In just about a week since James Lee Witt, director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), added four northwestern counties and the White Earth Reservation to Minnesota's major disaster declaration, more than a quarter of a million dollars in disaster housing grants has been approved for some of the 1,084 residents who have already called to apply.
The county breakdown of applicants shows 972 from Clay, 59 in Becker, 22 from Mahnomen, and 31 in Norman. Applications from the White Earth Reservation are included in Mahnomen County figures. A total of 185 applications have been approved for $261,563.
The Disaster Housing Program provides grants that cover temporary rental assistance or emergency essential repairs to help make the home safe, secure, and livable. This may just be the first check that residents receive. Applicants may also be eligible for other types of state and federal disaster assistance.
"These totals will continue to grow as more and more applications are processed," Ted Monette, FEMA's Federal Coordinating Officer, said. "We want to ensure that everyone who had eligible losses receives all the disaster assistance that they are entitled to."
Those in the declared counties and the White Earth Reservation who were affected by severe storms and flooding in mid-June can call 1-800-462-9029 (TTY 1-800-462-7585) between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. daily to apply for assistance. Your phone call is your application and the only way to begin the disaster assistance recovery process.
DISASTER RECOVERY CENTERS AVAILABLE IN CLAY, MAHNOMEN AND NORMAN COUNTIES THIS WEEK
FEMA and the State of Minnesota will have temporary Disaster Recovery Centers available this week in three declared counties. The centers will open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and their locations and days of operation are:
Tuesday, July 11 in Mahnomen at the County Courthouse (basement),311 W. Main St
. Wednesday, July 12 in Ada at the Law Enforcement Center at 15 Second Ave. E
Thurs.-Fri., July 13-14 in Moorhead at the Family Service Center,715 11th St. N
"Representatives of the various federal and state agencies offering assistance to disaster victims will be at these centers to answer questions and provide further information about programs available to local homeowners, renters and businesses," said Ted Monette, FEMA's Federal Coordinating Officer. "We encourage people to first make their toll-free application phone call to 1-800-462-9029 (TTY 1-800-462-7585), and then visit the center closest to them to sit down and talk face-to-face with recovery specialists."
The centers are available to everyone. However, individuals must reside, work or do business in a declared area to be eligible for federal and state disaster assistance. Programs and services offered include temporary housing assistance, unemployment assistance, low-interest loans, grants to individuals and families, and technical advice to help minimize future damage and loss.
DISASTER UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE AVAILABLE
Residents who have lost employment as a result of last month's storms and flooding may be eligible for federal disaster unemployment assistance (DUA) benefits, according to state and federal officials.
"The DUA program, which is administered by the state, extends coverage to self-employed people, farm workers and others who have lost employment as a direct result of the disaster, and who are otherwise ineligible for Minnesota state unemployment program benefits," said Kevin Leuer, state coordinating officer and director of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety's Division of Emergency Management (DEM).
Eligible persons include: self-employed agricultural and hourly workers; self-employed business people; busin...