Waldorf, MD -- "A grant program for tornado affected residents declined for a U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low interest disaster loan is now available," said State Coordinating Officer Donald L. Keldsen, acting director of the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA).
"The Individual and Family Grant Program (IFG) helps those least able to recover from the effects of a disaster, people who find all other recovery resources unavailable to meet essential and necessary unmet needs," he said.
The program is administered by the State of Maryland. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) pays 75 percent of IFG on a cost-share basis and the State makes up the balance.
Grants vary according to need and are given to help survivors begin to recover, not fully restore them to pre-disaster condition. While the maximum grant is $14,800, few grants are for the maximum. The average grant is about $2,000.
"The amount of a grant depends on the unmet and eligible needs of the applicant," said Keldsen, "This program makes it possible to help people with needs that are not covered through other disaster programs."
The grants do not have to be repaid and are tax-free, but there are conditions attached. Money must be spent on disaster related losses such as home repair, replacement of essential lost items, transportation and medical or dental expenses.
FEMA will send out a contractor to perform an inspection of the tornado-related damages. The only receipts needed are for medical, dental, funeral and transportation expenses. Receipts are not necessary for real or personal property, but everyone is encouraged to keep receipts for their own records.