Mesa, AZ -- The state of Arizona and the federal government have made available more than $22.7 million to the citizens of Apache, Coconino, Gila and Navajo counties and the Fort Apache Indian Reservation in the state of Arizona. The disaster assistance was made possible through the June 25 disaster declaration made by President George W. Bush in response to the Rodeo-Chediski fire of June and July.
Over 8,100 residents have registered for disaster assistance since President Bush declared the fire a major disaster. Assistance to date includes:
- Disaster housing checks totaling $292,281 have been issued to 522 households to help with temporary housing and minor home repairs. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) inspectors have completed 2,291 inspections.
- The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved 43 low-interest disaster loans totaling $1,581,800 for homeowners, renters and businesses of all sizes to repair or replace damaged property.
- Arizona officials are processing 1,774 requests for Individual and Family Grant (IFG) assistance and have approved requests totaling $270,948.
- Help Centers have seen 5,510 persons seeking information, including answers to questions about their disaster assistance applications.
- FEMA's Mitigation Division is responding to community requests for information to help reduce the chance of future harm from disasters, and has spoken to nearly 1,400 residents in help centers and 1,600 at public meetings. Thousands more are receiving mitigation information from the Division's participation in local cable TV programs promoting fire-wise vegetation management and building techniques.
- Arizona's Department of Economic Security has disbursed $66,249 in disaster unemployment assistance, processing 615 applications from people who lost income because of the disaster.
- Arizona has also received $20 million in federal assistance through Fire Management Assistance declarations. FEMA Fire Management Assistance funds are made available to state and local governments, including Indian tribes, to reimburse costs of fire management and suppression. Under these grants FEMA will pay 75 percent of eligible costs incurred by state and local governments in fighting the wildfires.
- A grant of $617,929 has been approved for Navajo County for cleanup and debris removal. FEMA has approved the 75 percent federal share of $463,446 under its Public Assistance program. The remaining 25 percent will be provided by state and local agencies that will supervise the work.
- The FEMA Helpline has received 2,463 calls seeking information and answers to questions about applications for assistance.
- Long Term Recovery Committee - This effort brings together community leaders and representatives of voluntary agency to insure the availability of talent and resources for those affected by the disaster who have unmet needs. If official avenues for assistance are exhausted or inappropriate, the Long Term Recovery Committee coordinates a response and makes referrals for emergency needs, special needs or unmet needs of persons needing additional assistance.
FEMA disaster assistance is intended to cover basic needs and necessary expenses and in most cases will not compensate individuals for their entire loss. For instance, federal law limits housing assistance to losses associated with a person's primary residence and precludes secondary homes. FEMA disaster assistance is like a safety net; it is intended to help ...