Davenport, IA -- Almost 1,500 Iowans from 34 counties across the state have called to apply for disaster assistance, and over two million dollars in grants and low-interest loans have been approved for victims of severe storms, tornadoes and flooding.
The Iowa Emergency Management Division (IEMD), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and voluntary agencies are working in partnership to help Iowa residents in the recovery process. Sixteen counties have been designated eligible for Individual Assistance as a result of the presidential declaration issued May 2. The following is an update of recovery activities to date:
- 1,446 Applications have been received
- 1,058 Verification visits made to establish the applicant's eligibility and damage loss
- 1,089 Applications referred for Disaster Housing Assistance
- 1,120 Disaster housing grants approved, totaling $1,430,177.
- 58 SBA low-interest loans approved, totaling $744,600
- 461 People visited one of the 13 Disaster Recovery Centers
The U.S. Small Business Administration has issued 872 loan applications to homeowners/renters and 312 to business owners. Officials urge applicants to complete their loan paperwork as soon as possible, even if they have not received a final settlement from their insurance company. If the loan application is not returned it will delay other forms of disaster assistance.
Just One Call Starts the Application Process
The application process is easy, efficient and begins with a single phone call. Those who suffered disaster damages between April 8 through May 29 should register by calling FEMA's toll-free number, 1-800-462-9029. This number is answered from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Those who are speech or hearing impaired can apply by calling the toll-free TTY number 1-800 462-7585.
Most federal and state disaster assistance programs are designed to meet emergency needs in the form of disaster grants for immediate housing requirements and emergency repairs. These programs are meant to help people begin the recovery process; they are not designed to return people's lives to their pre-disaster conditions. By contrast, low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) help homeowners, renters and businesses of all sizes make a down payment on their future. SBA is the primary source of long-term disaster recovery loans for homeowners, renters, and business owners. "Don't hesitate to apply for the assistance you may need," Michael Bolch, FEMA federal coordinating officer, said. "The federal government has allocated sufficient funds for grants for all those in the affected areas who have eligible losses."
"There is enough help to go around for all who are eligible," Steve Zimmerman, State Coordinating Officer said. "The amounts distributed to one individual will in no way affect what disaster assistance is available to your neighbor or other citizens of Iowa."