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 $2 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, 1,459 individuals have registered for assistance through FEMA's toll-free registration line.
- More than $1.8 million in FEMA disaster housing assistance has been approved and distributed to applicants.
- The U.S Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved $232,000 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.
- To date, 261 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.
"We are pleased that we've been able to provide significant assistance to those who had property loss from the earthquake," said Jackson. "But we hope anyone who had damage and has not yet registered for help will 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the speech- or hearing-impaired."
"It's important to register as soon as possible," said State Coordinating Officer Edward F. Jacoby, Jr. of the State Emergency Management Office (SEMO). "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.