Tazewell, VA -- Residents of seven storm-drenched southwestern Virginia counties are now eligible to apply for federal and state disaster individual assistance programs, the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today.
FEMA director Joe M. Allbaugh said that assistance was approved based on a review of damage data collected by FEMA, state and local teams that surveyed areas flooded by the severe storms that hit the region July 26-28.
By re-opening the disaster incident period to include late July damages, the FEMA announcement enables eligible homeowners, renters, and business owners in Buchanan, Dickenson, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, and Wise counties to apply for a broad range of available disaster assistance programs.
Residents of Tazewell County, previously declared a federal disaster area on July 12 due to storms occurring July 8-10, may now also apply for assistance regarding new damages or losses arising from the late July storms. Tazewell residents, who have already registered for recovery assistance, should call the Helpline at 1-800-525-0321 for answers to questions about other aid.
"Our quick response to the Governor's request for federal assistance underscores our commitment to ensure that every qualified household and business receives the help they need to begin the recovery process," Allbaugh said.
Affected individuals, families and business owners in the designated counties can register for assistance by calling toll-free 1-800-462-9029, or (TTY) 1-800-462-7585, for those who use special keyboard equipment. The lines are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week until further notice.
Allbaugh said assistance for stricken individuals and families could include grants to help pay for temporary housing, emergency home repairs and other serious disaster-related expenses. Low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration also will be available to cover residential and business losses not fully compensated by insurance.
The following is a summary of FEMA and Virginia Department of Emergency Management programs available to provide help to flood-stricken individuals, families and businesses:
- Grants for rental payments to provide emergency temporary housing for flood survivors whose homes are unlivable. Initial assistance is provided for up to three months for homeowners and at least two months for renters. Assistance may be extended if requested after the initial period based on a review of individual applicant requirements.
- Grants for minimal repairs are available to qualified homeowners who need to make damaged homes habitable. These grants are only for needed repairs not covered by insurance.
- Grants to help meet medical, dental, funeral, transportation, essential home repairs, essential personal property repair or replacement, and other serious disaster-related needs not covered by insurance or other federal, state and charitable aid programs. Contents of refrigerators and freezers are not covered.
- Unemployment payments up to 26 weeks for workers who temporarily lost jobs because of the disaster and who do not qualify for state benefits. This group includes self-employed individuals.
- U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest loans are available up to $200,000 for primary residence: $40,000 for personal property, including renter losses. Loans available up to $1.5 million for business property losses not fully compensated by insurance.
- Loans up to $1.5 million for small businesses that have suffered disaster-related cash flow problems and need funds for working capital to reco...