Nashville, TN -- A total of $3,803,105 in federal and state disaster aid has been approved thus far for Fayette and Shelby County residents who were affected by the July 21st and 22nd, 2003 severe storms, high winds and heavy rain. President Bush, at the request of Gov. Phil Bredesen, made the disaster declaration on July 29.
Charles M. Butler, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) official in charge of the recovery effort, stressed, "Although, as of yesterday, we have had 12,886 Fayette and Shelby County residents apply for federal and state disaster assistance, the second critical step in applying for disaster aid is completing and returning the U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loan application. Disaster aid applicants should complete and return the SBA loan application even if they do not desire a loan. The information contained in the SBA loan application determines their eligibility for the various forms of available disaster assistance."
The following is a breakdown of the more than $3.8 million in federal and state disaster aid approved for Fayette and Shelby counties:
- Individuals & Households Program (IHP) - $3,302,605
FEMA's IHP may provide housing assistance in the form of temporary housing or housing repair assistance to repair disaster-related damage not covered by insurance. Assistance may also be provided to cover uninsured or underinsured disaster-related expenses and serious needs, such as medical and dental expenses, funeral and/or other burial services, transportation, clean-up equipment, moving and storage expenses, room furnishings and appliances, and other serious needs.
- U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA) - $ 500,500
The U. S. Small Business Administration provides low-interest disaster loans to homeowners, renters and businesses for restoring or replacing uninsured or underinsured damage-related property. Businesses may also be eligible for disaster loans to repair or replace inventory, machinery and equipment not covered by insurance, as well as for working capital to assist them during the disaster recovery period.
Tennessee's coordinating officer for disaster recovery, James H. Bassham, said, "We hope everyone who was affected by the July 21st - 22nd severe weather will call FEMA's toll-free application line and apply for disaster aid. With almost 13,000 Tennesseans applying for assistance so far, we feel that most people are getting the word, but we don't want anyone left out. There may be some individuals who have not yet received the word about applying. We ask everyone to help us with spreading the word about how to apply for federal and state assistance."
Anyone who suffered severe storm, high wind or heavy rain damage during the July 21st - 22nd severe weather should call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) to apply for assistance. The speech or hearing impaired should call TTY 1-800-462-7585.
On March 1, 2003, FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. FEMA's continuing mission within the new department is to lead the effort to prepare the nation for all hazards and effectively manage federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates proactive mitigation activities, trains first responders, and manages Citizen Corps, the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.