Little Rock, AR -- Since the beginning of the Arkansas ice storm disaster declaration, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), through the state, paid a total of $23.1 million earmarked for immediate needs funding to various cities and counties.
"This dispersed money represents a concentrated effort on the part of FEMA and the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management (ADEM) to funnel funds to those cities and counties that face immediate needs," Joe D. Bray, federal coordinating officer said. "We make every effort to direct immediate needs funds quickly to cities and counties that provide the necessary damage documentation. FEMA personnel work as fast as legally possible while making every effort to be responsible with taxpayer monies," concluded Bray.
As of March 14, FEMA obligated $82.2 million in disaster assistance for debris clearance and repairing infrastructure. The program gives financial help to local and county governments and some non-profit agencies covered under a Presidential disaster declaration. ADEM distributes the funds.
Other totals, as of the close of business March 14, 2001:
FEMA issued $10,782,391 in disaster housing assistance checks to 11,969 residents. These are grants to assist individuals and families whose primary residences were damaged or destroyed by the December ice storms.
- The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) approved 988 loans for homeowners, renters and businesses totaling $6,148,900.
- State disaster relief officials approved payment of 2,032 checks totaling $1,994,310 to help people meet serious disaster-related needs and necessary expenses not covered by other disaster assistance programs or insurance. This program is funded 75 percent by FEMA and 25 percent by the state.
- The Arkansas Department of Employment Security approved disaster unemployment claims totaling $343,664 to 824 applicants.
- FEMA received 40,084 individual applications for disaster assistance.
Individuals, families and businesses may call the FEMA Helpline at 800-525-0321 if they have questions about their applications. For the speech and hearing impaired, the number is 800-462-7585. The Helpline is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.