BOISE, Idaho -- Teams from the state of Idaho, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Small Business Administration will be touring areas of Idaho on Friday to conduct preliminary damage assessments (PDAs) related to the recent wildfires.
Three teams will be visiting different areas of the state. The teams will be assessing damages from the wildfires and will be talking with local officials, business owners, and residents.
"We really want to understand all of the ways these wildfires have affected residents of Idaho," said John Cline, director of the Idaho Bureau of Disaster Services. "These teams can learn first-hand the sort of help that Idahoans need."
Federal and state officials stressed that anyone who has suffered damages related to the wildfires should begin the disaster application process by calling the toll-free registration number at 1-800-462-9029, or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing- and speech-impaired.
The PDAs will help determine the disaster assistance programs that will be made available in the federally-declared disaster areas of Idaho. Homeowners, renters and businesses may be eligible for low-interest loans from the SBA, and residents also may be eligible for grants through the Individual and Family Grant Program. People whose jobs were affected by the fires also may be eligible for disaster unemployment assistance.
Farmers and ranchers in the declared counties and several other counties throughout Idaho also may be eligible for emergency loans from the Farm Service Agency to help cover production and physical losses resulting from the disaster. Farmers and ranchers should contact their local FSA office for more information.
As of Sept. 6, the toll-free phone line had received 19 registrations from Idaho for disaster assistance.