Greeneville, TN -- Federal and state disaster assistance to the seven disaster-stricken Tennessee counties topped $3 million Wednesday, with more than 423 checks sent directly to individuals and families who qualified for the various assistance programs and who sustained losses.
Disaster housing assistance accounted for nearly $675,000 of the total amount approved, while $200,800 in individual and family grants was also approved. More than $1,870,000 has been approved to reimburse the state of Tennessee for repair and replacement of damaged infrastructure. The U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has awarded $242,700 so far in low-interest disaster recovery loans.
Gracia Szczech, the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) official in charge of the recovery effort, said, "If any resident or business owner affected by the recent floods has not applied to FEMA for disaster assistance, time is running out. To register is a simple process, requiring one toll-free phone call. The number to call and register is 1-800-462-9029, or 1-800-462-7585 for the hearing or speech impaired."
For those who have already called in and registered but have questions about the status of their claim, or have questions about other disaster assistance programs, FEMA has established a special Helpline, 1-800-525-0321.
"Our window of opportunity to register for disaster assistance will close in the near future. Anyone who suffered uninsured or underinsured damage during the recent severe storms and flooding is urged to call FEMA's toll-free registration line and register," added John D. White Jr., state coordinating officer. "If you have any questions about whether you are eligible or not to receive assistance, call 1-800-462-9029 and let the disaster professionals make the determination of your eligibility. You may be eligible for assistance and not realize it."
The seven Tennessee counties that have been declared eligible for assistance are Carter, Cocke, Greene, Johnson, Shelby, Unicoi and Washington.