West Salem, WI -- Disaster assistance is now available to individuals and communities in Outagamie and Winnebago counties and to communities in six additional Wisconsin counties, the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today.
FEMA Director Joe M. Allbaugh said Calumet, Outagamie, Portage, Rusk, Waupaca, Waushara, Winnebago and Wood counties were added to the list of eligible jurisdictions based on a review of storm damage data gathered this week by federal and state disaster recovery officials.
President Bush declared 17 counties a major disaster area on May 11. The incident period also was reopened today to make disaster aid available for losses because of recent severe storms and a tornado. This brings the total number of counties under disaster declaration to 25 counties.
"We remain committed to ensuring that every qualified family and business receives the help they need and that vital community facilities are restored to full service as quickly as possible," Allbaugh said.
Allbaugh said that stricken residents and business owners in Outagamie and Winnebago counties are eligible to apply for a wide range of state and federal disaster assistance programs. The aid can include funding for temporary housing, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low--interest loans for individuals and businesses to repair or replace damaged property, disaster unemployment assistance, and grants for serious needs and necessary expenses not met by other programs.
In addition, federal funding now will be available to affected local governments in all eight counties to pay 75 percent of the approved costs for debris removal, emergency services related to the disaster, and repairing or replacing damaged public facilities, such as roads, buildings and utilities.
Affected residents and business owners in Bayfield, Buffalo, Burnett, Crawford, Douglas, Grant, La Crosse, Outagamie, Pepin, Pierce, St. Croix, Trempealeau, Vernon, Washburn and Winnebago counties may apply for assistance immediately by calling the toll--free registration number, 1--800--462--9029, between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Those with a speech or hearing impairment may call a special TTY number at 1--800--462--7585.
Callers are advised to have the following information available to help speed up the application process:
- Your current phone number.
- Your address at the time of the disaster and the address where you are now staying
- Your Social Security number, if available.
- A general list of damages and losses you suffered.
- Good directions to the property that was damaged.
- If insured, your insurance policy number, or the agent's and company name.
- General financial information.
Disaster Assistance Program Information
When disaster strikes, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) administers a number of disaster assistance programs and coordinates the efforts of many other federal agencies that provide services to help people through the recovery process. The types of assistance that are available follow.
Federal Emergency Management Agency Programs
DISASTER HOUSING ASSISTANCE: Housing assistance to individuals and families whose permanent homes were damaged or destroyed by the storm. Types of aid include grants for alternate rental housing; emergency repairs needed to make a residence habitable; and mortgage or rental assistance in cases where the disaster has caused extreme economic hardship.
INDIVIDUAL AND FAMILY GRANT PROGRAM: Grants to indiv...