Waldorf, MD -- A month after President Bush declared Calvert, Charles and Dorchester counties federal disaster areas as a result of April 28 tornado damage, state and federal response and recovery efforts have reached more than $9.1 million in grants and loans.
"We encourage those who are waiting for insurance or find insurance falling short to call us as soon as possible to access available recovery programs," said State Coordinating Officer Donald L. Keldsen of the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA).
"Call toll free 1-800-621-FEMA. It's available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.," he said "The deadline to register is July 1, 2002."
"We commend the State of Maryland for the manner in which it has taken charge of the response to this disaster," said Federal Coordinating Officer Tom Davies of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). "Its affected citizens are in good hands."
Among recovery initiatives of the past month are: As of May 31, there have been 713 households that have called FEMA toll free at 1-800-621-FEMA (TTY; 1-800-462-7585) to register for help; As a result, FEMA has approved more than $150,000 in grants to help 77 households that cannot or should not live in disaster affected housing; The grants are in the form of rental assistance for renters and homeowners; or homeowners may receive a grant to make the residence livable if it can be done for less than $10,000; The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved more than $3.6 million in low interest disaster loans to help renters, homeowners and small businesses and more than $2 million has gone to homeowners or renters and $1.6 million has gone to businesses.
Once registered with FEMA, individuals and business owners needing SBA assistance may contact the agency at (800) 659-2955, between the hours of 7 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. (M-F). Additionally, representatives from the LaPlata SBDC are available to provide free assistance in completing SBA's Disaster Loan application. Appointments can be made by calling (800) 762-7232.
Small businesses have until February 3, 2003 to apply for an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). EIDLs can provide working capital to help disaster-affected businesses meet operating expenses and other short-term needs. For more information, visit SBA's webpage at http://www.sba.gov/disaster: The State-administered Individual and Family Grant Program (IFG) has provided $72,000 to 33 households to help with recovery; IFG provides grants to households that have essential and necessary emergency needs unmet by other assistance programs, such as an SBA low interest disaster loan; The grant may pay for some disaster-related small home repairs, lost personal possessions, transportation, medical or dental expenses or funeral expenses; The FEMA/state Public Assistance Program has obligated $1.1 million to help reimburse eligible projects that may include repair or restoration of damaged infrastructure, emergency protective measures and debris removal. Under this program, state department and agencies and government agencies and certain non-profit organizations in Calvert and Charles Counties may apply for reimbursements of disaster related losses and costs. FEMA pays 75 percent of the costs and the other 25 percent comes from non-federal sources. The State administers the program; Maryland Governor Parris N. Glendening committed $3.1 million in state funds to help business owners and residents rebuild. He also announced a task force to assist La Plata business and downtown redevelopment and assigned full-time state caseworkers to help affected families secure resources needed to get their lives back on track; The Maryland State Highway Administration has committed significant manpower and more than 25 percent of its equipment toward debris rem...