Cridersville, OH -- Last week's power blackout did little to slow down registrations for disaster assistance in northeastern Ohio, according to figures released today by federal and state officials.
"More than 11,000 people have registered for help with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) following the flooding that began July 21," said Ron Sherman, federal coordinating officer. "We already have approved $13.9 million in grants for housing and other needs and expect that figure to continue to climb."
More than 1,000 registrants have visited the Disaster Recovery Centers to meet with specialists in housing assistance and other disaster-related programs regarding their applications for assistance.
Grants approved to date include:
- 5,531 housing assistance grants totaling $10,674,127
- 2,405 grants for other essential needs totaling $3,257,677
"These grants do not cover all costs and losses, but they do help people get started on the road to recovery," Sherman noted. "Even if disaster aid cannot make anyone whole again, it offers significant help."
In addition to initial grants for housing repair and immediate needs, low-interest loans are available from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for homeowners, renters, landlords and businesses. Disaster officials urge homeowners, renters, and business owners who have received a loan application from the SBA to complete the application and return it as soon as possible.
If people suffered losses from the recent flooding and are seeking federal assistance, they must first call FEMA's registration line.
"A toll-free phone call to 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) -- TTY-1-800-462-7585 -- starts you on the road to recovery," Deputy State Coordinating Officer Richard Roman said.
Residents of Carroll, Columbiana, Cuyahoga, Mahoning, Medina, Portage, Stark, Summit and Trumbull counties who suffered disaster related losses or costs may call the toll-free registration number from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The line is open seven days a week.
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.