Kokomo, IN -- In just one month since the Presidential disaster declaration of July 11, more than $15.5 million has been made available to assist in the recovery of more than 5,000 Indiana residents affected by the severe storms, tornadoes and flooding that began on Independence Day.
To date, $9,678,496 in grants and $5,912,200 in low-interest loans have been approved for Indiana residents who have applied for disaster assistance, according to figures released today by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Indiana State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA).
Those who suffered damages or loss from the tornadoes, flooding and severe storms that began July 4 through August 6 can still apply for assistance by calling the FEMA toll-free application number, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Those with speech or hearing impairment can call TTY 1-800-462-7585. Both lines are open 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday thru Saturday. The deadline to apply for assistance is Tuesday, September 9.
Most federal and state disaster assistance programs are designed to meet emergency needs in the form of disaster grants for immediate housing requirements and emergency repairs. These programs are meant to help people begin their recovery; they are not designed to return people's lives to their pre-disaster conditions.
By contrast, low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) help homeowners, renters and business owners repair or replace their disaster-related damages. SBA is the primary source of long-term disaster recovery loans for homeowners, renters, and businesses of all sizes.
Local, state and federal recovery officials and voluntary organizations have combined efforts to assist victims of the severe weather in putting their lives back together. This is a summary of recovery activities as of close of business August 7:
- 5,030 Individuals had called to apply for assistance
- 1,751 People had visited a Disaster Recovery Center
- 1,459 Temporary rental assistance grants were approved, totaling $1,555,823
- 2,476 Emergency essential repair grants were approved, totaling $5,717,841
- 988 Other Needs Assistance grants were approved, totaling $2,404,830 - may include grants for medical, dental, funeral, personal property, transportation and other eligible expenses
- 248 U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest disaster loan applications were approved, totaling $5,912,200.
Crisis Counseling: People who have gone through a disaster such as a tornado and flooding may experience trouble sleeping, anxiety, irritability, depression and lack of concentration. Talking about disaster experiences and sharing feelings about them will help people feel better about what has happened. Those interested in crisis counseling services should call 1-800-564-6460. The phone line is answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Another form of disaster assistance available to victims of the tornadoes, severe storms and flooding is Disaster Legal Assistance provided by the State Bar Association. These disaster legal services are meant for low-income individuals who, prior to or because of the disaster, are unable to secure legal services adequate to meet their needs. To contact one of these attorneys, call 1-800-266-2581 and tell the operator you are a FEMA applicant. The first available attorney will return your call as soon as possible.
Voluntary Agencies are still providing services to v...