Albany, NY -- Federal and state disaster assistance to those affected by the April 20 Ausable Forks earthquake in six upstate New York counties (Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Warren and Washington counties) has reached more than $1.4 million, according to Federal Coordinating Officer Marianne C. Jackson of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Following is a summary of the ongoing state/federal recovery programs to date:
- Since President Bush declared a major disaster on May 16, 2002, at
the request of Governor George Pataki, 1167 individuals have registered
for assistance through FEMA's toll-free registration line.
- More than $1.3 million in FEMA disaster housing assistance has been
approved. Of that, $1.2 million already has been distributed to applicants.
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.
- The U.S Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved $84,700 in
low-interest disaster loans. SBA loans are a major source of funds to
help repair or replace disaster losses or damages. Renters, homeowners,
businesses of all sizes and non-profit organizations may be eligible
for a loan.
- More than 187 applicants have been referred to the federally-funded, 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 not met by other assistance. The IFG grants may help with small home repairs, replacing lost personal possessions, transportation, dental and funeral expenses.
"We are glad to see that grants and loans to help with recovery are reaching people who need to repair their earthquake-damaged property," said State Coordinating Officer Edward F. Jacoby, Jr. of the State Emergency Management Office (SEMO). "But we hope anyone who had damage and has not yet registered for help will call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY)."
"It's important to register as soon as possible," said Federal Coordinating Officer Marianne C. Jackson. "People who have registered need to fill out the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loan application and return it promptly so they may be considered for additional assistance."
"Once someone has registered with FEMA, they can call FEMA's toll-free HELPLINE at 1-800-525-0321 to check on the status of their application or find out more about available assistance," Jackson noted.