairs needed to make a residence habitable, and mortgage or rental assistance in cases where the disaster has caused extreme economic hardship.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved $127,400 in low-interest loans for five homeowners in declared counties.
A county-by-county breakdown of applications made and disaster housing dollars approved follows:
|County||Apps.||Apps. Approved||Approved $$|
Teleregistration & Helpline Hours to Change
Beginning Monday, October 4, the FEMA toll-free teleregistration phone lines will be in operation from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m., seven days a week, until further notice. Those toll-free numbers are 1 800-462-9029 and TTY 1 800-462-7585 for the speech and hearing impaired.
The FEMA Helplines - 1 800 525-0321 and TTY 1 800-660-8005 - will also operate from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week, starting Monday, October 4. Operators on these lines can answer questions related to disaster assistance programs and services and make appropriate referrals to other agencies and organizations. These are not application lines.
The only way to apply for disaster assistance is to call toll-free at 1 800-462-9029 (TTY 1 800-462-7585). "That one call," explains Federal Coordinating Officer Larry Bailey, "is your application for all types of federal and state assistance. It's the fastest, most efficient, and the only way to get the process underway."
Don't Wait to Clean Up Your Home
Flood victims in disaster-declared South Carolina counties who are returning to their homes are strongly urged by FEMA and SCEPD officials to clean up their residences as soon as they can. All flood-damaged items should be immediately removed for health and sanitation reasons regardless of whether or not a FEMA inspector has visited.
"You don't have to wait until an inspection has been completed to clean up your home and belongings," said Stan McKinney, State Coordinating Officer, South Carolina emergency Preparedness Division. "Photographs or other documentation of damaged items and areas will be helpful but not necessary to determine eligibility for assistance. We are most concerned that you take the precautions...