Disaster Aid Could Exceed $103 Million

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Release date: 
July 10, 2003
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Nashville, TN -- Severe storms and flooding that pummeled the Volunteer state during much of May are also dealing a big blow to the pocketbooks of its residents and local governments.

Federal and State disaster officials are still tallying the figures, but already the numbers show this disaster could be one of Tennessee's most costly.

President Bush's May 8 disaster declaration was amended several times and eventually included 73 of Tennessee's 95 counties. That's more than three quarters of the state. It's also the largest number of counties ever named in one Tennessee declaration. Total estimated assistance stands at $103 million already.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Emergency Response and Preparedness Directorate, FEMA, and the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) have approved more than $20 million in grants to the individuals and families who registered in the 69 counties eligible for Individual Assistance. FEMA and TEMA received 13,363 applications for assistance. The dollar figures could rise as applications are processed.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) also approved more than $23.2 million in low interest loans to homeowners, business owners and renters.

"Just because the deadline to apply has passed, doesn't mean we're leaving," said FEMA federal coordinating officer Michael Bolch. "Those who have questions about the status of their applications can still reach us by phone."

FEMA's helpline number is 1-800-621-3362 (1-800-462-7585 TDD). It's open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

"For the past two months, TEMA and our partners at FEMA have been working side-by-side to help our neighbors get back on their feet," said TEMA Director John D. White. "Even after we transition back to our day-to-day duties, unmet needs committees and voluntary agencies statewide will continue to work with those affected by the storms."

Another type of federal disaster aid, Public Assistance, reimburses state and local governments up to 75 percent of eligible disaster related costs.

To date, 217 public and private, non-profit entities have identified an estimated $60 million in eligible reimbursement costs stemming from the storms.

  • FEMA, TEMA, and the SBA granted or loaned $43.4 million to eligible residents and businesses.

    • $8.13 million of the total is for Disaster Housing assistance grants.

    • $12.12 million is for individual and household grants to help meet essential needs not covered by insurance or other programs.

    • $23.2 million is for U.S. Small Business Administration loans to homeowners, renters and businesses. ($14.3 million for home loans, $7.4 million for business loans, and $1.45 million for economic injury loans)

  • 4,655 residents visited FEMA/State disaster recovery centers staffed by specialists to answer applicants' questions face to face.

  • Mitigation teams deployed to various locations throughout the state, helping local governments identify specific actions communities can take to rebuild safer and stronger.Specialists also conducted workshops at local home improvement stores, where more than 10,000 residents sought information on becoming disaster resistant by constructing tornado safe rooms, protecting health and safety, and reducing flood risk to their property.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security
FEMA/TEMA Individual Assistance to Tennessee Counties

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Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
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