Greeneville, TN -- Assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the State of Tennessee to the seven disaster-stricken counties of Tennessee now stands at $5,549,095.
Disaster housing assistance accounted for nearly $1,105,024 of the total amount approved, while $567,823 in individual and family grants was also approved. More than $2,586,448 has been approved for the repair and replacement of damaged infrastructure, such as roads and bridges. Checks sent directly to qualified individuals and families who sustained losses now number 144. The U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has distributed $1,289,800 in low-interest disaster recovery loans.
"We want to reach everyone who qualifies for help," said Gracia Szczech, the FEMA official in charge of the recovery effort. "Do not disqualify yourself," urged Szczech. "By contacting the 1-800-462-9029 teleregistration number or 1-800-462-7585 for the hearing and speech impaired you can easily register over the telephone. This is the essential first step in the process. The registration process is simple and the call is toll-free," Szczech explained.
For individuals who may have just called in and registered but have questions about the status of their claim, or have questions about other various disaster assistance programs, FEMA has established a special Helpline at 1-800-525-0321.
"The deadline is fast approaching for disaster assistance. Anyone who has suffered uninsured or underinsured damage during the recent flooding and storms is urged to contact FEMA's registration line before October 15," stated John D. White Jr., state coordinating officer. "FEMA has trained teleregistration personnel to expedite the application process for those affected by these recent disasters."
President Bush declared Carter, Cocke, Greene, Johnson, Shelby, Unicoi, and Washington counties in Tennessee eligible for federal assistance on August 27, 2001.