Charleston, WV -- Checks for $200,389 have been sent to 115 applicants who cannot afford a loan to replace losses from the recent flooding, storms and landslides, according to state and federal recovery officials.
"The grants are for disaster-related needs not covered by insurance or other programs," said State Coordinating Officer Stephen Kappa, of the West Virginia Emergency Services Office. The Individual Family Grant program provides a safety net for people who have exhausted all other means of assistance and still have financial obligations that cannot be met.
"The amount of the grants depends on the unmet needs of applicants," Kappa said.
Grants may be used for disaster-related expenses such as home repairs, replacement of personal property, transportation, or the rental of equipment. Grants may also be used for items not normally covered under the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster loan programs, such as medical and dental bills, funeral expenses.
Of those receiving this aid, 30 are located in the flood plain and will be given a three-year flood insurance policy. At the end of that period they are required to continue the insurance.
"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," says Carlos Mitchell, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) official who is the federal coordinating officer.
This grant is one of the many assistance programs triggered by the major disaster declaration, which President Bush issued on June 3 at the request of Governor Wise. Disaster victims do not directly apply for grants, but must begin the process by registering for disaster assistance by calling the toll-free registration number at 1-800-462-9029. Persons who are hearing or speech impaired may call the TTY Helpline at 1-800-660-8005.