Tazewell, VA -- More than 200 flood-stricken southwestern Virginia residents have registered for federal-state disaster recovery assistance since President Bush reopened the disaster incident period to include storm damage caused by severe rains and flooding over July 28-29. The August 1 federal action extends individual assistance eligibility to disaster survivors in seven area counties.
Marianne C. Jackson, federal coordinating officer, said a total of 712 households had applied for some form of recovery assistance since the initial presidential declaration for residents of Tazewell County on July 12. Counties now eligible for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Virginia recovery programs are: Buchanan, Dickenson, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, and Wise.
Jackson said $1,337,110 has been approved for individual assistance needs in the past three weeks. According to Jackson, the overwhelming percentage of federal-state assistance has been in the form of grants to meet emergency housing, home repair, replacement of lost essential personal property and temporary housing needs.
FEMA and Virginia disaster assistance includes grants for emergency disaster housing and essential repairs, individual and family grants and low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
Disaster assistance totals in brief (as of close-of-business, Thursday, August 2, 6 p.m.):
|Type (To Date):||Applicants:||Approved:||Amount:|
|Disaster Housing Grants:||606||338||$768,566|
Michael Cline, state coordinating officer, urged households with flood-related damage to call the FEMA toll-free teleregistration number at 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.
Cline explained that area residents should not assume they are registered because they talked to a Red Cross representative or disaster worker about flood loss or damage. "First, make sure that you and your family are safe and secure," Cline said. "Then make registration your next priority. It will protect your eligibility for uninsured losses that may not be immediately apparent."
The officials urged disaster survivors to visit the FEMA -Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) Disaster Recovery Center at 607 Market Street in North Tazewell. The center is open Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday, noon-6 p.m. through August 5th. Disaster recovery specialists staff the center to answer applicant questions and provide information about available state and federal programs. No appointment is necessary.
Officials said that previously registered applicants are not required to come to a center, but are welcome to visit for face-to-face answers to questions or to seek other information.