Nashville, TN -- With more than $4.4 million in federal and state disaster assistance already approved for families affected by May?s successive waves of severe storms, Tennessee counties are beginning the difficult path toward recovery. Here is a rundown of the first week of response and recovery activity.
- Applications for individual assistance have been received from 4,449 residents in the 43 declared counties since President Bush declared the disaster on May 8 following the onslaught of severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, hail and flooding.
- Disaster housing assistance checks totaling $1.3 million have been approved to assist with temporary housing and home repairs.
- Checks totaling $3.1 million have been approved to help with other needs such as medical, dental, funeral, transportation, moving and storage expenses.
- FEMA inspectors have completed 1,375 property inspections.
- The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved $223,700 in low-interest disaster loans for homeowners, renters and businesses. The first loan checks were distributed on May 14, 2003.
- Preliminary Damage Assessments have been completed in 39 counties, with 21 found eligible for public assistance. Assessments could not be completed in several counties until water receded.
- Disaster Unemployment Assistance is available through the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development for those who lost income because of the disaster. The deadline for filing an application is 30 days after the disaster announcement for a given county.
- More than 1,073 persons have called the FEMA Helpline 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) for answers to questions about their applications.
- Individuals may apply for disaster assistance by calling FEMA's toll-free registration line at 1-800-621-3362 (TDD: 1-800-462-7585) seven days a week from 8:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.
Individual Assistance by County