Waldorf, MD -- Federal and state disaster assistance to those affected by the April 28 tornado in Calvert, Charles and Dorchester counties has reached more than $1.7 million said Federal Coordinating Officer Tom Davies of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
"Grants and loans to help with recovery are reaching those affected," Davies added. "We urge anyone with disaster-related damage that has not yet contacted us, to do so by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (TTY: 1-800-462-7585).
Following is a summary of the ongoing state/federal response and recovery programs to date:
Since President Bush declared a major disaster May 1, 650 have registered for assistance through FEMA's toll-free registration line.
More than $136,000 in FEMA disaster housing assistance has been approved. For those who cannot or should not live in their disaster damaged principal residence, FEMA may provide rental assistance to renters; and rental assistance or minimal repair grants to homeowners; or mortgage or rental assistance to those whose income was severely reduced by the disaster and are now facing eviction or foreclosure.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved nearly $1.56 million in low interest disaster loans. SBA loans are the major source of funds to help repair or replace disaster losses or damages. Renters, homeowners and small businesses of all sizes may be eligible for a loan.
More than $48,385 in grants has been approved by the state-run Individual and Family Grant (IFG) Program. IFG grants are provided to those found ineligible for SBA loans. The grants are for necessary and serious needs unmet by other assistance. The IFG grant may help with small home repairs, replacing lost personal possessions, transportation, dental and funeral expenses.
State Coordinating Officer Donald L. Keldsen of the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) urged residents affected by the tornado, who have not yet registered, to call FEMA at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) -- (TTY: 1-800-462-7585). Anyone interested in checking the status of an application may call the same toll-free number, open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. until further notice.
"The sooner you register, the quicker we can help," Keldsen said. "We want to get people on the road to recovery as soon as possible." Registering with the American Red Cross or local emergency management officials is not enough to be considered for all federal or state aid programs. You must call the FEMA toll-free registration number 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) (TTY: 1-800-462-7585).