Honolulu, HI -- As part of the disaster recovery effort, an Individual and Family Grant (IFG) program has been activated to help people cover the costs of disaster-related needs not covered by insurance or other assistance programs, according to federal and state disaster recovery officials.
This grant program provides a safety net for people who have exhausted all other means of assistance and still have disaster-related losses as a result of the Big Island flooding, Ed Teixeira of State Civil Defense (SCD) said.
"The amount of the grant depends on the unmet needs of the applicant," Teixeira, who is serving as state coordinating officer for the recovery said. The grants are a last resort and in most cases are available only if an applicant has been denied a disaster loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
The grant program is one of the many assistance programs triggered by the major disaster declaration which President Clinton issued November 9 at the request of Gov. Cayetano. Disaster victims must begin the process by registering for disaster assistance by calling the toll-free registration number at 1-800-462-9029, Teixeira said (TTY: 1-800-462-7585).
Grant money may be used to cover such disaster-related expenses as essential home repairs, replacement of personal property, transportation, or the rental of equipment. Grants may also be used for items not normally covered under the SBA disaster loan programs such as medical and dental bills and funeral expenses.
Those who have already registered are urged to call the FEMA Helpline at 1-800-525-0321 to get information about the grants and other disaster assistance programs. Persons who are hearing- or speech-impaired may call the TTY Helpline at 1-800-462-7585. The Helpline operates from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day.